Sailboat Quilt complete

I have to tell you – the Learning Curve is the most fun ride in the amusement park!  The online class I took at MQResource was phenomenal.  Thankfully the videos will be available for some time to come and I can review.

I decided on the last sketch that I did with just a few modifications.  I really liked the idea of the images of the west coast of BC surrounding the quilt and then keep with the boat theme throughout.  Here’s a picture of the finished quilt done in Superior Thread’s So Fine! for all the background and applique work; King Tut for the cable, seagull, piling, mountains and trees.  I used a matching So Fine! for all the bobbin work with not  single problem and virtually no lint issues because it is a polyester.  The only lint was from the batting!

 

Bailey's Boat Yard

Bailey's Boat Yard

I soaked the quilt once I had completed it to remove the chalk and pencil lines for 20 minutes in cold water and then a gentle wash in cold water with a light spin.  The un-quilted top was 48 x 60 but after I washed it it was only about 45″ x 55″!  These fabrics were pre-washed but I did not pre-wash the batting.  The batting I used was Bamboo, I believe it is 50-50 bamboo/cotton mix, and will shrink about 1-3%so that wouldn’t account for the discrepancy in size.  A great deal of the shrinkage is due to the quilting itself and is something that quilters should keep in mind if they have a specific size they need the completed top to be.  Another issue was the density of the quilting had caused a slight wave to the side and bottom borders.  In the class a few members talked about blocking the quilts and different tips on getting rid of wavy borders after quilting.  Now, I have blocked knitted items and doilies but never a quilt!

My husband helped me and it took us over an hour to square up and block the quilt.  It made an amazing difference!  We were able to get it back to 46.5″ x 59″ and it took out 99.9% of the fullness along the bottom and that is easily solved with a second sleeve and pole when it is hanging on the wall.  Personally – I think that a slight wave to a hung quilt looks normal – it is fabric after all!  I don’t know that I would ever block a bed quilt unless it was going into a juried show but I wont hesitate to block a wall quilt again.

Here’s a close-up of the seagull and top of the piling he is resting on.  Please note that I decided to use 2 layers of bamboo batting to make sure to get lots of “puff”!

 

Bailey's Boat Yard - seagull

Bailey's Boat Yard - seagull

Notice the quilting in the medium blue blocks?  Know what quilting block that is??  First person to comment on what that quilt pattern is will get a special little gift from Baileys Quilting Headquarters – just because you’re paying attention 🙂  I was able to do four rows down and then back up again in a continuous line but the crossed design was a start and stop each block!  

I decided not to do the chains in the middle border – they would have to be done free hand and I knew that I was not at the skill level to do that nor did I have any templates that would work.  I decided to free-hand a cable with interlocking ends instead.  Micro-stippling around to make it pop out.

 

Bailey's Boat Yard micro&cable

Bailey's Boat Yard micro&cable

I had to admit I am remiss at making labels for my quilts these past few years.  I decided to have a bit of fun with this one.  I appliqued the post of the sign right to the quilt and then I wrapped the same woodgrain fabric around a rectangle of craft foam.  I used water soluble pencil crayons to write the sign/label.  Here’s a close-up of the label/sign stuck in the rocky shore at the trees edge.

 

Bailey's Boat yard label

Bailey's Boat yard label

This is definitely not the type of quilting that one would make money on – not unless one was world renowned!  I didn’t take note of the hours spent but I would hazard a guess it was at least 36 or more.  Of course that includes all the frogging (ripping out), starting and stopping and burying the threads!

Don’t forget the give-away, take a look at the medium blue blocks and comment as to what quilt block the actual quilting design looks like – first one wins a prize 😉

Sailboat Quilt – planning custom quilt design

I’ve managed to scan a few pictures of the sailboat quilt and doodle some design ideas on it.  If you are ever pondering over what design to do this is  a good method.  Simply take a picture of the whole quilt, specific block areas if you want to do some custom work and then print them out in black and white.  You can make more than one copy or just put them into plastic sleeve protectors and use a dry erase (or wet erase) marker on them and doodle away to your hearts content!  It is a good way to get an overall feel for the quilt and what your ideas will look like.  Here’s a picture of the sail boat quilt again,

BAILEY'S BOATYARD

BAILEY'S BOATYARD

I spent a couple of days just doodling sea themed pictures.  You don’t have to be an artists – this is simply to get your quilting design ideas down on paper and sort through them.  Unless you are an artist you will still be using templates and rulers and other paraphernalia when it comes time to quilt the quilt.

