Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Facing East Quilt Top FINISH!


Take a really deep breath in, and then breathe out... wheh! Yup, that pretty much sums it up how I feel right now. I've been living in surreal land the last several days, and I have to keep asking my husband, my children, and just about anyone I can find to pinch me because I just can't believe it myself... after having started a little over a year, I finally finished my Facing East quilt top! Somehow the first steps just seemed to drag on for forever, leaving me with the feeling that I would finish this sometime around my 80th year of life, and then bam!... all of a sudden it came together faster than I had realized! Would you believe that this was originally planned to be one or two blocks... perhaps even a pillow... something small to experiment with paper piecing?!?


Help, help, help! So, now what? Well, I really don't know. From the very beginning I've been saying that I would like to send this off to a longarmer, but as I got closer to the finish line, I started wondering if I could quilt it myself? I'm not a stickler for "if you didn't quilt it, then you didn't really make it"... in fact all I have to say to that is hogwash! I know, blah, blah, blah with the fulfillment of having made it from start to finish down to the last stitch, but there is a part of me that is far to practical to be bound by such thinking. I'm pleased with my skills as a piecer, and really enjoy the fabric pull, the combinations, and the design, and I don't even mind basting, but somehow I just can't see quilting designs. Is it on the verge of sounding sacrilegious to say that the quilting part is my least favorite?... the irony is that it's kind of a necessary evil of quilting, isn't it? Free motion is no option for me, because I really am a beginner quilter, and I would need tons more practice before I would even consider tackling a quilt like this! So, as it is with most of my projects, I'm going to ponder this for a while... and bask in my moment!
 

Quilt pattern: "Facing East" from Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander
Started: January 2015
Fabrics: Basic Grey Grunges, selected fabric accents from Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler fabric, and various additional prints. Low volume background fabrics

Finished quilt top size: ca. 63 x 83 in. (160 x 210 cm)

So what is it for you?... the design? the fabric pull? cutting? piecing? quilting? basting? binding?... what is your least favorite part in the process of making a quilt?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday.

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful...what a great quilt. In terms of quilting...I prefer the quilting part, but am also not one for all those 'rules'. Whatever gets your quilt finished is alright...still your Masterpiece, even if you did not quilt it.

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  2. That looks fantastic! It seems like quite a complicated block. For me, I love the design, piecing and quilting, especially free motion. But basting...not so much. Spray basting does make things easier though. Oh and binding. I am still not a fan of binding my quilts. If I could send quilts out to be bound, I might!

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  3. Beautiful quilt! The block looks quite complicated.For me, I like almost everything, from design to piecing to quilting, especially free motion. The only things that I do not really like are basting (though spray basting has made that better) and binding. I am never satisfied with my binding and would send that out if I could lol. Lori@ quiltmusings.wordpress.com

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  4. Congratulations on a beautiful finished top, Allison. You deserve to bask in the moment! Quilting is not my favourite part either. That's why I've been using those organic wavy lines for so long now. Fast and fun - and done!

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  5. Wow! Very pretty quilt. I love to piece simple quilt tops, but have to push myself to do the rest, and I am not a good pusher! Ha.

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  6. Gorgeous! I have a tend to overquilt things so I would err on the side of caution (if this was my quilt) and have it done by a long armer.

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  7. Such a gorgeous quilt!! I love it! :)

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  8. Really like the design and the color you decided to use. great job! Micki@2dogsstudio.us

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  9. This is gorgeous. I hate the basting process, my poor knees don't like it either. I enjoy hand sewing the binding down, I find that quite a relaxing way to finally finish a quilt.

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  10. Oh Allison! It's beautiful!! Clap Clap Clap.... Definitely my most favorite Facing East ever!!
    I love choosing fabrics, and am learning more to go w my gut, and if I'm 'not feeling' a fabric - to leave it out. I like piecing, and feel like that's where I really shine at this stage of my quilting journey. I love seeing a quilt come together. And I even like pressing the seams. Now that I use 505 to baste, I don't mind that part (although I have to go elsewhere for a quilt larger than a small throw, and that's a bit of a hassle - mostly because, I also have to LOOK DECENT, and who has time for that?!) I don't love the actual quilting part so much (except for the hand quilting portions - love that!) I think part of it is my machine ~ she just doesn't really quilt well. But part is also my lack of skill... I'm pretty much always afraid I'm going to ruin my quilt when I begin the quilting process ;-) I love making a perfect corner with the binding and adore hand sewing it down. Pulling a quilt out of the dryer after its first washing never gets old, and makes me want to get going on another one (if I haven't already)

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  11. Oh it is just fantastic!!!! Certainly worth waiting to see how, or who you want to quilt it. For now enjoy!!!

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  12. Your quilt is positively gorgeous down to the last detail of each color choice. Those bursts are all so exuberant and just exude happiness and joy. I love it. I too struggled with the "to quilt or not to quilt" dilemma. The struggle is not made easier when the quilt is bigger. On one side, you can tell yourself it is too big to push through your domestic. This method takes effort and some sore shoulders but if you take your time pace yourself and use your feed dogs and not try to FMQ it you will be fine. Your quilt lends itself well to straight-line quilting. And being big makes it all the more important to you because it took you so much time to piece it. Sending it out is OK. Those long-armers out there are very talented but you have to be willing to give up control. I pieced a king size Thimbleberries quilt with all different blocks of houses and stars and sent it out. I picked an allover looping pattern with stars that looked nice and was well executed but I still felt individual treatment to each of those houses would have been better. But it would have been costly and I could not very well stand by the long-armers side and direct her. Let me offer an alternative. I found a quilt shop that would let me rent time on their long-arm machine. If you rent one with a stitch regulator your beginner status does not affect the final product as much. You can do your own quilting. You can pick your own design. You can pre-decide what you want before you go and practice doodling it on a clear vinyl overlay over portions of your quilt top. You just might find you enjoy this part of quilting as much as piecing. I learned I did and just bought a sit-down long-arm Sweet Sixteen - no large real estate investment needed, no expensive computer control. Piecing is still my favorite but I am growing in my enjoyment of the FMQ part, even exploring ruler work. Good luck with your decision. It is not an easy one. Hope I helped.

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  13. This is such an awesome top - I love the design and the color arrangement! As for the quilting I would still suggest to quilt in the "white" part with straight lines on every side of the colored parts. It's a lot of work but will be worth it. If you give it to a longarm quilting service it might be "overquilted"?
    Regarding your question - my least favorite part is basting and quilting :-)

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  14. It is so exciting to see this finished! My least favorite part of the process is the layering and basting. UGH. Quilting, I can do.... BUT I tend to gravitate toward simple and obvious, usually involving some kind of straight line quilting with a walking foot (YOU can do that!). For this, I would probably do the same, and quilt 1/4" on either side of the radiating seams, meeting at the edge or just inside the circles. Then, after a *little* fmq practice, I'd FMQ inside each circle, perhaps all the same, perhaps all different, perhaps all the same except one. OR if FMQ is really not something you feel like tackling, let those straight lines go right through the center of the circle. Whether you decide to tackle the quilting on this or not, it is a seriously impressive and gorgeous finish!

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