My ‘Dare-to-Wear-Black’ Quilt

Some of you may remember this quilt was started more than a year ago, intended as a  gift for a very special couple, my husband’s big brother and his wife, whom we love and respect enormously and my children adore,  for their anniversary in June.

…finished at long last…

    Then I got involved in the BOM quilt and this got put away. The pattern for the quilt is ‘The Big Apple’ from the Fons and Porters’ Love of Quilting mag July-August 2012 issue. I used fabric from my stash for the piecing, the cambric backing was bought in the local market. The apple core  borders ( two deep) have been quilted with inspiration from Thread Head. I also studied the apple quilting tutorial by Lori Kennedy at the Inbox Jaunt. I had a problem keeping the tension balanced and my movement smooth!

Echo quilting on the centre cores

Each core took me upwards of half an hour to quilt, so I echo quilted the apple cores in the centre! The white portion (added to make up the quilt length when I ran out of fabric) was more unforgiving as mistakes glared at you from a bright background.

I used a cardboard template to draw the apples

  

Leaves and spirals were added free hand as fillers. There are some half eaten apples and others rotten to the core!

  I quilted it in light grey, but then ran out of thread. So came up the orange bands…

In retrospect, I think the orange quilting really made the quilt special!

  …which made this my dare-to-wear-black quilt! In a much-aired Indian television commercial for an anti-dandruff shampoo, one famous Boolywood actor dares another to wear black, and thus prove he has no dandruff! As a beginner free motion quilter, I felt something like the actor who was dared to take up the challenge… 

i had appliqued a few apple cores on the white portion to add an element of interest to the proceedings!

At the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed!

Learning to enjoy Free motion quilting!

For the binding I used shirting fabric, which kind of tied up everything together, I thought. For a change, the entire binding was attached and sewn down by machine.

Worthy gift for a special couple, would you say?

 

A close up of the binding done entirely by machine.

Learnings from this quilt: 1. I got to practise curved piecing. 2. I tried to echo quilt in free motion with very ugly results. I need more practice here. 3. While quilting the apples, at several places, I have tension issues in my quilting, specifically too high tension at the back. I think it is because I was pulling at the fabric. However, at the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed! A set speed also gave much neater results. 4. I regretted not pulling up the bobbin thread when starting off the quilting, for example after a thread breakage. When I didn’t do that, the stray thread ends got caught up in knots and caused uneven stitches. 5. FMQ is fun and I think I am going to love it! So, I leave you to look at these pics while I decide which of my UFOs I am going to tackle next!                  May all those apples keep the doctors away from their lives … and yours too!

So, what’s cooking? Apples!

My laptop is back at the service centre and it is really difficult to do a full blogpost on the iPad!
I decided to share a couple of photographs of a quilt I have started quilting today. I got the pattern The Big Apple from the ‘Love of Quilting’ magazine August 2012 issue. It is also available online on the Fons & Porter website.
I wanted a larger quilt, so decided to make it into a 10 x 11 grid which will measure up to a comfortable 89″x 99″. I used fabric from my stash, and that measured up to only 80 apple cores! So I had to add a plain white solid to build up the length.
Here it is all basted and ready for quilting.

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I thought a lot about the quilting I wanted to do in it as I do want to practice free motion quilting! After a lot of browsing, I zeroed in on this amazingly beautiful quilting by Joanne of Joanne.threadhead.blogspot
I know my quilting is nowhere half as pretty, but practice is the only way it will get better!

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Former banker that I am, I could not but calculate that it will take me more than 70 hours of quilting to finish this at the rate of 3 cores in 2 hours! Add to that 440″ of bias binding, fabric yet to be bought! I think I will end up doing the binding by hand …
If I don’t put it away, I have my work cut out for the next two months at three hours per day!

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What have you all been up to? Other than Block Two of the Round the Year quilt, that is?