Friday, January 13, 2017

First Quilts Off the Frame in 2017

Donna dropped off three quilts way back in October and I was finally able to get to them in the last week or so.  All done so here are their stories.

First up is this little tumbler quilt.  The quilt is relatively small and was made using tiny tumbler blocks - very cute.  She wanted an edge-to-edge so I did rows of loops into the tumblers.  I was really happy with it, and she was too.  Sometimes simple is best.

Why use one pix when two will do??? :)

Next is this black/white/yellow quilt.  I like it.

She wanted this one with some "light custom".  This is what I came up with.

Finally, this is a Bonny Hunter design.  Of course Bonny is well known for her scrappy quilts.  This pix is the quilted quilt....

But this (below) is what it looked like when I put it on the frame.  I try really hard to get a quilt square on my frame when I load it.  It usually takes anywhere from an hour to 3 or more hours depending on the quilt.  I snapped these two pix once I got to the bottom of this quilt.  As you can see, not square at all.  In this case, the borders were nice an flat, but there was a lot of extra fabric in the centre. 

I have had this happen before and in each case it has been a quilt made from millions of small pieces, each having a bias edge (i.e., triangles).  If these are not cut carefully and/or handled carefully, they tend to stretch/distort.  Even if just in micro amounts, with so many small pieces, the distortion adds up to inches across the quilt.  

With this much to ease in it's virtually impossible to starch/steam it all out, although some will come out using that method.  So then what?  Some of it can be released at the sides by bowing out the border, but if that is done too much, the quilt would take on a lantern shape.  In this case, it was a bit of both - plus the other secret weapon of a really loopy all over quilting design that would suck up some of that extra fabric.  The pattern showed the quilt quilted with "clam shells", so I used that. (Maybe that's why they chose that one!  It could be that the sample quilt was just as billowy!)  It worked quite well to gather up a lot of the fabric so in the end, the quilt doesn't look too bad.  It's a bit "poofier" than I would typically like, but it worked and there are no pleats in the top.

Top (above) and from the back (below).

Donna was happy with her quilts and picked them up yesterday.  I always enjoy chatting with my customers and I got to know Donna a bit yesterday.  She is an "older" lady whose husband has Alzheimer's (he is not living at home any more) and for her quilting is a huge tension release and helps her stay sane under the pressures of the rest of her life.  This is why it's so important to have a hobby.

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