The one where I broke up with AMH (A Monstrous Headache)

/ Tuesday, 11 December 2012 /
I present to you, dear readers, the most difficult thing I have ever made. It is a quilt with velveteen hexagons on the front, bamboo batting, and flannel on the back.  It looks pretty, I grant, but it is a monster. It took me nearly the entire weekend to quilt it, and I am still feeling it in my shoulder blades!
Velveteen monster completed
The top wasn't too bad to put together.The velveteen frays like mad, and I should probably have gone with a 1/3" or even a 1/2" seam allowance. But I went ahead with the quilter's quarter inch.
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Afterwards, I seemed to remember that I had read a blogpost by Anna Maria Horner that warned of this - where are these insights when you really need them?
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To ensure that the seams held secure during the normal usage of a quilt, I decided to stitch in the ditch using a wide zigzag. I was particularly concerned about the joins of the y-seams. I used a yellow Aurifil 28 wt thread for this.  Upon scrutiny post-wash and dry, the seams seem to have held up well.
Zigzagging in the ditch because I don't trust the anti-fraying properties of this velveteen, especially with y-seams
I do like the way the zigzags show up outlining the hexagons on the back.
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Oh my word! Muscling this through the quilting on my little Pfaff was something else! Hercules and his labours had nothing on what I went through. I really thought it was going to send me back to physio - my shoulders and back were on fire with the weight of it. I took a break after each row to stand upright and swing my arms.
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The hexagons are 9" across (I used the Marti Michel template to cut them) so I needed something to secure the centres. I thought about tying them, but decided to go with a decorative machine stitch. You can see if it you look closely in the centre of this hex.
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This quilting makes a nice and loose quilt, kind of floppy.  It is a very strange shape, though. It's about 80" long and 50-odd inches wide (I have hung it sideways on the line in these photos).
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The velveteen, flannel and cotton binding are all from Anna Maria Horner, who happens to share the monogram of this quilt, A Monstrous Headache!
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Truly, by the end of the weekend, I was ready to divorce this quilt. I had mentally projected all my ill will onto it and even once it was finally washed and dried, all fluffed up, I was still feeling hard done by.
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I was cranky about its odd shape and wondering what in the world had possessed a woman who is experiencing her own personal summer in the depths of Canadian winter to construct a quilt that weighs about 20 lbs. and heats up like a blast furnace!
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However, I am starting to come around. Even though I swore that we broke up on the weekend, I am beginning to feel that we were only "on a break". I think we might have a chance to be happy together, after all!


Pinqua star finished

/ Monday, 3 December 2012 /
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What is "pinqua", you ask? Clearly, it is pink + aqua! I'm so happy to have this baby quilt finished - it's 48" square, which is pretty big for a baby quilt, I guess. I quilted it with Aurifil 50 wt in big looping swirls so that it would be soft and floppy.
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And I backed it with pink minky, so it is very luxe! I'd never used minky before, but it was fine. The best part was that it comes in 60" width, so I didn't have to piece the back at all. I found it a bit heavy to maneuver through the quilting process, but overall, no problem.
Baby quilt finished
I used the leftovers from the FQs to make a pieced binding. Each strip averaged about a foot long - what are the odds that at least one of those joins would end up on a corner? But the binding gods were smiling, and I dodged the bullet.
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I do love the soft, washed effect of these HSTs. It is far from a colour combo that I would choose, but I think it's lovely for a new baby girl. My doc student and I made this quilt for another doc student in our program. Her baby is lovely - I get all broody for grandchildren when I hold her. Fortunately it doesn't last long after I return the little one to her mother, since my daughter is only 19 and a second year student at uni. I think I'm going to have to wait awhile. (I love this last shot, with my able assistant peeking out - it reminds me of that old cartoon "Kilroy was here".)
quilt ninja

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