Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Making of a Mini Quilt--Part 2 (The Quilting)

It has been a year in the making, but I am so excited to have my mini Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt ALL finished. I think I will name it Burgoyne Strikes Gold, unless you have a better suggestion.
This is the quilt I made after seeing Lisa Bongean's version of the APQ Tone It Down designer quilt along last year. The blocks finish at 3 3/4" and there are 97 pieces in each block. With the sashings, cornerstones and borders, there are almost 1400 pieces in this 20" x 24" quilt. I don't normally count pieces, but I was really curious about this little thing.

After I got the top assembled earlier this year I had no clue how to quilt it. I loved the top and I didn't want to ruin it with my quilting. I do many of my little quilts with straight line quilting, but I knew this one needed special treatment. It sat for over 5 months while I waited for inspiration to strike.

I took it with me last month when visiting a friend that is a master machine quilter. We talked about some possibilities and I went home with a few ideas to mull over. When I finally chose what I wanted to quilt, I felt like I needed a stencil. So I went to the Forest Quilting website and found their Feathered Square design had the motif in it that I needed (highlighted in pink), but I needed it much smaller.
I printed it out and reduced it three or four times until it was the size I needed. Then I took the thread out of my quilting machine needle and stitched over the lines of the portion of the motif I would be using, to perforate it. Now I had a stencil for marking the design using my Pounce Pad.

First I marked a few of the designs on a practice sandwich in black fabric, to see if I could really quilt the design black-on-black. (On the actual quilt top I would pounce the design and then draw over the lines with the liquid chalk pen so that as I worked I didn't rub away the lines I needed.)
After determining that I could do this, I marked all of the quilt blocks and got the quilt sandwich basted and ready to quilt.

On my mini quilts I always do my straight line stitching with my Pfaff and its built in walking foot. The accuracy (or lack of it) on a mini is so much more noticeable, that I feel more comfortable with this method.
Straight line stitching through the diagonals and the "circles" received similar treatment.

Here you see part of the back with just the straight line quilting completed.

Now I moved over to Gidget (my HQ Sweet 16) and started on the fun stuff.
Once I get past the stress of what to quilt, I really do enjoy the process. When I go a long spell without machine quilting I forget how enjoyable I find it.

 Taking shape. The back...
 ...and the front.
I thought this quilt would take me a long time, but within a couple of days I was ready to quilt the border. Using a bendable ruler, I marked the spine for the feathered border and then quilted the feathers free motion.
 All quilted within two days--and I am thrilled with the results. It isn't perfect and there are plenty of flaws to find, but black on black makes them less visible, so I am happy. : )

Now for the binding. I always use single fold binding on my minis. I used to use 1 1/8" cuts for binding minis, but I have moved to 1" on most, unless the batting is thicker.
One inch binding went around this little quilt. Though on bigger quilts I use the Clover Wonder clips, for this tiny binding, I pin it very closely.
I figured that since I had written a post just over a year ago titled "The Making of a Mini Quilt", using the piecing of this quilt as my focus, it made sense to finish up the process.
I am loving this quilt! I have a class from Lisa Bongean in a couple of weeks and I am planning to take this and get her to sign my label, since she inspired the quilt.

I had so much fun on the quilting that it made me want to try something new. I had watched a couple of Angela Walters videos online and printed out photos of her designs to try.
 I played around with her hooked swirl on a practice sandwich. It isn't ready for prime time, but it has potential and I hope to put it on a quilt soon.

This quilt has been bound and should have reached my friend's husband by now. I pray for him daily as he adjusts to the loss of his dear wife.
Her work was very precise--quality stuff. If I didn't already have a couple of little quilts she made it would have been harder to send this one back. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

46 comments:

  1. Oh, Janet, are you kidding me???

    Your Burgoyne Strikes Gold is beyond totally awesome!!! I am sooooooo impressed with both your piecing and quilting abilities. Superb job, my friend.

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  2. This is my favorite of your miniature quilts so far. Lisa is going to be so flattered. I can hardly wait to hear what happens in class. Congratulations on an awesome finish. Also love the quilting and title you chose.

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  3. The quilting enhances your quilt, no doubt about that !!
    What a wonderful work you realized and you can be proud of it !!
    Bravo !

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  4. Absolutely beautiful!!! Your quilting is amazing!
    Kristie

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  5. The time you spent pondering quilting design options was so worth it. Your quilting is perfect for this little quilt! What an accomplishment!

