Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fourth of July Quilt

I know I haven't posted lately, but that is due more to the fact that I am still entirely wiped after spending 3 days cleaning out and moving the rest of the junk from the old apartment. And when I say I cleaned, I mean I was down on my knees Cinderella-style scrubbing at carpet stains and removing mildewy grout. I. Am. Tired.

So most of my evenings have consisted of me flopping dramatically onto the couch when I get home, moving only for bathroom breaks and to finally slink off to bead. Thankfully, I have my day job, which includes a sleeping angel for at least 3 hours a day. The work from this week shall give me posts enough to last me several days if I split the stories! Which I will. Therefore, today, I will tell you about the UFO Challenge quilt I am ready to begin hand-quilting as of tonight!

This quilt is pictured and described in my UFO History page. As I pulled it out to begin working with it, I was trying to remember how and when exactly it got started. I was part of a quilting class at my church in Chattanooga, and for Christmas, we had a fat quarter "naughty santa". The fabrics I received were patriotic, and I can't remember how many exactly I got. I think it was 5. That spring, our fearless leader brought in directions for a Yellow Brick Road quilt. Since I already had the 5 patriotic fabrics, I chose the full size option and headed to the LQS for 10 more fat quarters. Now, the time period here I'm still fuzzy on, but it was less than two years after September 11, so patriotic fabrics were all the rage then, and soon, I had enough to work. Blocks made, sewn into strips, three strips sewn together, and I put it away to begin on another project. (see the UFO pattern?)

Fast forward five-plus years later. I have never forgotten about the quilt, knowing I needed a backing fabric whenever I chose to complete it, and always looked at fabrics during the summer. Nothing ever really jumped out at me, plus I never really had the $$ to splurge on it anyway. BTW, I also never really went into a good quilt shop here in town to look for fabrics, so I never had a chance. Once the challenge announced the # for the month was 3, I was estatic. I had so hoped to get to work on that quilt! So off I went to Mammaws Thimble. Massive selection of fabric. Choir of angels sing when you walk in, I swear! One hour and 30 minutes later, I emerge with a border fabric, and a backing fabric. (It took longer than planned, but mostly because the #1 pick for backing DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH material for me!!) Luckily, #2 did, and it is just as good a choice.

What I have always planned for this quilt was to hand-quilt "fireworks" as my design, and so wanted to find a good template and hopefully iridescent thread to use. Ix-nay on both. Never could find a fireworks template. And the lovely woman at the quilt shop suggested that I not use the iridescent thread, as it creates more tension in the stitch, more puckers, and more thread breakage. Thankfully, there are templates for sale online, and I found several that with the right thread, will look like fireworks exploding, anyway. And Mammaws had a beautiful spool of variegated thread in oranges, purples and yellows to complement the quilting templates. See?

And, so, after what must be at least 7 years, the quilt is ready for the hoop!

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