And it only took me TWO years!

I finally finished my 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month Quilt!  Yep…that’s Twenty Twelve.  I know, I know, it’s Twenty Fourteen, but let’s not dwell on that, okay?

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Bink’s birthday was this week and she really wanted me to finish this as part of her gift, so it was great motivation.  That’s my 5’11” son dragging it on the ground and holding up part of it with his head, so obviously this quilt came out pretty big (about 78 x 64 before washing).  He was the tallest available assistant, but he clearly doesn’t get the importance of good quilt photography!  It doesn’t help that even natural light is dismal with all the yellow dust here in Seoul this week.

As I mentioned here, this quilt was a learning process for me.  I started it when I knew absolutely nothing about quilting and, since the last block was just finished this week along with the assembly, it represents everything I have (or haven’t) learned about quilting so far.

It’s certainly far from perfect, but I’m kind of proud of the journey it represents.  When looking at it on the quilting wall a few weeks ago I secretly thought it was a bit of an eyesore.  All those disparate blocks, even with a shared narrow color palette, weren’t working for me. I had originally been planning on adding white sashing, but I realized that that wouldn’t improve things much.  Since the background of each square is white, white sashing was only going to make the shapes in each block float, it wouldn’t make the quilt feel more modern, less granny-crafty.  I am so glad I switched the sashing to silver gray:

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Now, the gray seems to frame each square as the separate little artwork it should be:

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After solving that dilemma, I was starting to like this quilt more.  But the next hurdle was waiting – ugh – quilting.  I wasn’t looking forward to dragging this big thing through my machine, but I wanted this to be all my own, so no longarmer.  I have no free motion quilting skills, so I knew I needed to do this whole thing with the walking foot and (relatively) straight lines.  After quilting along the sashing (need to learn to go SLOWER so it won’t ripple so much), I framed just inside the outer edge of each block by stitching in the ditch.  Then it was time to get creative.  I thought about quilting each block the same way, but then decided to just let each block talk to me.  One by one, without planning ahead, I looked at the block, decided what lines to emphasize or how to fill up the negative space, and somewhere along the way, this actually became FUN!  I surprised myself with the different ways I could make each block stand out, and since Bink didn’t want this super densely quilted (so it would be soft and drapey), it went pretty quickly.  It’s hardly impressive to an experienced quilter,  I know, but for me this was a step forward.  The worst part was all the fluff from the cotton batting combined with yellow dust  – I sneezed my way through this one!

IMG_1481After this, I’m even looking forward to quilting the 3-4 finished tops that I have waiting for me.  I have only had my bigger machine for a few months and it made a big difference with quilt wrestling.  I also tried Aurifil thread for the first time on this quilt after reading all the hoopla about it on other blogs.  I hate to say it, since it is so expensive, but I think the hoopla is true.  I had such an easier time with it – less/no breakage, less lint, and no jamming.  It’s also so fine that you can pack a ton of it on the bobbin, which was nice.  I guess I’ll have to start saving my pennies to buy more.

I kind of want to go stare at this one for a while before it disappears onto a loft bed in a messy teenager’s room.  Who knows when I’ll see it again after that happens!

Note: Finished size after washing and machine drying on low = 74 x 60

4 thoughts on “And it only took me TWO years!

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