(Process Pledgy post)
I got the fabrics here.
And wanted to have it done before I left here.
But I didn't.
I did however, get it done before the end of August,
and its recipient now has it all to himself.
I cannot lie... this thing felt a bit beastly before I got it done and mailed.
I started with this pile of fabric (all half-yard cuts).
The theme was Hawaiian, scrappy, and with those little surfing monkeys.
I sized the blocks up to 13 1/2" (with 9" circles I think), and a 5 x 7 layout. While stitching, I had a little trouble with some of the blocks shifting on me --> I found using a glue stick to baste them before sewing worked the best.
If you look at that pile of fabric, you'll see relatively very few solids, and a majority of colors that are lighter in value.
Why I didn't think it through ahead of time, I don't know, but the Circle Around design relies on a lot of contrast. Not only did I not buy any extra white, but the white didn't contrast well with those light turquoises. I really spent a lot of time trying to coordinate the interplay of value, and solids with prints.
In the end I improvised and came up with this.
It did look scrappy, but then I wasn't sure if it felt too incongruent... and at this point, I was feeling a little bit panicky actually. "What if his mama doesn't like it?" This is a sick to the stomach feeling when you're making something for someone else. I kept telling myself that she had liked the fabrics, and she had liked the design idea, and she had liked one of my progress pics... so I pressed on.
And then there was the back.
You saw the fabric above. All half-yards... most of which had a 13.5" x WOF strip cut out of them so I could make my top.
Fortunately I had the fore-sight to pull a couple out of the pile ahead of time for the back, but this was a twin-sized quilt, and so I had to get quite scrappy.
The original plan had been to make his name big so that when you folded the top of the bed down, it showed up (slightly brilliant, I thought). But it just wasn't working for me when I saw what I had left. So I went with plan B for the name.
I thought personalizing the little surfboard I threw in there would be cute.
The top part of the back I think is my favorite part of the whole quilt.
Jay took Steiger up to his dad's for an entire day, and this quilt back took me that entire day.
To quilt, I did horizontal wavy lines... you know, oceany. :) Even with my needle in the down stop position, the weight of the quilt would occasionally pull on the stitching a bit (though I had a table to rest the bulk of it on next to me), but you definitely wouldn't notice it on a horse riding by.
This is the biggest quilt I've done start to finish by myself, and it pushed the limits of my little Janome.
Once I got this all quilted, washed, and photographed, I felt happy to send it on its way. Once I got word back from Will's mama that she liked it, I felt even happier...and maybe even a tinge of pride.
I used the proceeds from this quilt, plus a Visa Gift card I had, to buy 24 yards of batting while it was on sale at JoAnn's this weekend.
What I liked about this quilt:
- the squares with lots of contrast (the navy and white, or the bold blue and light blue, etc.)
- the top of the back (I loved that part for some reason)
- the little surfboard in the ocean scene
- no tucks in the quilting!!! (though I did catch the raw edge of a couple of the circles on the front)
- I didn't photograph it well, but I really liked the binding
- being able to go buy my batting (you know there's a problem when you're excited about batting, right?)
- seeing the pictures of its happy little owner (probably my favorite part)
What I didn't like:
- feeling nervous while I was trying to make it work -- incorporating the vision of someone else in to your own interpretation is challenging
- the amount of time it took...partly due to me being nervous and uncertain as to how to proceed
- getting it through my machine for quilting
- my lack of planning regarding my choice of which solids to purchase (I ended up pulling quite a few from my own stash)
- feeling unsure of some of the fabric combos and their interplay with value and print
From now on, I'm sticking to baby quilts. :)