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  6. Wonderful post about the process you went thru to get this fabulous and awesome mini done. Some things are worth the time and effort to get them right and you sure proved it with this one. It is worth the gold medal!
    Getting those feathers just right just sets off your wonderful piecing.
    You almost got the hooked swirl.....practice will smooth out the bumps from "where do I go now" feeling.
    And your finish of Carole's quilt is so wonderful. I am sure he is loving it......very special.

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  7. Your mini is just amazing. Awesome piecing and the quilting is exquisite. I think that the hardest part is deciding how to quilt!

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  8. Your quilts are amazing. Both the piecing and the quilting are works of art. Fantastic finish.

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  9. Your Burgoyne is awesome! I love that pattern, but would never attempt it so small. Quilted with perfection too. I've used Angela Walters' Hooked Swirl on a couple quilts and once you get the hang of it, it turns out very nicely. My hope is that in a busy quilt, mistakes aren't very noticeable. I'm sure your friends hubby will treasure that quilt and hopefully gain comfort from it.

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  10. Oh Janet! I am in awe and at a loss for words. I'm still taken aback at how tiny those pieces must be to fit 97 into a 3-3/4" block. And then your quilting ... just plain amazing. I love all your minis, but this one - well, it's just spectacular.

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  11. Your mini turned out so beautiful! Your choice of quilting design worked out wonderfully. Lisa is going to be proud of you :-)

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  12. You have every reason to be thrilled! This mini is awesome and your quilting just enhances it beautifully! Great job!
    Mary

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  13. This is just perfect. You did an amazing job quilting it - love the designs that you chose - they are just exactly right! Impressive!

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  14. Burgoyne Strikes Gold sounds like a perfect name. The quilting design fit just right in the spaces. You are to be praised for sewing all those tiny pieces!! Lisa will be happy to see it I'm sure. Glad you could finish the quilt made by a dear friend for her Husband. I hope he finds solace in having it.

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  15. Oh, Janet - I think this little quilt is the most amazing quilt you have EVER done (at least all the ones I have seen) and I look forward to seeing it in person!! And the name is just perfect!! Fabulous!! Fabulous!! Fabulous!!

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  16. Wow! All your quilts are incredible and I think this one is my favorite! I have admired this pattern for a long time, I think it is time for me to make an attempt. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  17. Yowser--your Burgoyne Surrounded is wonderful--I love it! I think your quilting is perfect on it and the hooked swirl looks ready to go on a real project--well done!!

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  18. I love it Mom! It is so beautiful! I love the curves and waves and what they add to the lovely piecing. Fine work!

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  19. Janet - I love the way you walked us through your thought process as you figured out how to quilt this masterpiece and then executed it with such bravery! I agree with you that often, the figuring out part is often the hardest! Great idea on how to transfer the design from paper to fabric - thanks for sharing that! I forgot that Quilt Fest is coming so soon! And I forgot if you're staying with me or not! The invitation is still good, so whatever works best with your schedule - hope you can at least stop by my house to say hi and maybe see my studio (that's always fun, right?) Great post!

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  20. Your Burgoyne mini is just beautiful, such a lovely pattern, but the quilting was definitely worth the wait for inspiration. Thank you for the detailed steps, they were helpful for my own mini making.

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  21. Oh, my goodness! It is so pretty! I loved reading your process of how you decided and completed the quilting for this gem, too.

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  22. Dear dear Janet!! Another heirloom for sure. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! I'm doing some FMQ on some small quilts right now and just "THOUGHT" I was doing good! Wow, yours is fabulous!!! You inspire many, including me!! (Though I'm one of the "FREE" quilters - avoid stencils and marking as much as possible - just attack it "Free hand" and hope for the best!! LOL)

    Blessings and hugs!!!

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  23. GASP!!! I'm absolutely speechless! It couldn't be more wonderful!

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  24. Super beautiful mini! Fabulous piecing and such pretty quilting, I am glad you enjoy the quilting side too.

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  25. Wonderful in depth view of your process! That little quilt has so many many hours of work--glad it's finally a "real quilt "!

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  26. I think Burgoyne Strikes Gold is my all time favorite. It's absolutely beautiful. Your choices of quilting motifs adds another layer of awesome. Thanks for posting your process. It's always informative to see how others work and think through the steps. Fantastic. Can't wait to hear about your class with Lisa B.

