Friday, 29 March 2019

Ice Cream Soda [A Finish]

When I wrote my Finish Along list at the start of the year, I added my Ice Cream Soda quilt. At that point I hadn't even finished piecing all the blocks. I still had five or so blocks and 8 half blocks to piece, all the joining pieces to add to create a full quilt top, all the papers to remove, borders to add, basting and hand quilting and binding to do. Whilst I was enjoying working on it at that point, finishing it in this quarter seemed a little unrealistic.

But I did!

I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy and the first few weeks of Joshua's life, piecing, piecing, piecing! Adding the joining pieces and putting it all together was something I hadn't been looking forward to - it's never fun to manhandle a large quilt. But I found a rhythm and I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! I made an effort to remove the pieces as I went which made it easier to manhandle and less of a single tiresome task at the end.

The borders caused me some issues - I have no idea why, but I had to use the seam ripper way too much for such a simple task - but I'm so glad I added the narrow dark border and the wider light border. The dark is Kona Gotham Grey and the light is from Modern Backgrounds by Zen Chic (Moda). It's scrappy looking without being scrappy!

Dad helped me baste the quilt... it got a bit squiffy in the process so one corner of the wadding has been Frankensteined - I'm blaming him... but you can't tell. I then hand quilted it. I used Finca Perle #16 thread in a variety of pale colours and did straight lines in three directions across the main pieced section of the quilt. I then picked bright pink to add a couple of lines in the border.

I tried a new binding technique on this quilt. I wanted to hand bind it, because the rest of the quilt is hand sewn (except those borders). Egged on by a friend, I decided to machine it to the back of the quilt, then turn to the front and secure with a running stitch to mimic the hand quilting. I used a peach thread for this. It took a while to get into a rhythm, as I was sewing through a lot of layers, but not all the layers of the quilt - I didn't want the thread to show on the reverse, but I needed to make sure I went through both layers of binding and the at least the quilt top. I found that whilst when I quilt I can put 6-8 stitches on the needle at once, with this I had to do it a stitch at a time. But I love the result and will definitely be doing it again.

This quilt has been a labour of love. There are so many special fabrics in it - the very first fat quarter I ever bought, fabric from the first real quilt I ever made, fabrics I used in the quilts for my children... so many memories. Increasingly as the project went on, I included fussy cutting as well, so there's plenty to find - otters, seahorses, whales, zebras, tulips, cocktails, ice-lollies, flamingos, cats...

I tried not to repeat the print fabrics within the blossoms, but I failed. There are two fabrics which I repeated! I didn't notice the obvious one until I had nearly finished the quilting!

The pattern was a block of the month from Tales of Cloth, an Australian shop. It was so lovely to get a package of papers through the letter box each month. The papers (and packaging) she uses are 100% recycled/recyclable and are so easy on the hand when sewing with them (I find thicker papers much harder work). The pattern is a joy to stitch - you can thread a needle and sew all the way round before needing to cut your thread and start again - that's my idea of nice EPP. It's also a pattern made up of smaller blocks so you get that sense of achievement of finishing blocks and the opportunity to use lots of favourite fabrics. I'm not promising I won't make this quilt again in the future! I'm keeping my tatty papers, just in case. I couldn't resist getting another picture of the quilt this morning in the sunshine!

The quilt is backed with an Asda duvet - pineapples! All of the hand piecing was done with Mettler threads. The finished size is 68" x 68".

We took the quilt for a photo-shoot at Blea Tarn in the Lake District as part of our weekend away, so here's a picture of my crazy girls too!

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1 comment:

Ella said...

I've had an ice cream soda quilt on my wish list for a while. This one is lovely! On behalf of the FAL crew, thanks for joining in!