Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 Finish-Along -- #3 is DONE!

My first plus quilt -- scrappy blues from my diverse stash!
Made for a special young man who has been my "yard boy" for the past 5 years!
He graduates from high school this year and I'm going to have to find another young man in the neighborhood to train as my gardening sidekick!!
I committed to quilting it this winter to be sure it was ready for his summer graduation celebrations!  Layering with a good movie seems to be a key to success for me.
It was Woman in Gold this time -- fascinating story and such a timely perspective in these days of international refuge crisis.
As I sat down with George to contemplate the quilting, my intention was to use straight lines (matchstick quilting) but as I pondered the best spacing I found myself thinking about the "maze" that was used as an event ice breaker a couple weeks ago. 

Could I quilt a maze?
How appropriate to use that for a graduation quilt? 
You know, "life is a maze" with lots of choices and paths that can lead to so many outcomes?!?

I started sketching out ideas and realized I have no idea how to create a maze.
Of course, that's "google-able".
I thought the explanation HERE was interesting.  It didn't completely solve my "how-to" problem, but it helped me understand the mechanics of making one which enabled me to commence stitching.

The first few lines were intimidating as always -- but after working across one corner of the quilt, I was able to find a rhythm of spacing the lines and building the channels. 
I worked from side to side across four to five rows of the squares at a time and it took about four sessions to finish the lap size quilt.
I have been thinking about how to explain my "process" but can't come up with much more than stitch for a ways, make a right angle turn and stitch some more, repeat, repeat, repeat.
I like the texture it adds to the quilt.  I took quite a few pictures to remind me "how" I quilted this one as it will be a good strategy in the future. 

The cold weather has been scarce here this winter but it's back now that the daffodils are blooming?!?  My daughter graciously consented to hold up the finished quilt outside.
It's 44" by 58" and you can read about my piecing strategy HERE.
So that's three finishes for the first quarter -- wahoo!!
You can find the first quarter link-up HERE!
One more to go and it's been on the design wall simmering for a couple weeks so I might be ready for the "full steam ahead" stage!!

Some of you may recall my story about finding "my" downy woodpecker under my feeder in late January (see my January 30 post). 
Good news!!
One March 8, I headed back out to the rehab center to pick him up!!  He was much admired by the center's staff for his feisty resilience and making such a good recovery!  I released him back into "his" yard and waited for 36 hours to catch a sight of him. 
At 8:30 a.m. on March 10, I was delighted to see him land on the finch feeder for a quick feed!!

To the studio!!


  1. The plus quilt is a lovely graduation gift. He'll think of you every time he uses it. Interesting quilting, I'll need to try it sometime. Blessings!

  2. I think the quilting design is perfect for a graduation quilt and a plethora of pluses

  3. What a delightful quilt--I love all shades of blue and you did a wonderful job with the ones you picked--your garden boy will love it--
    and how wonderful of you to help save a downy woodpecker--I love love woodpeckers--
    and I am glad that he continues to call your backyard home!!
    enjoy the moments, diane

  4. I love the way you quilted your plus quilt! great work

  5. That looks wonderful and thanks for describing how you did your well chosen pattern for quilting - looks great. Its a generous lap - what size is it?

  6. Beautiful quilt, Mary ! I love the way you quilted it :)