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  27. What can I say? I am beyond speech over this little beauty my friend!!! It is a masterpiece and you should be so stinking proud of yourself!!! I've loved seeing each block as you shared them, and it was wonderful as a finished top - really wonderful. But the quilting you've done here is the absolutely perfect finishing touch!!! And how exciting to be able to show Lisa in person soon :*)

    Great finish on our friend's quilt - I know her husband will treasure it. It had to be so difficult to work on it, but that kind of bittersweet project sticks with us always - great job!!!

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  28. A pair of great finishes for you! The Burgoyne Strikes Gold is only your current masterpiece because I'm sure that someday you will even top this one, although I don't know how. The memory quilt that you finished for the friend that has passed on is a treasure and I'm sure that it will bring comfort to her widower.

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  29. that is soooo gorgeous...a real testament to your skill and quilting prowess...i hope you are going to enter it in some juried show eventually....it is a prizewinner for sure! i really love it....

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  30. Lovely quilt and wonderful quilting! Great tutorial.

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  31. Janet, Seriously? All those tiny tiny pieces in such a tiny quilt!!! It's absolutely wonderful! And as if the piecing weren't enough, you add some spectacular quilting to it? It's just amazing!! Any time you want to do some quilting for the general public (or me!!), let me know. Your stuff is great! loved the story, too.

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  32. What a truly wonderful finish and a great name for it too! Your minis are always a treat but this one is super special and I always enjoy seeing your process.

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  33. The Burgoyne quilt is very attractive. Such little pieces but you conquered it well. This colors make me think of fall and Thanksgiving.

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  34. Burgoyne Strikes Gold is beautiful! Interesting to read about the quilting.
    So sorry about your friend passing away. I hope her husband also finds comfort from her quilts.

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  35. Well done Janet, this is a beautiful finish, the quilting looks perfect for it,I am sure Lisa will be blown away when she sees it! Love the quilt you have finished on behalf of your friend, her husband will appreciate and treasure it, I'm sure.

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  36. Gracious girl - what a stunning mini!! One can really be amazed when seeing it next to the sewing machine - really puts the scale of how tiny those blocks are in perspective. Beautifully done!!!!

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  37. Oh Janet your mini is amazing! Your quilting elevated it some much and the designs you chose are really perfect for it. What batting do you use for these minis? I hope you plan to enter this in some quilt shows so it can be enjoyed and inspire others. I love your name for it too. Your single binding looks lovely, I always use single too on smaller pieces, makes it so elegant.
    Congratulations on a really special quilt finish.

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  38. The mini is stunning. I am absolutely in awe of all the detail. Beautiful work, as always. I hope you have had a wonderful summer!

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  39. HI Janet, all I can say your quilt is AWESOME. With over 1400 pieces (UGH) it is so beautiful. Also, I can't say enough about all that amazing quilting, the quilting really makes the quilt pop. You will get an A+ from Lisa.

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  40. Completely Awesome, Beautiful, and Perfect! Wonderful accomplishment! Your machine quilting skills are a perfect complement to the design!

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  41. Janet you are amazing! Lisa is the featured quilter at the San Diego Quilt Show that started yesterday. She spoke at the Preview Night and is doing several mini lunchtime lectures and workshops. Her next one is on Friday where she'll show everyone Garden Blooms Tablemat. Here's an idea since you have 1400 pieces. How about something like 1400 Carat Strike playing along with the thought 14 Carat / 16 Carat / 24 Carat. You get the idea...

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  42. You picked the perfect quilting designs!!! I understand the stress on picking quilting designs - I have a smallish paper pieced quilt that looks like a cat siting on the back of a couch with an aloe vera plant in the window. I am terrified to quilt it but I guess I just need to pick a pattern, practice and then do it. That's what I do with *all* my other quilts so I'm not quite sure why I am still stalling on this one...it's been 7 years!

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  43. Hi Janet! I don't know what I can say about this quilt that has not been said. It is just amazing! Such lovely quilting and itty bitty tiny perfect piecing!

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  44. I LOVE your Burgoyne mini quilt: and as Lisa said, you should submit it to Paducah! I love the black background and the lovely orange, and your quilting is wonderful!!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg (PS. I'm LDS too) :-)

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