Sunday, June 3, 2012

Check One Off the Bucket List

A couple of months ago, my mother in law asked if I'd quilt a baby quilt top she made. I wasn't too worried about the request, until I asked what kind of quilting she wanted. Her response: "Oh, well, I really like the quilting that's on the cover of the pattern. Maybe you can just quilt it like that quilt." Even though I had never quilted a quilt for someone else, I wasn't all that worried. That is, until she showed me the quilt top.

carnival pattern by jaybird quilts
I recognized it immediately - it's Jaybird Quilts' Carnival pattern. You see, this development worried me because Angela, the same Angela who quilts most all of Tula Pink's masterpieces, quilted that quilt. Go on. Go ogle her work. It's pretty incredible. She's one of my machine quilting idols. Intimidation much?

So I took a few deep breaths, zoomed in on all the photos in Julie's post about the Carnival pattern to get a better look at the quilting, and decided I'd do my best.

Carnival leaf quilting
I started with the leaves in the chunky pinwheels.

carnival pattern by jaybird quilts
Then I moved to filling in the background space with lots of layered scallopy loopy things. And kept filling and kept filling.

border quilting detail 2
With the border, I did some large-scale loops, mixed in with some flowers. It's kind of tough to see here.

variety-machine quilting on the back
Uou can see it a little better on the back. I was pretty nervous about quilting with a solid backing fabric, since it highlights everything, including your mistakes, but in the end, it all worked out alright.

machine quilting from the back
Thus ended my first commissioned machine quilting project. My mother-in-law's piecing is pretty spot-on perfect - no puckers or wavy borders anywhere to be found. The process, however, deepened my respect for longarm quilters. Quilting for other people can be nerve-wracking. I definitely cut myself a lot of slack on my own projects. I didn't really feel that I had that luxury, working on someone else's quilt. I also understand why custom machine quilting is so much more expensive than an allover pattern or pantograph. It takes some serious time and close attention to make sure you're quilting "inside the lines" and filling up as much space as possible with the background filler designs.


10 comments:

  1. Wow! Hey I have this quilt I want you to quilt just like....he he..

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  2. Wow! You'd better be careful. After the great job you did on this quilt, you'll have people lining up outside your door trying to get you to quilt for them. The solid back really shows off how well you quilted it. Bravo!

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  3. Good job! The first one is always the scariest. I agree, Angela is totally amazing!

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  4. Oh my heart! Amazing quilting my dear. Good for you. I bet your mom in law is delighted!

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  5. I love that pattern, has been wonderful

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  6. Nice job! Very impressive--you should be very proud!

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  7. You did a fantastic job!!!! I am sure your mother-in-law loves it soooo much. And, I actually have a lot of people ask me to quilt the quilts just like someone else did too!! :)

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  8. It looks great!!! Nice job knocking it off the bucket list!

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  9. Wow! That is really really good. I'm super impressed at your quilting skills!

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  10. It looks wonderful! You did a great job!

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