Monday, December 17, 2018


This is Joyful - a wedding gift to another cousin (three wedding quilts this year!).  There's so much to tell, I'm not sure where to start.  Isn't it pretty?  I rushed to take the outdoor photos literally 10 minutes after I finished stitching the binding, dragging Rob out there to hold it up.  I hadn't even had time to bury the threads so I could catch the last of the fading daylight (and I notice now it's technically upside-down).

The flange binding was a great choice.  I forgot, though, that the seams need to be lined up when joining the ends.  I didn't see it until I had stitched it all together.  Oops.  Had to pull that out and put it all back together.

I said I was doing graffiti quilting - it's not that dense.  I guess this might be called improv quilting.  It's basically a jumble of whatever free-motion patterns came to mind.  Regardless of what it's called, this was a fun way to quilt.  I will certainly do this again.  I tried some new stuff, played with some designs I haven't done in a while, refined some favorites.

I'm afraid of picking a thread that's too dark.  The pale yellow I selected was good, but the darker gold would have been better.  I'm sad I didn't have strong sun to make the quilting pop out; I'm grateful I caught as much sunlight as I did.  The quilting is easiest to see on the back.  None of the photos do it justice.  (Click on the photo if you want to a closer look.)

Along with thread color, I am still learning to free-motion quilt at the right speed.  I get nervous and rush.  I had problems with skipping stitches caused by a long stitch length.  Slow down!  I did better as I moved across the quilt.  Improv quilting is wonderfully forgiving.  That weird odd squiggle or crossed line?  I meant to do that.  Absolutely.

The other thing I totally meant to do?  Quilting the border in green.  Yup.  Had nothing to do the rapidly disappearing yellow thread.  I think the yellow would have shown better, but the green looks great!

I also discovered that a flange binding takes a little more room along the front edge, so some of my quilting is buried under the flange.  Not quite what I had intended.

So I learned.  Then there's the many things I did completely right.  This quilt is square and flat.  There isn't a single pucker in the whole back; I did a great job sandwiching.  The leaves and swirls were a good design for the borders.  The flange binding was an inspired last-minute change (with just enough yellow fabric to pull it off).  And I love the improv quilting.  I wish you could all see it in person.  Around 600 yards of thread and four to five hours went into the quilting.  I'm seriously proud of this one (can you tell?).  It was a lot fun to quilt (even with the half hour of swearing over skipped stitches).

I love the color palette my cousin selected.  It's lively and cheerful.  I considered naming the quilt Joyful Noise because it has so much going on. (There is a proper label - added after the photos were taken.)  In the end, I went with simply Joyful.  The quilt was a joy to make, to gift, and it's a good wish for any marriage.  I hope they enjoy this quilt as much as I have had in creating it. 

Sharing with:
Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's Bee Social
My Quilt Infatuation's Needle and Thread Thursday 
Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I get a Whoop Whoop?


  1. Sally, Joyful is beautiful! I love the colors, the design, and the quilting. That is a really wonderful wedding gift!

  2. Your Joyful quilt is amazing. The front is oozing with lovely pattern AND the back.....what a triumph it is. Your quilting looks exceptional to my eyes. This quilt is such a gorgeous gift to the wedded couple.

  3. This is so beautiful! Love the colors and the quilting. :D

  4. Hi Sally! Joyful is all finished and it looks beautiful. I just LOVE the color palette. And your quilting looks marvelous. The flange border really makes it shine - it sets off those leaves so nicely. I have already commented on your backing, but truly that shines all on its own. Your cousin will be thrilled to receive this with all the love you sewed into it. Many blessing to them for a happy marriage! Happy Tuesday. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Wonderful! Love the colours in this quilt. A fabulous gift for the happy couple.

  6. what a beautiful quilt! I totally love the backing--it would make a wonderful quilt front as well. I wish my quilting would look as nice as yours. your quilt truly is joyful, and you definitely should be proud of it!

  7. What a wonderful gift! The back is an amazing surprise. Nice quilting! And flange bindings add such a nice pop to the outer edge. What a joyful gift for the happy couple!

  8. What a beautiful quilt. I Love the colors.


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