This quilt turned out perfectly for our daybed. The quilting lines are slightly wavy and unevenly spaced, which was a somewhat intentional effect but also partly expedience. But, the backing fabrics are two wavy lined prints that echo the quilting lines very nicely–so my laziness paid off!
I really love the orange binding.
Making this quilt top for our daybed was a challenge, but I really like how it came together. When the daybed is made up, only the medium gray will show, keeping the daytime look more like a couch than a bed. But, I was able to work enough interest into the design to keep me happy. The little touch of orange (I think it’s Kona Kumquat) makes all the difference. I am especially happy with the backing fabric. I wanted something subdued, and this subtle gray stripe from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line is perfect. (I bought my yardage from Marmalade Fabrics.) I was really pleased that the background is a warm white–which goes really nicely with the Kona Bone in the quilt top.
I am trying something new with the quilting. I usually quilt in a diamond pattern that I mark with washable pencil lines. It takes a long time to mark all the lines but I am weirdly attached to the process–something about the precision appeals to me. For this quilt, I want straight vertical lines. I plan to use the piecing seams and a few lines I made by pressing the folded quilt top in half and then in fourths as guides. I am nervous about being able to stay on course–especially since the guide on my walking foot broke off years ago. I really hope it works!
One of my goals this year is to expand my repertoire of crafty skills. First on my list? Needle turn applique. My guild is doing a mug rug swap this month, so this was a great opportunity to test my skills on an unsuspecting guild member. (They’re a pretty friendly bunch.) I used a very simple bull’s eye shape adapted from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book (hands down my favorite quilting book–it’s really great for beginners). It’s just three irregular circles stacked; aiming for imperfection is a great choice when you are learning a new skill (or improving a rusty one).
When I’ve tried needle-turn in the past, I’ve always cheated and turned the raw edge under with my hand, which can result in an uneven edge. I think I finally got the knack of needle turning by the third circle! You use the point of the needle to push under the next section of edge before you sew–which turns the edge evenly as you move along. If you are working on a precise shape, having a clear line for the seam would be very important. Because my circle did not need to be precise I just winged it. It was so nice to work on a small project by hand that I decided to hand quilt, too. At first I quilted around each circle–not good! The circles poofed up, totally negating all my careful applique. Here’s a picture, before I pulled out the hand quilting:
What else do I want to try this year? Embroidery, making a stuffed animal, and (maybe!) English paper piecing. Look for more Skillful Sunday posts in the coming months!