Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Rainbow Quilt...

I gave you a sneek peek of my finished tilted stars rainbow top in my giveaway post from last week, but here it is, finished and positively gorgeous in all its glory!

As I mentioned before, I started by making two blocks just before our guild retreat in March, made 14 all at once during the retreat weekend, and then tried to finish a couple blocks a week until they were finished.  I got them all pieced and pressed by the middle of April and then (sadly) just let them sit in their project box until last week.  Almost immediately after I finished all 27 blocks, I started to piece the first row and then immediately got disgruntled...any guesses why?

The problem areas were where three star points were intersecting at once.  (Side note:  if I hadn't set these blocks slightly staggered to get an odd number of blocks in the top, then I would have had 4 star points to fight with - yeesh!).  I felt like I either had seam allowances flipping in the wrong direction through the feed dogs or they simply got stuck right under the needle where those 9 layers of seam allowances were trying to get through at once.

So I got short-tempered after two rows and put them away for a month, only to pick them up again at the beginning of May.  Once I pushed through all of those uber-thick seams, it really didn't take long to completely piece together.  However, I think the top was trying to punish me because in the middle of one row, I didn't see one particularly ill placed pin.  My needle was nice enough to spot it for me, shriek in terror (or maybe that was my machine.  Or me.  Whatever.), and break in half with a little piece flying up and hitting me right below my eye!

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned somewhere once before that I hate using pins because I have an irrational fear that one will break and hit me in the eye.  Irrational NO MORE my friends!  I typically only use pins while piecing long or heavy strips or where seams need to meet up perfectly. I still will of course, but I'm definitely going to be more vigilant about removing them as they approach the needle.

As I was piecing, I got really, really excited when all the points lined up perfectly...

...and said a few choice words when inexplicably they didn't.  Oh well.

I tried to use a bunch of different blacks for the background and ended up using 14 different fabrics.  The one above I love but am still wondering if it's a little too loud compared to the others.  Not like I'm going to take it out at this point, but I can't make up my mind if it adds interest or is just distracting.  Thoughts?

I think it even looks beautiful when it's all crumpled up on the ground after a windy photo shoot.  It must be love. :)

I do have a definitely plan for quilting this beauty that involves a mix of free motion machine quilting and hand quilting using a variety of variegated perle cottons, so stay tuned as I practice, practice, practice my FMQ skills and ask for advice!

Linking up:
Fresh Poppy Design


  1. I feel a bit stalkerish, commenting first, but this is gorgeous!!! Can't wait to see what you do with the quilting, and to see it in person hopefully!

  2. This turned out wonderful. Tip - when trying to match points, I'll pin and increase my stitch length to 3.0 or higher and just sew a 5-6 stitches at that point. If I don't like it, those stitches pull right out and I can readjust. If I do like it, I sew back over it at 2.2 or so.

  3. gorgeous! I must say that you inspired me to buy a panel of the alphabet fabric. I think it'll be a surprise baby quilt for my sister. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  4. Actually, with all of your background fabric pieces on so many different grain lines I'm amazed you didn't have a ton of problems with points matching. Those you think don't match are so close they aren't going to be noticeable when your nose isn't 10 inches from your machine, if the picture you showed is a prime example!

  5. It's super fabulous, Stephanie, and I love all the different blacks. 14 is my lucky number! :)