Here it is with the binding half finished. That's where it stands.
I am the world's slowest binder. I have already spent two very long evenings stitching on this binding. People always tell me I will get faster after doing more. Are they kidding? I bound my first quilt in 4-H about 50 years ago. Believe me, I am not getting faster!
I originally named this Sunset Over the Rockies when I first made it way back when, but since it was made entirely from men's thrift store shirts, I renamed it Sunset Over the Men's Department. That is hardly fitting for a little girl's quilt, so it may get a new name--again. I'm still pondering that.
It has been a very long time since I have finished anything larger than a wall hanging with an all-over design of FMQ. I always worry that I will not be able to keep the size of the design consistent throughout. To choose a design one of my go-to sources is this book of Patsy Thompson designs. It isn't really a book, but I made it into one. She has a slew of wonderful designs for free download on her website here.
Years ago, when I was first getting my feet wet in the free motion quilting sea, I participated in the SewCalGal (now QuiltShopGal) Free Motion Quilt challenge and Patsy Thompson was one of our monthly teachers. I felt like some things (feathers, for one) really clicked for me while following her tutorials, so I looked at what else she had to offer on her website and was excited to find her free designs. As I began downloading the pages, I knew I needed to organize them somehow. I created a cover to make sure she got the credit for everything and I had it printed on cardstock and laminated. Then I placed all of the designs between the covers and had the whole thing spiral bound. It is very convenient and helpful to flip through and find a design I want to try.
My attempts never turn out exactly the way hers do, and that's okay. She plants the seed of the idea with her design and as I try to replicate it a new version appears. On my practice piece I realized I was starting the design too small and it would take forever, use more thread, and make a stiffer quilt, so you can see that I shifted to a larger scale.
And speaking of the thread, I chose a salmony orange from Mettler. I prefer Aurifil for less lint and a finer thread, but they didn't have a color anywhere close.
I know I have touted the excellence of the Quilter's Select rulers before, but I have to put in another plug. Before stores closed down, I had purchased this ruler, which is for machine quilting. It is thicker than the rulers for rotary cutting, and it has finger holes. The coating on the back made this stay in place for straight line quilting better than ANY OTHER METHOD I have tried--and I have tried them all, from medical tape to sandpaper dots, and everything in between. Believe me, this is worth it!
I used a stencil and a water erase marker to mark the design in the outer border. After it was quilted, I sprayed it with water to remove the marks. As I placed the quilt in my lap to start binding, I saw something I have never seen before. Not only had the panda fabric on the back done a little bleeding, but the thread had been bleeding, too. Have you ever had that happen?? When I finish the binding I will wash it with some color catchers and see if that helps, but this took me completely by surprise! At least it doesn't show on the front.
Wow, I really detailed you to death on this post, so if you stayed with me, here is the fun part. Today, May 16th, is the actual 9th anniversary of my blog. I have a little thank you giveaway for my loyal readers and friends.
There is an autographed copy of Pam Buda's new book--Vintage Treasures, a little bowl filler I made from a leftover block when I made a log cabin doll quilt, a Moda design magnetic closure notepad, and one of my new favorite scented candles. They are made from palm wax, cotton wick, and essential oils. They are great and I want to share them.
Leave a comment if you are interested. If you have commented before and never received a reply from me (I reply to everyone that has an email attached to their account), PLEASE leave your email address in your comment or I have to choose a new name.
Drawing now closed! On that note, happy blogiversary to me! :)
Until next time,