This is a good first step especially if you are planning on custom quilting.  I went through three or four different layout ideas before zeroing in on my final choice.  Even if you are just doing an all-over e2e it is a great way to get an idea of what it will look like before you put thread to quilt!  Keep in mind that you will still have to audition the design full size as this is in miniature.

 

Bailey's BoatYard design 1

Bailey's BoatYard design 1

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the first sketch that I did on the whole quilt – this was after I doodled shapes on paper.  A simple water meander around some seaweed on the left, Seahorses on the right, swirls around the boats with what are supposed to be seagulls flying around.  A treasure chest neslted into the rocky sea bottom.

I’m trying stretch my comfort zone which is the reason my side borders don’t match (little miss symmetry here 😉 ) and I need more practice on the longarm making pebbles. While I like the overall look of this I wasn’t happy with the blocks around the sailboats.  Too busy for me and I don’t think one would even see the seagulls amongst the swirls.

 

Bailey's Boatyard design 2

Bailey's Boatyard design 2

Here’s my second sketch – I like this one better because the centre of the quilt is not so heavy.  A simple seaweed design up the left side and over the top, Seahorses down the right side and bottom still with the treasure chest.  The swirls in the dark patches respresent coiled rope and the background fill around the boats is a simple water meander.  I’m drawn to this more simply because the quilting is not so heavy.  That is another area that I have to work on because I tend to do fairly light quilting and then once I get it off the frame I realize that I could have done more.  This still wasn’t quite right.  I like the ocean theme around the borders but truth is I don’t think we have Seahorses in my particular stretch of the ocean and I want this quilt to represent my little corner of the world – the West Coast of BC – so back to the drawing board.

Bailey's Boatyard design 3

Bailey's Boatyard design 3

I’m going to keep the centre of the quilt with the water meander around the boats and ‘rope coils’ in the dark patches.  Now I’m showing West Coast BC – a seagull perched on a piling, the mountains, settting sun, cedar trees and a rocky shore line.

I think this quilt has good balance (very important to us Libras 🙂 ) and I may change the single cedar tree on the right to a grouping of three to look more like a forest and, yes, so that I’m not so symmetrical!

OK – the next step is for me to sample these ideas onto the quilt top.  I’ll post my progress and how-to’s as I go.

Online Quilting Classes and quilt show

Well, our quilt show weekend has finally arrived here in Powell River, BC.  Even though I’m not one of the ones that will be running the show I’ve volunteered to help with set-up and man the admissions table tomorrow and doing just that little bit is enough.  I know that the committee heads that put on a quilt show work like crazy and for little thanks so … “thanks”  for all the work you’ve done and will be doing this weekend 🙂  I’ll get some pictures of the show posted next week.

Here’s a picture of a quilt my friend and I put together this past weekend.  It is for another on-line quilting class that I’m taking.  This one is for custom quilting and besides getting the quilt ready, we’ve been doodling this week trying to come up with quilting design ideas.

 

BAILEY'S BOATYARD

BAILEY'S BOATYARD

It is a simple applique and in fact because I was so far behind in getting ready for the class the sailboats are just “Steam-a-Seam” d’ down.I wouldn’t have been this far along if it wasn’t for my girlfriend tracing out the sailboats, choosing the fabrics and cutting them out!  Thanks Kathryn 😉

Now that we’re going to be doodling on paper before we get to the top itself I’m going to try and find the time to actually sew them down.  I know lot’s of people do just use this product but I don’t trust that the pieces won’t lift.  That and the fact that my darling husband once, being the helpful soul that he is, took my wall-hangings down and washed them all in a fit of Spring Cleaning one year!  I’ll post my doodles once I have them organized.  I’m really looking forward to this class, lots of inspiration.  If you’ve ever thought about taking an online quilting class I heartily recommend them.  This will be the third once I’ve done and I find them very educational.  You are able to work at your own pace and there has always been lots of interaction by way of the discussion boards where everyone can post their progress and questions.  There are usually many more participants in an online class than a regular class held at a shop so there are many more ideas, problem solving and, best of all, more pictures of quilts to look at!