Thursday, 23 July 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Since this seems to be popular around the web, I thought I would start my own version of Throw Back Thursday on my blog. Every week I'll pick one of my quilts and revisit it.  It might be a description of why I made it, how it was created, or pretty much anything related one of my previous projects.  I have 99 to choose from, according to my journal so this should be fun.  Please join in. Dig up a quilt from your past (or someone else's) and blog about it. You can post a link in the comments to your own TBT blog post. 

On the menu for today is my Broken Lone Star quilt. This design was one of the first quilts that I wanted to make, when I started quilting.  I pictured it in blue & white, sitting on my king size bed.  But I was very nervous about making it.  So before I jumped in and purchased a pile of fabric, I decided to make a test quilt. A miniature version to ensure that I understood how it was going to go together and could do all the steps. This quilt was the result of that, and I blogged about it here after it was done.  This quilt is about 24" square, and hangs on the wall in my sewing room. 

I finished this in 2005, and then tried to get up my nerve to buy all the fabric I needed for my king size version and start that. Because I was working without a pattern, I had to do my own size calculations, and those kept throwing me off. I wanted the star to sit on top of the bed, and kept second-guessing my calculations for it.  Then, life changed and the project was shelved for a while.  Divorce, move, and adjusting to single life took over. 

When I revised my plan for this quilt, I no longer had a king sized bed to cover, so I redid the calculations yet again and sized it for a queen.  The piecing of this quilt predates my blogging days - wow, I hadn't realized that. So I have no pictures or record of the process.  The center of this quilt went together nicely. Having a miniature sample make this easier - I could refer to it to make sure I was keeping my strip sets in line. 

Then things got interesting. I recall that I had not planned the borders for this quilt. I got as far as knowing that I wanted the main star to fit on top of the queen bed, and about a 10 inch border on all sides.  So, when the center star was done I started thinking about next steps.

I finally decided on the Ohio Stars for the border. They are all pieced from leftover fabric from the main center. The quilt could have been a bit larger - a white finishing border perhaps.  After quilting and the first washing, the design is smaller and the borders ride up higher on the bed.

A finished picture of this quilt apparently never made it onto my blog, so let's remedy that now. 

Nope, that's not finished either.  We'll have to go with a photo of a well used quilt, 6 years down the road.  The quilt has held up reasonably well, considering I have 3 cats who get free reign onto the bed and any associated bed covering/quilt. Some of the stitching is breaking - I attribute that to using cheap cotton thread (I didn't know any better) and stitching straight lines on the quilt bias.  Quilt stretches, thread doesn't, so the thread breaks.  My 3 most-used early quilts all have this issue.

Quilting of this was done on my domestic machine, with a jury-rigged setup in my sewing room. I created a raised table to help support the quilt, and turned the machine 90 degrees so it was oriented like a regular longarm machine.  A better description of the setup is here. This worked out pretty well, and I used that setup for several years, until I bought my Handi Quilter long arm in 2012.

I quilted feather wreaths in the white sections. you can see where I should have quilted the inside of some of the wreaths, in the larger areas. 

(The colour is horrible here - serves me right for taking pictures in the middle of the night).

The star is outline quilted.  Interestingly, these stitches have not broken. Perhaps because they are stitch in the ditch - and thus reinforced by the piecing seams they are stitches along. Or, perhaps a slightly higher quality thread used here. I can't recall exactly which navy thread I used.

I love the way the dark thread makes the star outline show up on the back of the quilt, although I'm not too thrilled with the knots where I started/stopped my quilting lines.

This is where my stitches are breaking.  I did a simple crosshatch in the borders across all the stars.  The threads are not holding up. I suppose I should put this quilt on the longarm one day, and restitch the borders with something else to repair them.  The fabric in this quilt has all held up really well, and the quilt is lovely and soft after multiple washings.

Here is the quilt as it appears today

1 comment:

  1. Both of your Broken Lone Star quilts are beautiful. What a great idea to make a miniature version before committing to a big quilt.
    I love the idea of Throwback Thursday quilt posts. I have many quilts I made before I started blogging. Have you considered hosting a linky party?