Tuesday, March 18, 2014

happy days

Thirteen years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, my husband and I were hitched.  This weekend we celebrated with a long, couples staycation, an even loooooonger (two hour!) paddle on gorgeous Lake Jocasee (whew, I made it back!), finishing up with a joint Irish cooking class last night.  I learned to make an over-the-top-fabulous chocolate mint mousse and Brandon enjoyed corned beef, one of his favorite main dishes.

All around a very good weekend.  But as you know, dear quilter friend you, a surefire way to make any weekend even better is to do a little stitching.  That I did!

 anchoring the work

Except for our day at the lake, the weather has been too gloomy for photographs, but I took some anyway.  I actually have a thing for high contrast shots.  Anytime the setting sun falls across my work, I'm likely to grab that camera!  I thought I'd show you how I started the quilting on this postage stamp style quilt.  First I did straight lines in different directions to anchor it firmly against shifting, before quilting densely.

quilting in a grid

This morning I finished quilting the dense grid.  Since my patchwork squares are 2.5" finished, I didn't even have to mark lines.  I was able to run my Juki with its walking foot pretty darn straight just by eye to quilt lines across each square on each diagonal.  Such fun quilting without marking!  (I think that's one thing I really enjoy about free motion quilting.)  I used a green thread over the green checkerboard and a cream thread over the happy scrappy prints.  Keeping things interesting.

Shelburne falls backing

I had two large cuts of Denyse Schmidt vintage-inspired Dress Floral from her Shelburne Falls collection that seemed to fit the vibe of this classic quilt.  Combined with some Essex linen (pieced to the quilting cottons with 1/2" seams!) it's a sweet quilt back.

stripes for binding!

For the binding, a bit more Denyse Schmidt.  A stripe is always right as binding, isn't it?  Happens to be on sale here.

prepping to zigzag bind this quilt

I always bind by first attaching the binding strip to the quilt top, wrapping it around the edge of the quilt and pinning, then attaching the binding on the back of the quilt with a zigzag stitch, stitched from the front. You can get all the details at my Zigzag Binding tutorial.   I think it's the easiest, most forgiving way to machine bind!

Now I've just got to run that zigzag stitch and this baby will be done.  It was a pleasure all the way through, probably heightened by the fact that I didn't need to make it and my fabrics practically volunteered.  Yay scraps!  If the weather cooperates for some photos, I'll be sharing the finish this week.

Hope you have a happy day!

23 comments:

  1. Congratulations on 13 years! Your weekend together sounds lovely! And I love how your quilt turned out. Is it going to stay with you or end up in another home?

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    1. Thanks! It will end up somewhere else for sure as we don't need another throw quilt. I may put it on Etsy. Must decide!

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  2. Happy anniversary!!! I think the classic quilting looks wonderful :)

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  3. Happy anniversary, Rachel. sounds like you guys had a very nice weekend. Love the quilt, that green is ah-mazing!!!

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  4. The quilt looks fabulous :-)

    Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of the day my husband asked me out for the first time... St Pats must be a lucky day.

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  5. Congratulations! St. Patrick's day is the anniversary of me finally getting gall bladder surgery and feeling better 19 years ago!

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  6. Congratulations on your anniversary. Sounds like a wonderful weekend you had.

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  7. Happy Anniversary! We just celebrated our 19th last week. It was Spring Break not St Patty's for us. :)

    Your juki seems to handle straight line with the walking foot much better than mine does. I get horrid stretching and pulling, especially when going opposite directions. Have you posted about your settings and method before? I'd live some advice because I absolutely love this machine in every other way and have been so greatly disappointed by trying to quilt simple lines!

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    1. Hm... I just checked my machine. It was set at stitch length 3, tension at 2 when I quilted this top. I haven't ever had problems with even feeding on this machine. Bummer! I hope you are able to trouble shoot yours!

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  8. So pretty, I love your binding choice. I would have never picked that but it suits it wonderfully.

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  9. Happy Anniversary! Quilt looks gorgeous :)

    I also sometimes get pulling with the walking foot so loosened off the foot pressure with the top dial. I was wondering if I was doing the right thing? My machine is a straight stitch Janome 1600P quilters companion. It seemed to help but I was scared to do it too much.

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    1. Maybe the presser foot presser would help Hydee. Mine is set at level 3 out of 9, so relatively low pressure. I can see how that would help even feeding. Thanks for pointing it out!

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  10. I machine bind too, but put it on from the back first, not the front. That way when I stitch it down on the front, I can use those awesome clover binder clips. No more pins! But do love to machine bind, actually love to do it now.

    and Happy Anniversary!

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    1. It's great that finding your groove can making something that used to be an absolutely pain (binding) be satisfying.

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  11. I love quilting 2.5" blocks for the same reason! This one turned out lovely

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  12. Congrats on your 13 years together!!

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  13. Oh I love a striped binding. Polka dots too!

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  14. You gotta love scraps that know what they want to be when they grow up! Personally, I'd keep that quilt, but I love scrappy utility quilts more than any other kind of quilts. Maybe you should tuck it in the closet for future gifting. You never know when you'll need a quilt in a hurry.

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  15. beautiful as always, and happy anniversary!

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  16. A cooking class sounds like such a fun way to celebrate! And I am a huge fan of striped binding, Rachael - I love the extra layer it adds. Beautiful quilt!

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