Thursday, June 28, 2012

… a finished retro flowers quilt

retro flowers

whew! i can't' believe this one is actually done. that's right, i have finally managed to finish the retro flowers quilt for the do. good stitches love circle's february quilt.

retro flowers

the sad truth is that i actually finished this a couple of weeks ago, but i've been waiting around for some good light to take some decent photographs. plus, i got distracted by trying to finish my arkansas traveler quilt in time for a deadline and then i had that whole fabulous weekend retreat to go on and… well, time just got away from me.

retro flowers

so yeah, isn't it absolutely lovely? i adore this quilt, i really do. i can't thank the fine ladies of the love circle enough for bearing with me when i requested that they take on this challenging block. no one got angry (at least, not that i know of) and every single one of them sent beautiful, perfect blocks. i just asked for blocks in bright warm colors and look at how amazingly the mix of colors turned out.

i also want to thank christina again for so generously donating her pattern to the group. thank you, christina! your pattern was so easy to follow and well written that even i, who had never sewn a curve before, was able to do so easily and with great results. for the record, i didn't even use the curve master presser foot or templates that she recommended for best results, and i think my blocks turned out pretty darn nice.

retro flowers

i quilted this one on my friend sandie's longarm machine. it was a thrilling experience… we finished this one, including time spent loading it onto the frame, in about three hours. three hours, people! i just love how the swirls echo the curves of the flowers without being exactly the same. i will admit, though, that quilting it felt a bit like cheating. i'm so used to spending days--weeks, even-- slowly working a quilt through my tiny machine, that this easy breezy quilting seems somehow… well, wrong. don't worry, i got over that pretty quickly, since i know this look is something i would never have been able to do on my own. plus, i did operate the longarm for much of the time (with sandie's patient, gentle guidance).

retro flowers

i took two of the blocks that had perfect shades of pink and orange going on, and used them on the back with some kona solids (bright pink and tangerine) and a kate spain terrain print with the same colors.

retro flowers

the binding is kei honeycomb in grey. it felt like the quilt needed a soft, cool color to serve as an anchor and reign things in a bit. i especially like how it looks with the fabric on the back.

retro flowers

and here it is after washing. i appreciated the quilting even more when i saw just how perfectly it crinkled up after pulling it from the dryer. so cuddly, so soft.

(and am i the only one who takes photos both before and after washing? i do this partly because i can't decide if the quilt looks better before or after washing, but also because i worry that it will get ruined in the wash, and if that does happen i'll at least have some photos as proof that it existed.)

retro flowers

so there you have it. if you couldn't tell already, i'm pleased as punch that this is finally done but also that it turned out great. and i would be sad to see it go if i wasn't sure it was going to a great cause and will soon find its way into the arms of very deserving child.

15 comments:

  1. That is one STUNNING quilt. I love it. You are so kind to give this beauty away. It will make someone very very happy to receive this.

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  2. aMAZing. I'm so impressed at your quilting. I tried a long arm once and it was not easy for me! Also, I think I need to start trying your before and after washing picture method. I like seeing both. Oh, and just once more: AMAZING

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  3. It's so good. So lovely. So crinkly. And yes! I do the same thing. I'm always fearful my wash will ruin it, so JUST in case, I take pictures before I wash, to prove it existed. ;) Your quilting is such a perfect design! I love the backing fabric you chose, too.

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  4. it looks amazing all put together!!

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  5. Absolutely gorgeous! I love that pattern and I love, love all those colors together! It just looks so happy!

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  6. I'm totally in love with this quilt! The colors are perfect and the back is so pretty too! I take pictures before washing usually, and sometimes do take a few after as well! Kind of depends on the quilt.

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  7. This is absolutely gorgeous! Great job on the quilting! Congrats on a wonderful finish!

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  8. Wow!! I couldn't have imagined this being any better, it's perfect Ara jane!!

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  9. it's totally amazing!!! the colors are perfect and the quilting design matches the feeling of the quilt so well! love the crinkled goodness!

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  10. It's wonderful. I like it very much. I understand that you hesitate to give it away.

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  11. Just gorgeous. I love the design, the quilting, the fabrics, the back, everything!

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  12. Totally awesome! I love the last crinkly picture the best. Makes me want to grab it for a cuddle (though it's over 100 today so there's that...). Thanks for sharing, Ara Jane!

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  13. oh it is beautiful ara jane! the quilting is perfection. so crinkly and ready to be snuggled! i wish it was mine!

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