Happy Friday fellow stitchers! Over here in Ruby's sewing room it is not just the end of the week, but the end of a long... long project. My Winter Solstice quilt is finally finished and I love it so much, I am quite overwhelmed.....
I began this quilt way back last year in readiness for our new home. It is a pattern called 'Fresh' from Camille Roskelley's book 'Simply Retro' which is one of my all time favourite books. The piecing was done before we moved back to England, but I delayed quilting, what is actually a King Sized Quilt, until I got my new Janome Horizon sewing machine with the bigger arm space. I can honestly say that this made a huge, huge difference. I was able to quilt quite an intricate pattern with ease on the machine and although it was a big undertaking - I am just delighted with the results and I do have some tips for quilting such a large project.
* This was the first quilt that I began the quilting at one edge and worked across in rows, rather than starting in the centre and working out. It was so difficult to get the backing flat on such a huge quilt, that I think this system worked well, as I was able to smooth it out as I went along.
* I actually had my iron alongside me and pressed each segment before stitching, as I went along each row of stars. This ensured that everything was smooth, a little at a time.
*Changing the tension on my sewing machine made a difference to the stitching - I actually had it set quite high, because with free motion quilting, I think this helps the underneath stitching to be more even.
* Draw your shapes on with an erasable pencil, if you don't feel comfortable free handing it. I got quite into the feathers at the end, but in the beginning, I drew the shape on to help guide my stitching line.
*and finally - BE BRAVE and GO FOR IT!
Oh and don't forget to label your quilt. It is SO important to do this. I always give my quilts names, not necessarily after the pattern I used or the fabric line I used, but something that suits the mood of the quilt I am making. I called this one 'Winter Solstice' because the fabrics have a snowy theme (the Winter's Lane fabric line) and because it reminded me of our time in Stockholm, where the Solstice is an important point on the calendar, because it is signifies 'a tipping point' in the long long winter months. This quilt is somewhat of a 'tipping point for me in my sewing adventures too - a little less amateurish and a quilt to give me confidence to try something even harder next time. But most of all, I label my quilts for posterity. In the few years since I have been quilting, I have seen how our quilts melt into our family life, symbols of home and comfort and wrapping something around you that speaks the words 'safe n warm'. I hope they go on to mean this to future generations of my family and that just a little of me goes with them.
There are many ways to label your quilt and I have tried a few, but generally, I like to make my quilt labels out of simple cross stitch fabric and thread. This give you the freedom to write what you want and make it as big or small as you like. You can choose matching threads to coordinate with your quilt and there is something 'old school' about it - very appropriate for an 'Old School house'.
Once it is stitched, simply iron the sides under and attach it to your quilt and I think it's perfect and no worries that ink will wash away with years of laundering. It should stay as a permanent record of your work.
There is just one final problem though - it's way too big for our old bed - LOL! time to get a new one, I think....... Happy weekend, Ruby x
P.S. Just in case you are a bit confused by the 'initials' - well, yes, I have to confess that my real name is not Ruby Seppings - but one day soon, I will tell you all about who she is, and you will understand.