Oh, how I love this finish! I’m not positive, but I think this quilt (so far) is the one that I have spent the most time on. I don’t track hours or anything like that, but I feel like this one has many hours into it. For RSC15 I made a row quilt by following along with Mari and her Classic Stitches BOM. Each row consists of a set of blocks that root back in quilting history. Mari chose an excellent sampling of blocks and I was able to complete nine of her eleven tutorials. A couple of them were too challenging for me and I substituted easier blocks those two months.
Overall, I absolutely adore this quilt. I love the bright, crazy, scrappy look, the traditional blocks that change row by row, sampler style, and the quilting that I did on each row. It was a great experience for me in a couple of different ways.
First of all, row quilts are a challenge in that it is tough to get each row to come out the same length. My supposition is that with all of the handling of each block and each row, month over month, they stretch a bit and become distorted. This quilt is absolutely not going to be entered into any juried shows! it is not even close to square. I sashed it because I wanted lines separating each row to give the eye a place to rest; this is a busy quilt. Additionally, the blocks are not accurately pieced enough to match row upon row. Did I cut off any points? Oh yeah. So by sashing them, I was able to deal with a lot of those issues. Cutting 60″ rows of sashing allowed me to ease the rows in and deal with any rows that were slightly longer than 60″. Really, sashing hides a multitude of issues. 🙂
I had a great time quilting this project. At 60″ by 70″, it was a reasonable size to FMQ on my machine. I chose a different motif for each row which was a great way to quilt it without getting bored half way through. Some motifs were easier than others but for the most part, I am very pleased with the result.
Lazy little flowers meander over the blue Water Wheel row.
The orange Dutchman’s Puzzle blocks made for my favorite row. With these tiny pieces, my row had a fair-sized ripple to it and I was concerned about quilting it. After consulting with one of my favorite quilters, Janine over at Quilts From the Little House, I decided to use a tight meander. She felt like I could quilt the row into submission, and it worked. Yay Janine! Definitely good advice.
The yellow row of Double Stars is another favorite. I decided to quilt each individual star, rather than cruising over the entire row and I am very happy with the resulting flower contained within each star.
The green row of Crosses and Losses blocks is quilted with little swirls. These were tough. They are a bit more herky-jerky than I would like but this is where I am at this point in my quilting. With each row, I worked right to left, preferring to begin with the bulk of the quilt bunched into the throat and then feed the quilt out. So the right side of the rows are a bit rougher than the left. I improved as I went along. I plan to only look at the good half. 😉
The brown Pennsylvania blocks are sporting a Baptist Fan motif. Since I rarely get around to labeling a quilt, I also put my initials on the very far right corner. (On this row I did work left to right. It seemed easier to get the fans moving in that direction.) Again, these turned out ok – they look better from a distance than up close. Curves are tough.
Here is a peek at the back. I love the simplicity of the back since the front is so raucous. With the tiny floral print, the quilting really doesn’t show but that is fine. Crazy on the front and calm on the back! I used the backing fabric as binding too. The little floral has a vintage look to it that works with these traditional blocks.
Yep, I love this quilt and learned so much from the process of making and quilting it. It was a wonderful project and I am so grateful to Mari for all the time she took to create the tutorials each month and her patience with my whiny emails about how hard the blocks were! Her bit of history behind each block was an added bonus each month.
Linking this week with Linky Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion Mavericks and Finish it Up Friday.