It’s done.

After what, two years, it’s finally done – the green, yellow and gray block of the month sampler quilt I started with a group on livejournal in 2012. I’m not going to link all the posts I talked about it on here, but you can check the tag at the bottom if you are interested in the very slow progress I made on it.

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I’m really happy with this quilt. I enjoyed doing the different blocks, and learned a great deal. I think the fabrics are fresh and summery, and I think the quilt managed to stay away from being super feminine, which was one of my original goals. The quilting I chose may make it less masculine than I intended (this was supposed to be the “boy” and the brown and pink one the “girl” of the two), but  I don’t regret any of the decisions I made.

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What I’ve learned, or how this quilt has made me a better quilter –

I need to take so much more care piecing and cutting. I had lots of oopsies that I didn’t correct both in cutting and in piecing. I am not a perfectionist by any stretch, and I’m pretty lazy, so when a mistake happens, unless it’s just terrible, I don’t go back and correct it. As a result, I’ve got a lot of chopped off corners in the blocks. I know myself pretty well, and I know that experience is really the only way I would learn this lesson (and most others). I just have to learn the hard way why some people are more fastidious with their construction techniques.

holy wonky piecing and chopped off points, batman!

holy wonky piecing and chopped off points, batman!

Anyway, so for next time the lesson is definitely follow the saying “measure twice and cut once”, and work on my 1/4″ seams.

The same could be said for my basting. I now know why pin basting on a floor isn’t a great idea, at least for me. I just could not get the fabric taut enough, and so I have some areas on the quilt where I’ve got puckering. It’s not super awful, but enough so that I do wonder if I should bother putting this up for sale. I wouldn’t want someone to spend decent money on this and see those puckers and be upset. I  know we can be our own worst judge, but I am not happy about the puckers. I don’t have a great space in my house to baste quilts, especially anything larger than lap size, but my MIL just bought a house and now has a 17’x19′ sewing studio, so I can take my quilts there to baste.

soooo many puckers

soooo many puckers

In making this quilt, I found several traditional blocks I think I love, and a few I definitely do not.  The card trick and churn dash ended up being my favorites, and I’m considering doing a quilt in the future of just one of those.

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What I’m really pleased with is the quilting. Perfect it is not, but I’m a fan of “good enough”, especially for a serious first try. I had some hiccups – I had to buy a new table so my machine could sit flush with the sewing surface because I had gravity issues, but once I did that, quilting was much easier and very enjoyable.

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I’ve taken two classes on craftsy by Cindy Needham, and she has a wealth of great quilting information on a domestic machine. I stuck with simple techniques – an easy stencil in the center of each block, a small stencil in each cornerstone, and repetitive lines everywhere else. I think the repetitive lines create enough shadow and contrast to be quite striking. My favorite are the stencils I used in the corner of each border.

I loved using this stencil.

I loved using this stencil.

Some stats:

Name: “Jun”. I started it in June. I finished it in June. It’s named after a special little boy I met (through the wonders of the internet), who died in surgery on his heart. He was just 8 or nine months old.

(P.S., if you get a chance, please check out the organization that took care of him during his time here, Little Flower Projects. They are AMAZING, and I truly love those children)
Size: 54″ x 54″
Design: Blocks sourced from Quilter’s Cache
Quilting: Bottom Line thread, 60wt, by Superior Threads, light yellow.
Favorite part: The quilting. I rocked it (for a first attempt, at least). Also, having some sort of inspiration helped me finish this, because before I decided to dedicate (at least, internally, prayerfully) these quilts to the babies in Little Flowers and Love Without Boundaries, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore, and I didn’t know if I would finish. But after the loss of some particular precious children, I used this as a way to constructively work through some feelings. If this quilt sells, part of the proceeds will go to one of those organizations.

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Head here for this week’s TGIFF!

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