Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Beast Revisited

It has been a long time since I felt my shoulder could handle pushing this heavy, king-size T-shirt quilt around under Gidget's needle. It feels good to be seeing real progress now, and without shoulder pain.
This is my youngest son's college graduation quilt. He graduated 5 years ago. Do you think it is about time I completed it? When I started the quilting on this a few years ago my shoulder problems eventually brought it to a halt. After finally having surgery 2 years ago I thought I would get back to this quickly. But healing was slow and then other projects had gotten in the way. Now this is my machine quilting priority, and over the past couple of weeks I have quilted 16 blocks. I have four to go, and then I get to start on the sashing.

I am doing some pretty dense quilting, and I am trying to make each block different from any others.
Some turn out well--others, not so well. The block to the left is one of my favorites. The one below is in the "not so much" category.

I have never loved quilting pebbles, hence I don't do it much, so I can't do it well. But by the time I decided I wasn't thrilled with this block, I had gone too far to unpick (I just wasn't willing to do it at that point). Of course, this is the brightest, most fluorescent of all the blocks, which makes it  obvious. So be it.
These photos show a few of the other designs I used in the quilting.

This T-shirt quilt has a twin brother. My oldest son graduated from the local university in 2011, and only 4 months later his T-shirt graduation quilt was quilted and bound. Of course, I didn't do the quilting myself. Here is the twin--and they were only born 4 years apart. How is that for a trick?
Between the two of them, these are the quilts that compelled me to learn machine quilting. When I picked up this quilt from my machine quilter, she told me about all of the problems she'd  had with breaking thread and wacky tension as she quilted it. Then she said that she wouldn't be sad if she never had to do another t-shirt quilt. My youngest son was already in college by then and already had the t-shirts stacking up (my sons were joiners). At that moment I figured I just needed to learn to do it myself, and that very month I was attending my first machine quilting classes (where I was, in all honesty, the class dunce).

One other near completion, my "Mom's Flower Garden" quilt finally got the border attached. Here it is on the guest room bed, making sure it is the size I want before I send it off to be quilted. Yes, there are too many quilts in the queue, so I am quilting this one by check.
Every couple of years I hire a friend that does excellent work and let her finish one of for me, and this is one of those times. I am excited to have her work her magic and get this 22 year old UFO into the "finished" pile!

And lest you think you are on the wrong blog, I do have a couple of small quilts that are in the works. One of them should end up being my mini of the month and will make an appearance here soon.

Our little valley has had an explosion of Covid cases in the past couple of weeks. We went from under 100 to over 700--heavily related to employees at a meat packing plant. Hope you are all able to stay safe, wash your hands, social distance, and wear a mask when you can't.

Until next time,
Janet O.