Urban Nature Quilt and Pillows

This quilt turned out better than I had hoped!

Does anyone get nervous when they put the quilt in washer for the first time?  I always hold my breath when I open the washer and hope and pray that when I open the lid the quilt is still in one piece.  Never before had I hoped and prayed as hard as I did when I washed this quilt, because it was such a labor of love, and from start to finish took well over 40 hours to complete.  It was such a relief when everything was intact!

The prewash measurements were 95 x 95.  The post wash measurement is 88.5 x 88.5.

Here it is in all its glory (it’s a queen size quilt shown on a king size bed).

In this center vertical row there are 3 blocks where I decided not to quilt over the painted flower, because I didn’t want the quilting to take away from the flower.  I thought that darker fabrics with the darker painted flowers needed to stand out and I thought the quilting would obviously compete with the flowers.  So the brown painted flower on brown fabric framed with cream, as well 2 and 3 blocks above this block are the ones I left the flowers unquilted.

I arranged the blocks so that on the diagonal starting from the top left all of the blocks are the same color…can you see that?  It might be more visible in the second picture.

Urban Nature Pillows

Jen asked me to make her a throw pillow that coordinates with the Urban Nature quilt, and I happily obliged.  I loved having the creative freedom to design something unique.  She asked me to make 1, but I am a lover of throw pillows, so I couldn’t resist, and I made 3.

Pillow 1 – my favorite! Measures 18 x 18 with straight line quilting on the solid cream

Another view of pillow 1

Pillow 2  is sage green- Measures 14 x14 with straight line cross over quilting

Pillow 3 – Measures 12 x 16 pieced with no quilting

All 3 pillows together – love them! :)

Urban Nature: Binding

urban-nature-binding

I’ve had the quilting done for the Urban Nature quilt for some time now.  The next step was binding.  Admittedly I was a nervous to do the binding mostly because at 95 x 95 working on the outer 1/4 inch of the quilt all the way around really made me nervous.  Today I decided to take the plunge.  And it really wasn’t all that bad.  Dare I say no more challenging than the 60 x 70 quilts I’ve done.

I’ve noticed lately that if the presser foot pressure is the same as it is when you sew or piece the top when you are trying to sew the binding it creates too much pressure causing the binding fabric to shift in ways you don’t necessary want.  (I realize I didn’t explain that well, but I’m not sure how else to explain it).  So I decided to experiment with the presser foot pressure, and I found that if I decrease the pressure just a bit the binding sews on beautifully.  For example with regular sewing on my machine the presser foot pressure is set to 6.  When I free motion quilt I set the presser to 2, and with the binding I set the dial between 4 and 5.  Anyway, I’ve never heard of decreasing the presser foot pressure for binding, but for me it made a big difference.

Urban Nature: Final Quilting

It’s been taking me a long time to quilt the Urban Nature quilt.

It’s big.

It’s heavy.

Today was the home stretch.  One row 19 x 95 left to quilt.  Almost there…that’s what I kept telling myself.  Here I am about to quilt the very last corner and remove those last 3 basting pins!  I could barely contain myself.

urban-nature-final-quilting

It’s big.

It’s heavy.

Binding is next, and oh how that scares me!!!  To think that I’ll be working on the outer 1/4 inch edge of the quilt with all the quilt’s weight pulling against me as I sew the binding is really intimidating.  But I’ll have plenty of time to frett about the binding, because I need to put this project on hold while I get a couple others started and completed.  When it rains it pours!

Urban Nature: Ready, Set, Quilt

I have been a bit intimidated really freaked out about finishing the Urban Nature quilt top, and that’s why I’ve been busying myself with other projects.  But this week I got the urge to complete this project, and much to my surprise, the quilt top actually came together quite nicely and pretty quickly, especially considering the 95 inch square size.

Then it was on to getting the quilt top ready to quilt.  I decided to do straight line quilting with some outline quilting and some other stuff.  So to make it more manageable I figured on piecing the batting.  I cut a piece of batting about 35 x 108, and pinned the center of the quilt.  I then folded both sides very compactly and pinned them down so they wouldn’t turn into a ridiculous pile of fabric.

I started my straight line quilting and while I think straight line quilting can look really cool, I absolutely loathe doing it.  So I ripped the little bit of straight line quilting out and decided I would do an all over meander.  So I quilted the center section.  Tonight I pieced the batting on the right side and quilted one more row (totally recommend the joining foot for your machine…makes piecing the batting pretty easy and there’s no bulky seam…think zig zag stitch to to join the edges of the batting together, and the result is totally flat).  For some reason I broke 4 needles…I rarely break needles so this was strange, and I can’t figure out why the needles were breaking…I wasn’t running over pins, so by the time the 4th one broke, I decided that enough was enough for tonight.

needles

It’s taking A LONG time but it’s coming along and it looks really good.  I honestly never thought I would be able to quilt something this big!

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urban-nature-2

Far left row: pin basted and ready to quilt.  Middle 2 rows: quilted rows.  Far right row: neatly folded top and back pinned down to make it a more manageable size.  I cannot even imagine how heavy this baby would be if I had sandwiched the whole thing and pin basted the whole thing!

Urban Nature: Blocks 17 – 25

Wednesday night through Thursday I was on a roll…determined to finish these blocks.  Now that the blocks are done I need to figure out the layout.

I also went to my local quilt shop and ordered this book.  It was recommended to me because the author makes king size quilts on her domestic machine by quilting in sections.  I’m not piecing the top together just yet, because I think some of the tips and strategies are to piece and quilt as you go, which decreases the bulk to maneuver through the machine.  I have no idea when the book will be in, but I’m looking forward to getting and reading it.   That said it might be some time before I tackle this quilting.

Here are the remaining blocks and possible layout (I had no idea my living room was such a mess until I looked at the last picture!)

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block-18

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block-25

possible-layout

Here’s the possible layout.  Do you know how hard it is to find a 100″ square piece of unoccupied floor in my house?  When I lay this baby out again I’ll have to move some furniture around in the playroom, because my living room floor is just not quite big enough.

Can you see the Ellie Fun quilt and Rocqua Rhythm quilt on my couch?  Love those quilts! :)

The wheels are also turning for the next project.  Stay tuned.

Urban Nature: Blocks 15 and 16

Blocks 15 and 16 are done.  Only 9 more to go!

block-15

block-16

I love how this block turned out, and unfortunately the photo really doesn’t do this block justice.  The flower is a charcoal grey color, and to bring out that color I chose a green fabric that has a lot of grey in it to be the initial framing fabric.  It really brings out the grey, and it looks really cool.

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Urban Nature: Blocks 13 and 14

After the long weekend of fun activities (but no sewing) I got back to sewing last night while watching the FSU Miami football game…great game!

I now have 14 blocks done.  14 down and 11 to go!

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Blocks 1-14

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Urban Nature Blocks: 11 and 12

Here are blocks 11 and 12:

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Urban Nature: Blocks 9 and 10

I’m working through the green framing fabric right now.  Then I’ll move on to the browns, and then the cream.  Here are blocks 9 and 10 for the Urban Nature quilt:

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