About 20 ago I saw this quilt in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine and fell in love with it. It was a paper pieced pattern for a queen sized bed, which I had in my former house, named Luscious Lilies
. I now have a double bed in this house. It involved a LOT of piecing, 25 pieced blocks for the center, plus dead blocks with no piecing. A triple border, the inner one with a gazillion green half square triangles, a middle border with lots of pieced lilies and an outer border with a gazillion more of those little half square triangles. It took so long that I renamed it Languishing Lilies
. Then I marked all the dead blocks, using a stencil with a #2 pencil (more on that later)
I hand basted it and proceeded to hand quilt it, which I used to be very good at. The background fabric is a white on white, which is basically paint on white and very difficult to hand quilt through. I only quilted four blocks. Then I had elbow surgery and could no longer hand quilt without a lot of pain. Maybe that's what put my elbow over the edge in the first place.
Sooooooo, it has been folded up on the top shelf of my studio closet. I couldn't send it out to be machine quilted because I had already basted it and had done some hand quilting. I didn't want to spend a fortune having someone finish the hand quilting.
Last Friday one of the members of my weekly group, FiberWorks, showed a large quilt top that she had pieced several years ago and now was going to finish and quilt on her Sweet Sixteen. A light bulb went off in my head. Why had I never thought of that? I have a Sweet Sixteen that I have used very little. It's like the little girl with a curl right in the middle of her forehead.....when she was good she was very, very good and when she was bad she was horrid. I have so much trouble with the machine with getting the tension right and not having the thread break. After a LOT of fiddling and watching videos, I finally got it going. It did not get tangled up in the hand basting, as I had feared and it looked pretty good.
I quilted and quilted and quilted.....on and off for most of the week. Hooray!! I have finished the inner part of the quilt, the inner border and have started on the middle border. It is far from perfect and it will never go in a show, but I think it will look pretty on my bed with a little redecorating to have it fit in.
I have an extension table to the right of the machine and brought in another four foot folding table for the left to support all the weight of the quilt. Works perfectly. The great part of the Sweet Sixteen is having all that room in the harp. No need to roll up the quilt and throw it over your shoulder as you would with a regular home sewing machine. I just smooth out one block at a time and quilt.
As I said before, I had marked the quilting design with a #2 pencil, a little too dark and it shows, especially if I have strayed off the line. I am going to try to remove it with a formula I found.....3/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, a few drops of dishwashing detergent and 1/4 cup of water. If anyone knows of a better solution, please let me know.
Part of the borders. See what I mean about all those little half square triangles. I will quilt on it some more this week, but I also have a couple of other deadlines to meet.
How about you? Have you resurrected a UFO recently?
I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.
Please go see what some talented artists are up to.