Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Helping out a friend.

I was ready to return to my work when I saw a request for help from a friend on Facebook.  I do not have any tight deadlines right now so I decided to volunteer my help.  She is having health problems and was unable to finish this quilt.  And, it had already been sold in a fundraiser many months ago.  I can't help Mary Ann's health, but I can quilt. 

Here is the completed quilt by Mary Ann Vaca-Lambert called Roadside Bluebonnets.  It is about 70" by 47".
I love the blue, it is intense! And the little pops of yellow are wonderful!  I also like that it is a log cabin.  My very first quilt was a log cabin, and I just finished piecing the top of another log cabin.  I think it's my favorite block!

When I received the project, it still needed quite a few things done for completion. The quilting motif was a meandering stippling pattern inside the blue and straight lines on the pale background.  I found this difficult because I don't ever do stippling patterns.  They require a kind of improvisational and yet a bit of planning with your brain that I find really difficult.  I wanted my quilting to look like Mary Ann's, but I am not inside her brain.  I decided to study the pattern and try drawing it on paper a few times to see if I could understand how the pattern flowed.  I did manage to get there eventually.  My pattern is much more symmetrical than Mary Ann's but it kind of looks like hers.  She has a much more intuitive approach.  Here is a photo of that quilting from the back of the quilt.  I definitely had a learning curve!
When the quilting was finished, all the threads needed to be buried inside the quilt.  This took a while, but I find it a relaxing chore.  The next step involves blocking the quilt because it did not lie flat (it rarely does).
This is the part where I move the furniture to make space on the floor.  Then I pull out these big foam floor tiles that piece together like puzzle pieces.  It is perfect for blocking.  I flattened the quilt on the floor, then sprayed some water on it to get it slightly wet.  Very gently, I try to further flatten any parts of the quilt that are being troublesome and quickly pin it to the yellow floor tiles.  Then I turn on the fan, and let it dry completely, usually overnight. 
The next day after unpinning, I trimmed the quilt to remove excess batting and backing.  Then it was ready to bind.  I cut the binding strips, sewing them together, and then sewed them to the front side of the quilt.  The next step is to fold the binding and wrap it around the cut edges of the quilt, and then secure it to the back with hand stitching.  

Most quilters either love or hate putting the binding on.  For me, I find it kind of exciting to get so close to the finish line! And, I would say that I was nearly finished but there is more to do!

The label needs to be made, this one is according to Mary Ann's wishes.  And then sewn to the back of the quilt.  I think it is really important to put labels on quilts, so I include them on all my quilts. 
More still!  One of the last steps is to photograph the quilt.  And, since this quilt fit perfectly on my design wall, I was able to get that done fairly quickly. 

Next is to tape roll all the extra threads off both sides and then it is ready for shipping.  I folded it to fit inside the shipping box with tissue paper in all the folds. And, I always wrap it in plastic to make sure it won't get damaged in water in some unlikely delivery mishap.  Address the label, buy the postage, and drop it off.  I am hoping the new owner will be happy with her quilt.  It was a label of love by both of us.  Here's to you Mary Ann!!


Stacy Hurt said...

Can I just be shocked that you; phenomenal art quilter, love the log cabin block?

So wonderful that you jumped in for the assist! Xoxo

Unknown said...

As the receiver of this lovely quilt I wanted to say it arrived well and is on my bed. Thank you both for your magnificent efforts.

Kathy York said...

Yes, I love log cabins. It was my very first quilt, so I am still connected to them. And, it is the warmest quilt I have in my collection. I still use it in the winter. Curious what kind of batting was available back then and what is in my quilt? Regardless, it is a comfort. Hoping this one will be to it's new owner too!

Kathy York said...

Dear Unknown,
I am so happy to hear that your quilt has arrived safely. Hope you enjoy it for many years to come!

Martha Ginn said...

Kathy, I admire your unselfish gift of your time and talent. I've long been an admirer of your work (especially that green/yellow/red/purple square-in-a-square one--saved it from June-July 2007 Quilting Arts Magazine!) and this finishing another's quilt was over the top.

Kathy York said...

Thanks Martha!
That's very kind of you to say! I appreciate it! Also, very fun hearing from someone who knew my work so long ago. Thank you!!