The Quilt is Finished!

I finished it one day before we left for Jodi’s and Matt’s wedding in San Francisco.

There were moments I wasn’t sure I would finish it at all.

The marathon quilting that occurred during the last week took a toll on my fingers. Not even the quilter’s callous could save them. They throbbed and even bled. A little bit of blood dripped onto the quilt in my haste. One finger has still not healed a week later. Yet, it was worth it.

It is not your typical wedding quilt, but a traditional wedding quilt didn’t seem right for Jodi and Matt. So, I went a bit retro on the front.

and a bit modern on the back.

a close up of all the quilting

Pictures were shot in my neighbor’s backyard on Friday before I stuffed it in our luggage. Thankfully, the airline did not lose our luggage.

Even though gifts are rarely opened at weddings, I insisted that the newlywed couple open the quilt. I was dying to see their reaction. Happily, they both loved it.

Hand Applique

The quilt top is assembled, but it is not finished.

The Dresden plates are only basted onto the quilt top. To tack the edges down, I am using a hand applique technique. Although I found instructions for the technique in the Complete Guide to Quilting book, an online tutorial can be found here.

If you squint, you should be able to see my stitches in red. I used red thread because if I am going to hand sew, I want my stitches to visible. Plus, I thought it might look nice against the red wheel fabric.

Why hand applique, you ask.

It’s a good question. Surely, a sewing machine would be faster. It’s not like I lack for sewing machines. I own 3 now.

There are several reasons why I chose to attach the Dresden plates by hand.

One, I plan to quilt this Dresden throw by hand, so it just goes with the theme of things.
Two, I like to hand stitch things.
Three, a sewing machine must be used in the sewing room after hours and away from family. Hand stitching can be done almost anytime and anywhere.
Four, I can watch TV while hand stitching. There are no TVs in the sewing room.
Five, did I mention that I really enjoy the repetition of sewing by hand? It’s like knitting; it relaxes me.

Right now I am watching Vanity Fair. It’s so nice to get a break from Go, Diego, Go and the Green Lantern, also known as the Justice League.

And for those wondering why Elly watches the Justice League, well obviously Dan had a hand in it. About a month ago, Elly won a stuffed super hero from the claw machine inside our local grocery store. She asked me what his name was. I had no idea. Of course, Dan knew and not only told her his name, Green Lantern, but also introduced her to comic books with the Green Lantern in it and cartoons with the Green Lantern in it. Now the whole family knows Green Lantern’s name and has watched far too many Justice League cartoon shows. Although I shouldn’t complain because the Justice League is far better than Diego or Bob the Builder or Timmy Time.

Not Enough Fabric

Actually, it depends on who you ask as to whether or not I have enough fabric.

Elly will tell you that I have the perfect amount of fabric.

It is just the right amount to snuggle in with 2 baby dolls.

It is not the right amount to back the Dresden quilt with. When I bought the fabric, I based it off the fact that the squares to which the Dresden plates would be appliqued to were to be 25″. Yet, I bought extra fabric to cut the squares out of. There was enough to make 26.5″ squares. Since bigger is better, I cut the maximum square allowed out. It never occurred to me that the backing fabric would not be enough to cover the backside of the enlarged quilt.

But, all is not lost. Plan B was concocted last night. It involves piecing the back together out of the backing fabric, the sashing fabric and some grey fabric I had in my stash. It might even look better than Plan A when finished.

Here’s hoping.

Dresden Quilt Progress

The Dresden plates are being appliqued to the awesome wheel fabric I found at my local quilt shop. Have I mentioned how much I love Generations Quilt Shop lately? Their fabric selection is unbelievable. Seriously, if you live in the Pottstown area, you have to visit.

I’m not sure if you can see in that photo, but I am hand basting the plates down, since they are so huge and I did not want to leave a million pins in the plates during the assembly of the quilt top.

In addition to the wheel fabric, I bought fabric for the sashing and for the backing.

The polka dot fabric will be used for the sashing and perhaps the binding. The circle fabric will be used for the backing and maybe the border. I haven’t decided yet.