…cleaned, backed, quilted, and bound! The lovely and talented Yahaira of bitter purl asked me about this quilt yesterday, and I felt inspired to post about it.

Fabrics: Art Gallery Revive and Kona solids (Snow and ?, ?, ?, and ?)

Backing: Teal sheet, self-bound (my favorite method)

Size: 65″ square

Quilting thread: Gutermann, peach

Started: Feb 2010

Finished: March 2010

Made while watching: LOST

Despite my serious issues with this quilt last month, I love it and I am so happy that people encouraged me to finish it. I planned to do a pieced back and sewed together 16 nine-patch blocks to do a wonky nine-patch back, but my motivation lagged because I had never been crazy about the top, and it seemed like a lot of misdirected effort. So I went to my local Bed Bath & Beyond, one of my least favorite stores (and not just because of the missing comma), and purchased a sateen sheet for the back. I went home, sprayed it with some Sulky, and began quilting.

I did develop some unsightly wrinkles along the back, and this was diagnosed by the two talented and lovely Lisas at the NEMQG meeting as improper basting (thank you, Lisa and Lisa)! Alas, my obsession with Sulky will have to come to an end as I reluctantly embrace a half-pin, half-Sulky method.

One of my favorite features of this quilt is the lone, green-centered star on the bottom right. I wasn’t sure how this would look, because I worry about symmetry, but I am so pleased with its placement.

The quilt itself was a relatively quick undertaking. I love Gwen Marston’s techniques and I live by her ethos. The book in which the wonky star pattern is featured, however, is sadly out of print.  But not to worry–there is a great tutorial at the Silly BooDilly. As a testament to the power of this quilt, I have already watched two movies under it, although my house was a toasty 74 degrees.

Dig into your stash and make your own wonky star! You’ll be glad you did.

Fabric: Scarlet Fig by Laurie Wisbrun, DS Hope Valley (purchased from Hawthorne Threads, my fave online store), Kona cotton in Charcoal, some black polka-dot fabric from Fabric Corner (y’all know I love fabric corner)

Made for: My friend’s baby’s first birthday

Time to complete: About six weeks 😦

Boo, I’m ashamed of myself for taking so long to finish this. The top came together in a couple of days, I had enough batting and backing fabric to make a pieced back and my quilt sandwich immediately, and…it sat.

I originally wanted to tie it, but it looked HORRIBLE, so I waited for further inspiration. Then, I decided to quilt wonky squares around the squares with simple black thread…but when I was done, it still felt like it needed a special something.

Finally, it hit me: hand embroidery! I drew 3/4″ lines around the blocks and embroidered them in long lines. I LOVE how it looks. I completed most of it to and from NYC on the bus, which had the added benefit of keeping me extremely cozy during the long and cold ride from Boston.

embroidery detail

And then…it sat for a couple of weeks while I waited for the mood to strike to bind it. I don’t like binding very much, because I feel it is never quite right. I am always disappointed with how it turns out and I feel compelled to go back and fix every imperfect stitch. That is NOT a recipe for quilting happiness. Fortunately, the binding fabric I chose worked so well that I became motivated to quilt it. And voila! Two episodes of SVU later (one involving an endangered animal smuggling ring…) and I was finished.

backing fabric detail

I can’t wait to give this to my friend K. Her baby is turning one in the same week that they are moving into a new house. I think it will be the perfect gift.

I was so inspired when I came home from the first NEMQG meeting on Friday night that I decided to free-piece my week two blocks for the pinwheel QAL:

I think they’re adorable independently, but we’ll see how they look in a quilt. A little wonkiness goes a long way! I’m planning to try a few wonky blocks, and if I don’t love them, I’ll replace them at the end.

(The green fabric is a lovely print from Art Gallery called “Chrysanthemum.”)