Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?


One of my friends (a very prolific quilt-top piecer) asked me about a year ago if I would like to practice machine quilting on this Irish Chain quilt that she made "for no reason". To me, Irish Chain quilts scream for some custom quilting, not just an allover design, so due to my inexperience with that kind of quilting, I told her that she might be better off asking one of our local professionals to quilt it for her instead. She didn't think so and kept after me until I finally gave in and took it home last fall to "study" it for a while. My friend understood that there was no way I could even start it before January or February.

In March I told my friend to bring me the backing and batting, which meant that my confidence level was rising...then it all sat in a bag for a couple of weeks...

I finally decided that I should get up the nerve and really plan how to work on this. In April I was ready to load it on my HQ16 and discovered that my friend had forgotten to piece the backing. Yeah -- that meant I could delay it even longer! If I really liked piecing backings, I would have done it for her, but I don't really like to do that, especially when the quilt is so big (this quilt is about 90 x 1 billion inches -- well, actually more like 90 x 110 or so). I could relax for a couple of weeks..and thought that maybe my friend would get frustrated with the delays and take it to someone who knew what she was doing...

My friend didn't get the message and brought it back to me with a pieced backing and I loaded it on my HQ16 early this month...it sat there for a while...I just kept looking at it and shaking my head.

On Tuesday of this week, I turned on the machine and got to work on the first border. I did a beadboard design and am quite pleased with how it turned out. I quilted a couple more borders and on Thursday started on the body of the quilt. Not perfect, but satisfactory.

These photos show what I've done so far...there's a long way to go yet...this is such a BIG quilt...



9 comments:

Susan said...

Oh my gosh, Anya...what you have done so far is WONDERFUL! I know your friend is going to be thrilled with it!!!

free indeed said...

You are doing a wonderful job!!! I would be so pleased if it were mine. I really like how the beadboard quilting turned out. I may borrow this idea someday. All our rooms have beadboard walls (a very old house) and that echoed in a quilt would look charming. Someday I want to make an Irish Chain like the one pictured. What size squares are used to you know?

Yvette said...

WOW! That looks great!!

I took an HQ16 class at my local sewing machine store. I am able to go rent it now. I have a question for you. Can you start a quilt and then take it off the frame and re-load it for another time?

Jackie said...

So glad you took the plunge! You are doing a fantastic job. Those big quilts do take a while for custom work. I currently have a quilt on my machine just slightly bigger than yours, it is custom and will take a little while too. Great Job!!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I absolutely love the quilting you have done so far. The bead board is perfect and I have never seen that before. And the big medallion/floral on the the open space is perfect. I can't wait to see the finished quilt. I hope you will be able to show it.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Very nice. I am sure you will do a great job!

Jocelyn
http://happycottagequilter.blogspot.com/

Barb said...

You will do a wonderful job...the first stitch is the toughest! Your workmanship is always great!

Anonymous said...

You go girl, it is marvelous.

Karen said...

Good for you! Wonderful job.