Sunday, April 15, 2012

My First 2012 Finish!

Last year my first finish of the year was the rally quilt. This year my first finish of the year is the rally quilt. Last year I finished the rally quilt in March, and this year it's April, but finished is finished.
I don't think this pic looks much different than the one of the quilt top, but now you can see I used red binding.

I kind of went crazy on the center applique panel. I added a road outlined with rocks, added multiple types of cactus and grasses. I tried taking a photo from the front, and it just doesn't show up, so here is my barrel cactus from the backside of the quilt. I don't know that my free motion quilting skills are up to what I attempted, but I was feeling daring and just went for it. I quilted the center panel yesterday.

I opted for an allover pattern on the rest of the quilt, so I wouldn't have to mark it. I did spirals, or as Patsy Thompson calls them, innies and outies. It is a really fun design to quilt, and goes pretty quickly. I was surprised I got the quilting finished today, I thought I would finish tomorrow. It was still light out when I finished quilting, so I hurried and got the binding on. I am sooooo happy to have this finished!

I have the pink/black beast blocks on my sewing cabinet, ready to start assembling it tomorrow. I plan on assembling it in quarters, instead of rows like I normally do. I took some time last week to assemble the backings for the pink/black beast and Orca Bay. I contacted my LAQ, and she will quilt and bind both of them. I need to mail them to her, so as soon as the pink/black beast top is together, I can send those off, and they will come back finished. That will give me time to finish up some of my smaller quilts, including the three baby quilts I need ASAP.

As I was quilting today, I was thinking about how much I have changed as a quilter. I used to dread the quilting, and today I found it fun. I never disliked pin-basting, but now I find it downright relaxing. I still have to psych myself up for applique prep, but overall, I am just enjoying the process more and more. I still love piecing best, and I doubt that will change, but I am appreciating the steps more.

I kept debating what to do about my batting problem. I really like Warm and Natural, and I still have most of a roll of it, but it is so expensive to replace with the rising cotton prices, that I hate to use it up just because I was out of polyester batting. I did some online shopping and I found the Microsafe batting traditional loft, which is what I just used the last of, for $60.20 for a 20 yard roll at . The last time I bought that batting I got a 25 yard roll, but I figured the 20 yard roll would take up just a little less space, which is good, but still will last a while. When that gets here I can choose which batting I want to use for each quilt, and since I have over 20 quilt tops that need to be quilted, I will be using lots of batting. I tend to use polyester batting for donation quilts, just so I can make more quilts, since it is less expensive. I also use polyester if I want a lightweight quilt. If I am going to keep a quilt, I usually use cotton batting.

I am set on fabric, thread, and batting for a while. I think my next quilty purchase will be more Patsy Thompson DVD's. I have three of her DVD's now, and I'd like to eventually get all of them. I think my freemotion quilting is getting better, I am at least getting more comfortable with it. I still can't loop de loop to save my life, I keep trying it on paper, and I just can't do it. There are several quilting designs on the second Fast and Free DVD I am anxious to try. I've heard you should try to become proficient at a design before you go on to another one, but I am skipping around. If I didn't I'd still feel like a complete failure because I always back myself into a corner with the loop de loops. I have been skipping around and I feel pretty comfortable with several other designs, and that just makes me happy :-)


angelindisguise said...

for free motion quilting, I found this blog / website quite informative :)
she also does vidoes.

Katie M. said...

Love the Rally quilt! As for batting, I've started using Pellon batting, it's about $6 a yard less than W&N and I use a JoAnn coupon. I have not heard of, so I'll have to check it out - if I had to think about how much batting I go through in a year - it would probably scare me :-)