My local guild’s Applique Club has been working on the Songs of Spring pattern by Lori Smith at From My Heart to Your Hands. The pattern is on a small scale with 6-inch finished blocks. I had forgotten this when I suggested the pattern for the group, but the group has found unique ways to create their quilts.
One club member chose to enlarge the pattern and machine applique the blocks. She quickly finished the quilt top and showed it at our last guild meeting.
Bonnie’s quilt top
I still only have four blocks completed. Our club meets for a half hour prior to the regular guild meeting, and we missed three meeting opportunities this year due to weather an alternate meeting location. I only prepared blocks for teaching a technique. Everyone works at their own pace, so some members move along more quickly than others. After one member showed off her wool applique blocks, I chose to teach this technique. Now, I have two blocks that use the needleturn technique and two blocks made of wool with a blanket stitch technique.
I had another club member ask if I planned to put all the blocks together in my quilt. I said that I did. I think that they look good together, even though they use different fabrics. The flower blocks are made with cottons and the bird blocks are made with wools, so I plan to continue with this idea. There are six of each design, so the math works out and the layout has them alternating, as well. Not that I couldn’t do my own layout.
It’s time to prepare another block. I like to have a project to take along with me wherever I go. Then, I can pull it out and work on it whether I’m sitting in a doctor’s waiting room or a guild meeting, riding along on a car trip, or visiting my in-laws. I just have to keep my hands busy.
I finished the farm animal baby quilt for my great niece in time to place it in my guild’s local quilt show. This was a quilt that I began last summer while I was recovering from my rotator cuff surgery. I couldn’t tolerate too much activity with my shoulder, so I made the applique blocks. I stitched the blocks together in the Fall and had the quilt pinned for quilting before Christmas. I first blogged about this baby quilt project HERE.
Alas, I did not get the quilting done until a week ago. Honestly, I was not sure I was ready to FMQ again. I tore my rotator cuff a year ago in February after a week-end of micro-stippling. This was not the first tear, but another tear related to a bone spur. Then in January, I spent a few hours on a week-end doing FMQ on a small project and ended up with tendonitis and suffered with three weeks of pain. Needless to say, I have been reluctant to begin doing any FMQ. But, I had to get this quilt finished and the guild quilt show was my motivation.
Farm Animal baby quilt displayed at the MMQG Spring in Michigan quilt show.
I quilted in the ditch around all the blocks. This was fairly easy using the walking foot. I continued with straight line quilting across the diagonal of the 9-patches. With planning, I was able to complete this quilting in two continuous lines. The next challenge was adding in some FMQ around the farm animals and in the borders. I chose to outline stitch around the animals, which did not come out as nicely as I had hoped. But, practice makes perfect and I haven’t been practicing. The quilting would have to do. Lastly, I added a heart border. I completed the design as a continuous motif by stitching the heart shape and then stitching back through the center of the heart and beginning the next one. I got this idea from tutorials that Lori gives in her blog The Inbox Jaunt. Here are some closeup pics that reveal the quilting.
Quilting around farm animals & hearts & in 9-patch blocks
More examples of quilting from left side including the border
My favorite part of stitching this quilt was creating the applique blocks and adding the blanket stitching. I joined the War on WIPs at the Modern Quilt Guild forums and this is the third WIP completed in 2014. I am actually moving along at one quilt per month. Yeah!!
Farm Animal Baby Quilt
Here’s another look at the finished quilt. Happy Stitching!