Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cowboys Quilt Finished

The Cowboys quilt for my son's former roommate is quilted and bound. Next week I hope to deliver it to the recipient who lives on the West Coast. Hooray! Here's the previous post with information about making the top.

CowboyFireworks

The quilting doesn't show as well in the straight on detail view as in the low angle views that follow but you can see the variations of the quilting lines better.

Cowboy Fireworks Quilting Detail

Originally I planned to use the darker blue thread for quilting. Too dark. The white is too light. But the medium blue is just right. Funny. I always try to get light and dark fabrics (since we tend to purchase mediums) then drive myself crazy thinking I will need to change threads frequently. But I'm finding that medium threads blend better across all those fabrics.

Thread choices for Cowboy Fireworks quilt.
This was my third attempt to use the lovely YLI 40/3 variegated thread in Seamist. My machine hates it - even when it's only in the top and not the bobbin. I finally switched to Sulky Blendable 30/3 variegated thread. It's a similar range of blues. Cindy Needham told me thread sizes vary by manufacturer and I certainly agree now. The Sulky should be heavier than YLI but in actuality, they are the same thickness. What a puzzle. There are so many threads to use that I can choose another. (YLI makes some of my favorite threads; this is the only one I've ever had issues with.)

A friend who hand quilts thinks it would work beautifully for her so I've passed it on.

Cowboy Fireworks Quilting Detail 2

I considered quilting very straight lines since the blocks are squared up before sewing them together but decided free-hand straight-ish lines fit better with the free-hand cutting of the pattern. I started sewing lines about 2-3 inches apart and came back and filled in until it looked done. Spacing ranges from 0.75-1 inch. The quilting didn't look good while I was sewing (with my nose very close to the lines) but I really like they way it looks on the finished quilt. So... don't put your nose right on the quilting lines and you should like it, too!

Here are the quilting lines as I was sewing.
The planes on the back of Propellers and Planes were such fun I've decided to try to work harder on the backs. Usually I find large rectangles of fabric, sew them together and call it done. This time I made a simple medallion of the pieces instead. Continuing one blue border to the edge looked interesting.

View of the back of Cowboy Fireworks
Blue remnants made great binding, cut 2.25 inches, folded in half and attached by machine. I've started pressing the binding after I sew it to the back (and before attaching it on the front.) It certainly makes it easier to wrap the binding properly.

Quilt Details
Size: 68" x 85"
Pattern: Peppermint Pinwheels from Cultural Fusion Quilts
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose 100% cotton
Thread: Sulky Blendable 30/3 variegated cotton
Quilting: Free-hand channels

Look what I saw early this spring! For the past decade egrets have chosen to nest in the trees on this street. Who know why. It's the furthest from the shore of any colony. The rookery is home to about 20 percent of the egrets in the Bay Area. Closing the street to cars provides greater safety for the birds because any younglings that fall (or are pushed) from their nest can be rehabilitated by wildlife personnel.

Egret nesting closes a road in California.
Last week when I walked by again, these lovely birds were busy setting up house. You wouldn't want to park on the street; they protect their nests by pooping - smelly and acidic. I stayed on a cross street that is not closed. No bird poop conditioner for me, thank you very much.

Egret landing in a tree near their nests.
Although they are elegantly graceful and snowy white, their voice is not nearly as attractive. They make an odd gobbling sound. Oh, well. I can't sing on key either.

Egret flying.
Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Enjoy the day,

28 comments:

  1. You quilt is gorgeous. The pattern, colors and quilting are all perfect together. Thank You for the added photos of the Eget-the are fasinating!

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    1. Thanks, Helen. I'm really enjoying these more improvisational quilts; they have such movement and freedom. I'm glad you liked the egrets. It's wonderful to see them when I'm here.

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  2. Cowboys is a fun quilt! I like that loose, straight line quilting, too. It's the right feel for the quilt. I think it will be well appreciated!

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    1. Thanks, Monica. I always worry about the quilting. Your reassurance makes me feel better.

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  3. LOL - "Oh Well, I can't sing on key either" :)
    Ann the Cowboys quilt turned out great! It's so cool and the fabrics you used give the quilt an almost holographic effect.

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    1. They remind me of swans that are so graceful on water but waddle on land. Egrets are graceful; they have legs like flamingos. And they are gorgeous with their beautifully arched necks, long bill and legs. But their voices! Oh, my.
      I like this quilt a lot. They were fabrics I was saving for myself. So glad I used the "best." It always makes a quilt better.

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  4. