Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bubble Quilt

When I saw this quilt a while back in the Fresh Modern Quilt pool on flickr, I knew I would be trying one. I had done a fair bit of appliqueing patchwork circles on little shirts for Craftalicious in November, that I thought this would be a snap.

Oh, Donna, when will you ever learn??

I decided that it would be cute to make the back out of vintage sheets/pillowcases that I've been hoarding, since the intended recipient shall be a girl (due next month!).

Therein lie my first mistake.

I'm not sure if many of you out there have worked with vintage linens much. Sara made a beautiful picnic quilt a while back. My experience was not so beautiful. The materials were all of a different thickness and stretchiness. They were all cotton or cotton blend, so stretch shouldn't have been a factor, but I'm sure some of these things were 30 years old or more! So the back is crookedy as all get out.

Moving on to the front, I assembled circular things from my kitchen cupboards and sat down with a stack of fabric to cut out circles for the front. This part went well (funny side note . . .I initially tried to do an all pink quilt but I simply COULD NOT!! It's not me. And there are far too many shades of pink out there - or at least in my stash - for it to look any kind of decent).

So with an assortment of blues, pinks, yellows and green circles of various diameters cut out I decided to take Holly's advice and try spray basting them on to save myself pinning. This did not work! I don't know if it was because my spray baste was on its last legs or what, but I ended up pinning every circle down like crazy. No time was saved, but I mighta cursed a wee bit. (as an aside, for my onesies I used fusible web and that might have been better but I was out).

Rough edges are a good idea in theory, or would be a good idea if i was a steady hand at the machine, but it wasn't, I'm not, and I ended up having to resew many circles once the quilt had been washed, since the material frayed and the circles came loose. This kind of wrecked the look of my quilting as I had sewn the circles just onto the top initially.

Does anyone out there have experience with raw edge appliqueing? Is there a better way to have done this? My experience makes me weary to try my hand at a ticker tape quilt. If the quilt is well loved and gets washed a lot, do raw edges not make sense?

Last but not least, I made the error of cutting through the binding when clipping the edges to reduce bulk, as instructed by my quilting teacher at the class I took last year. ACK! AND I didn't notice until I had washed the darn thing. I conferred via email with Sara and ended up just covering it with a little patch I made using the same material as the binding. Not too noticeable. I think.

So here it is, in all its glorious bounty. I will gift it tomorrow and look forward to a new project. Maybe my fabrics will arrive shortly for the Bee!

- Donna


Leslie said...

i think it looks great. i really love the circles.

Georgia said...

Oh dear - not a fun experience! It does look really lovely though, and quilts are the *best* baby presents. :-)

angela said...

Well,it looks great! You probably will be glad to see it go, though!

Im surprised your stitches pulled - I've done a ticker tape and also letters in raw edge. Both cases they washed up well. Maybe you were just a little too close to the edge?

Sara said...

It's so sweet, Donna! The circles look great on there as does the pink binding!
It may have been frustrating, but you've learned something, I'm sure!

Holly said...

Boo that the spray baste idea didn't work!! The quilt looks lovely though. Lucky little girl to receive this beauty.

Capital Mom said...

Whatever you may think, I think it looks awesome! I love the circels!

Dee said...

I really like this! I saw it on flickr, and fell in love so no matter what you say, it's beautiful!

Nicolemiko said...

I love the bubbles (circles). Very adorable. I am not a quilter, but I would say it's beautiful. It will be appreciated for sure. I like your choice of colors for the circles and the sizes and placement of them.

prashant said...

i really love the circles.
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Karen Wilson said...

I know this is a bit of an old post, but I just wanted to let you know that I'd linked to it on my blog:

Awesome effort with the quilt. I know it can be hard to persevere when you run into the problems you did. I hope you still love the piece, I sometimes end up hating things which cause me that much trouble.