What did you do today?
I watched my neighbor attempt to spread a huge pile of mulch around his yard . . . .
. . . . . and I drank a lot of tea . . . .
. . . . . . and I finished this quilt!
Finishing it was my #onemonthlygoal for May's Elm Street Quilts linkup and today is the last day to share the results for this month.
I layered it on May 1 and quickly stitched this first pattern row down the length of the quilt.
And then I got distracted or bored or disappointed with the design???
I don't know but there it sat until May 29 -- that was the day I cleared all the stuff off of it so I could get back to work on it.
I ditched between all the blocks hoping to for fresh inspiration as I engaged with the process of machine quilting.
Quilting a top continues to be a "speed bump" for me but I do find that starting with the simplest approach (often stitch in the ditch) can break the creative jam for me.
I decided to continue with my original idea and finished the pieced blocks.
I've been doing so much straight line quilting for the past couple years that my free motion curves are a little rusty and that shows up with a variegated thread but . . . . must persist!!
Once they were all finished, it looked much better!
Now for the plain blocks -- at 6", they are too large to leave empty even if the batting is stable.
I decided to build on the design I used for the center square of the pieced blocks but my first experiment looked too empty so I added four more "petals" for a total of eight.
Rather than mark them or use a ruler, I marked the center of each plain square
and the center of each side of the plain squares.
I stitched "graceful arcs" from "dot-to-dot" -- this is where building muscle memory by doodling quilting designs pays off. Happily I figured out how to start at one edge of the quilt and work across all the blocks in one continuous line.
Here I've stitched down the right side of the block continuing through all the blocks in that row until I reach the opposite side. Then I stitched the left side as I came back across the quilt.
After finishing the first row of plain blocks, I decided the pieced blocks looked too puffy, so I used my straight edge to add a box to those blocks to flatten them down a bit.
Happily, I was able to figure out how to do that as part of the plain square quilting lines by taking a short detour when I connected with the center of one of the rectangles and then come back into the plain square with no extra stops and starts.
Moving from motif to motif smoothly is a great strategy because it cuts down on the "thread burying". So the only threads I needed to bury were when the bobbin needed to be changed or the thread broke!! Yea!! Plus I do it at once because I hate spending an evening burying threads.
I spent most of the 31st quilting though I did take out time to do a few chores including mowing the back lawn. Now my daughter and I can have a relaxing weekend outside!
The finished quilt is 42" by 60" and will be donated to one of my causes.
It's made completely from my reproduction stash and I estimated it used up about 4 1/4 yards of stash!! That's a good thing because now I don't need to feel guilty about that layer cake I bought last week!!
(By the way, my neighbor did move a lot of mulch around but he didn't finish!!)