Thursday, October 18, 2012

carpenter's star & hand quilting

This quilt is, without a doubt, my greatest accomplishment thus far. Every quilt has a story, so I'll share it here. I fell in love with Urban Cowgirl by Moda many months ago, and bought a layer cake when it went on sale this summer from Fort Worth Fabric Studio, my favorite online fabric shop. My original intention was to make a quilt for myself because this fabric speaks to my country girl side. I wanted something I could take to picnics or cuddle up with in the winter. My house has a ranch feel to it, so the fabric worked perfectly.

A few weeks ago, I realized I was bored with watching TV, uninterested in books at the moment (weird, I know!), and needed something to do. That's when I remembered the stack of awesomeness I had stored up! I immediately started researching quilt patterns that would work well for a layer cake. (I've never used pre-cut fabric before - LOVE it!) I love big, central star patterns and decided on a Carpenter's Star design and got to cutting! Half-square triangles were so easy to work with and all the measuring and math were already done for me. Couldn't have gone any smoother. For the background fabric, I used a sheet that tore during our last garage sale. I was frowned upon by an older quilter that I know for not buying new fabric, but after sulking on my way home, I decided to forget her - quilts were originally made out of leftover clothing and sheets anyway. Nothing wrong with it at all. I'm proud to be thrifty :)

When I quilt, I have the TV on for background noise, but my mind is far from whatever show is on. I kept thinking about my friends' upcoming wedding. Their shower was at the end of the week and I'd need to go shopping at the places they were registered. The more I kept looking at the fabric, thinking of them and their dynamic as a couple, the more I came to realize...I could give this to them as a wedding present. They love the country. The fabric spoke of them as much as it did of me. And who wouldn't love a quilt as a wedding gift? It had to be done.

Unfortunately, this gave me quite a deadline to reach. I still had to find fabric for the back and the binding, as well as get batting. So I started shopping online again, but knew I needed the fabric the next day if I was going to reach my goal. I went straight to Cabbage Rose Quilting and asked for help! The woman took me straight to the few bolts they had left of Urban Cowgirl. It wasn't my first choice, but I had to settle on Pony Ride Grass Stain for the back and find a coordinating fabric of a different line for the binding.

I also used fusible batting for the first time. It's magic! I've always heard bad things about it, but decided to give it a try because the #1 thing I hate about quilting is trying to keep all three layers together. It's next to impossible for me. But I finished the top, sandwiched the quilt, and outlined all of the diamonds easily and quickly. I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the rest of my idea by the shower, so I had to bind the quilt, give it, and take it back home! I felt terrible, but the couple really loved it and couldn't see how I wasn't finished. But you will soon! (And yes, I'm aware that I was working out of order, but I had no choice! Quilting after binding turned out fine in the end.)

I had quite a task before me. I decided to hand quilt a range of different patterns on the squares, triangles, and corners. I have such a great respect for hand quilters. I don't think I'll ever do it again myself! (Though I do really enjoy the look of hand quilting.) I worked every evening, and sometimes all day on it and finished in about a week and a half. Here's a close-up of the designs.

Ugh I don't want to give it away! But at the same time, I really, really do. I'm excited about the wedding this weekend and can't wait to see this in their house this winter!

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog looking for the Carpenters square and LOVE this quilt you made! I have several layer cakes also! did you buy a pattern to use for this or is there a tutorial? I have looked several places online but just was wondering. If you don't mind emailing me, and letting me know, that would be great!