Saturday, September 24, 2011
Selvedge Yard quilt Done-done!
So, as an out-of-my-box experience goes - let me tell you - that quilt grew like a summer weed. Here begins the saga: years ago I started making string blocks incorporating selvedges. 6 inch blocks and they were fun. Something else came along ... distractions, many quilts, you know how it goes.
The blocks were buried - but I still cut selvedges when I could. Those little gems are deceiving - a 'muffin-top' filled shoebox goes a very long way!! I have to admit, most of those selvedges are my very own. I did collect some from friends; at workshops and actually bought a fat quarter just for the selvedge at the end!!! I was convinced I absolutely needed, had to have, a selvedge that said 2011!! I have selvedges that have many, many dates - at least a 20+ year span. And I organized a list of all I could actually find on the quilt. If only I could find that darn list now!! There will be a later update on that!!! Much later!!!
There are 600ish selvedges in the quilt - yes, there are repeats! And the most colorful ones came from the quilts made for grandkids and the many pair of pj pants I've made them. But there are many reproduction fabrics represented!!
I always wanted to do LazyGal's free-style 'wonky' alphabet and this was the project to do it. Those letters are fun - use a whole lot of thread and are bigger than you think they are. I made the choice early on that I was going to use 'many' muslins in the words. Knowing me, it was going to happen anyway!!
I figured out my saying - hmmm - too long, shortened it and started creating. Let me tell you there were threads everywhere!! But words appeared. After I had the quote 'written' out, it was bigger than planned. [Of course, it IS that quilt!]
Revision - gonna need more blocks!! I had 25 ready to go - optimist!! Like twice as many! Oh Dear! Sew machine - sew! Most of the parts were together - altogether 49 6inch string blocks - I fit the pithy quote around the outside. Using some fudge factors - it fit pretty well!
There was blank space at the end of the words - before the corners. Hmmm, I could lengthen the quote with quilted words - fill in, so to speak, but now I'm stuck with an "AN".
Think of adjectives that start with an vowel, make lists in the middle of the night! Consult with mom over the phone. Using my own 'best' [HA! - my handwriting isn't known for it's clarity!!] handwriting I added these 'secret messages' to the quote and free-motion quilted the words. I'm pretty proud of how they came out. I even added interface to that area because the back was shadowing through. But, seriously, you could even read them!! Who knew!!
Darn - you know what would look really good finishing it off - a selvedge border!! So four 3" borders 58 inches long - I'm back in sweat shop mode! I'm loving that new ironing board that works. Sewed all four at the same time, chain stitching 60" long strips, well, better planning might have avoided that tangle!! Onwards and upwards.
Why the 'sweat shop mode'? Well, at the beginning of the summer, our local guild issued a challenge - use something in a quilt you usually don't use. Bring it to the September meeting. Of course, you mull it over, you gather the blocks, you check the selvedge supply, you have company come, you go to an awesome retreat in Sisters with Sue Spargo and Tonye Belinda Phillips, you revise ... CRAP! It's now September - hello-o-o, it has to be a finished project!!! I'm sure this sounds familiar to others as well! I do 'sweat shop mode' really, really well - lots of practice, etc!!
The back: Well, I was certified (I know you believe that now!!!) on a longarm this year and that practice piece was driving me bonkers! Too big to throw away; to big to store in my itty-bitty sewing closet - what to do! Of course, it was too small for this brute now. Pull out a way-to-dark-for-me blue backing I bought on sale eons ago - add it on. Need more batting - so I whip stitched some pieces together - yes I did!! Another first in a very long list of challenges incorporated into SY.
I considered using Tonya's alphabet to make my label - but I'd have to figure out how to make it tiny. So-o I sewed 3 blank selvedges together - and wrote my own selvedge label.
I sewed the binding down by machine, added the label and sleeves by hand. Threw that puppy in the wash with a dye magnet and ended up with the first quilt that ever obviously bled for me in a 36 year quilting career. Oh yeah - it WAS that quilt!! Poop - I washed it again with Oxy-clean and Tide stain-remover. Still bleeding. Of course, being me - I dried it in the dryer so I may be doomed. I'll go into town this week and see if they have that magic dye product and try again.
Ta Da - without further delay - presenting Selvedge Yard:
The original too long saying was: Quilting: not so much a hobby, more like an obsession. I love me some (quilting)
The revised saying with the quilted words is: Quilting: not so much a hobby [you know] more like an [infectious] obsession [and we love it sew]
Thank you, thank you very much. Elvis has left the building!!