I almost decided not to include these “meh” projects in my chronicle of crafting here, but they’re part of my journey and learning process, so why not?
I bought the Joel Dewberry Bungalow layer cake on sale from Missouri Star Quilt Company with no idea what I was going to do with it. I wanted to try my hand at pinwheels, and I eventually decided I’d go for a king-sized quilt for my bedroom. This turned out to be a harsh lesson in color and fabric selection.
Here are my first pinwheels. I thought they were great at the time, but now I can see how sloppy the points are – I’ve come a long way in my piecing skills! I took my time making these while also working on other projects.
I think the final count was 169 pinwheels. I was trying to figure out layout here. Not a great photo, as the light is pretty dim in my bedroom.
I ended up adding sashing from a jelly roll between the pinwheels. And rather than a random layout, my husband suggested a color gradient. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I really don’t like how it turned out.
I didn’t actually finish this quilt until nearly a year later. First, there was an issue with delivery of the fabric for my binding and backing. The delivery guy was scared of my Irish Wolfhound, Vigilance, so he left the big box of fabric next to our garbage can by the road… and it was garbage pick up day. The garbage men did their job and took the big box next to the garbage can. Can’t really blame them, but UPS did accept blame and they reimbursed me for a new fabric shipment (took more than a month to get that mess straightened out). In the meantime, I’d started other projects intended to be holiday gifts, and the fact that I didn’t even like how this was turning out gave me little motivation to work on it.
However, as cold winter weather arrived, I buckled down and finished it up. I was worried that quilting a king-sized quilt would be difficult on my machine, but it wasn’t bad. My only frustration was that my bobbins seem to run out so quickly when covering so much ground.
Making the quilt sandwich wasn’t easy. I had to move all the furniture in the living room back, and it took so long to pin everything. And the gradient attempt looks just awful, eh? One corner is so pretty and colorful, and the other is just bleh and bland.
Here’s the finished quilt sandwich. I do like the color of the backing, at least.
Bonus challenge – free motion quilting a king-sized quilt with helper cats! I realize my pictures make me look like a crazy cat lady… I’m a veterinarian, so I figure I have a good excuse. I think it’s sweet that they want to be so close. It got a little more frustrating when Suey, my little Chinese Crested, figured out he could climb on the table, too…
I don’t have any pictures of the whole completed thing. As I said, the lighting in my bedroom isn’t great for taking photos, and this beast went straight to my bed when it was done since it was so cold. Actually, I think we started using it before I was even completely finished sewing the binding on. It’s wonderfully warm!
Lots of work for a quilt I don’t even like much, but I’m proud of the work that went into and also happy to know that I can make a king-sized quilt on my machine.
And here’s the other project I don’t like so much – a quilted purse. It was also a good learning experience, as I played around with adding pockets and zippers. The final product looks too much like a diaper bag to me for some reason – something about the colors and the lining doesn’t work for me.