Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hand Me Downs

I mentioned in Something Old, Something New that I had a lot of material from my cousin's childhood dresses.  I wanted to use it all.  So when I finished the pair of wall hangings, I decided to make two more quilts:  one for my cousin's mother and the other for my aunt who had sewn the dresses.

I normally start with a pattern then get the material.  These quilts were the opposite.  I browsed through tons of scrappy quilt photos and picked whatever inspired me with the dress material.  My first choice for this quilt didn't feel right (I hated it!) and I scrapped it after a test block.  I'm keeping it for quilting practice (I'm sure someone will love it).

Thank goodness my next attempt was more successful.  I looked for a pattern that would use smaller pieces than the wedding quilts.  I found a simple black-and-white sketch (which I can't find now no matter how much I google!) of a tiled block.  I adapted it so that all of the pieces were no larger than 2" wide and 2 to 4" long.  I even added some of the dreaded velvet, without as much swearing and seam ripping.

I really like the tiled look and it pieced together quickly.  I changed my mind several times on how I wanted to quilt it.  In the end I assigned each fabric a simple repeating pattern and ran from one piece to the next.  It took a bit of planning so I wouldn't have to stop and start in multiple spots.  Even so, I managed to sew myself into a corner once.

I quilted with a rayon multi-colored thread on top and plain white in the bobbin.  I had to adjust the tension a few times to keep the rayon from splitting, but I eventually got the hang of it.  The thread was darker on the spool than on the quilt, which surprised me.  The end results are pretty cool.  I like how it shines.  I loved how the back turned out, too!  Now I understand how people get into whole-cloth quilting.  While I had the quilt, I kept flipping it back and forth, because I really liked both sides.

I named it Hand Me Downs; it seemed appropriate.  My aunt was so surprised when it arrived!  It's been so hard to keep all these wall hangings secret while I worked on them.  It's exciting to finally show off my last month's worth of work.


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