Monday, April 1, 2013

A Finish for the Q1 Finish-A-Long

It's time to report on my First Quarter Finish-A-Long efforts (and finally get back to blogging after too long away).  Despite a hope for four finishes this quarter (well, three and a bonus as I talked about here), I only got one completed. 

My #2 project, the "Merrimac Dresdens" is quilted and bound. The top and binding is made in fabrics from the Marcus Brothers "Merrimac" line that was issued way back in 2008 and the top was finished in November 2011.  After putting it on my Q1 2013 FAL list, I started basting it in late January with hopes of completing the quilting by the end of February. But the stitching took a lot longer than expected when my initial stitch plans changed a couple of times during the process and at one point I took a break from it during the latter half of February before getting back in gear and finishing it up in early March.

For the quilting, I free-motion outline stitched the plates and stitched a decorative pattern on top of the blades (the plates were machine blanket stitched to the backgrounds during the piecing process).  I used two different stitch patterns to fill the backgrounds of the blocks and a vine design in the border with a fill around it. 

The floral fill was the original background fill stitch I chose (and was based on and supposed to look like Leah Day's "Swirling Petals"). After doing a few blocks and seeing just how long it took to complete, I tried the wavy line fill as a test of a faster alternative. While I found that I liked it, I didn't like it enough to want all the blocks done that way or to rip out the floral fill I had already done. So a compromise was reached and I scattered four wavy line fill blocks throughout the top and continued the rest with the floral fill.  There is also some of the border vine scattered between a few blocks (another attempt at minimizing the amount of fill to be done) but the fabrics are so busy and thread so well matched that you can't really see them.  Overall, I love the texture created across the quilt but wish I had chosen a simpler motif to get it. 

The backing is a print from Andover Fabrics “From Lucinda’s Window” fabric line.  That line commemorated the "Reconciliation Quilt", an applique quilt made by  Lucinda Ward Honstain of Brooklyn NY completed in 1867 which depicted scenes from her life during and after the Civil War (you can download an IQSC article about that quilt here) .  I love to do contrasting backs and the applique cheater print against the dusty brown reproduction prints of the same time period really accomplished that. 

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Edited To Add:  I got to see the actual "Reconciliation Quilt" in April, 2014 when the New York Historical Society in NYC hosted the "Homefront & Battlefield" exhibit of Civil War quilts, clothing and artifacts.  I rounded out the day by also visiting the General Grant National Memorial (more commonly known as "Grant's Tomb") also here in NYC.

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The good news is that this finish checks off things on a few lists:  a UFO done, a "bucket list" project (Dresden Plates) completed and the second of five quilts to be completed for a Civil War quilt display series I am trying to put together.   I also did get some work done on the #1 project on my Q1 list but that will be a story for another post!

To see what everyone else accomplished for the first quarter, head on over to Leanne's "She Can Quilt" blog and check out all the links to see all the projects that have been finished!  A note about the Finish-A-Long:  during the Q1 linky period (through April 8), Leanne has lined up other bloggers to post interesting tutorials.  There is already one from Jennie of "Jennie's Threads" for a block carrier.  So check that out too!

1 comment:

Leanne said...

Your quilt is lovely, I especially love the quilting. Congratulations on such a beautiful finish!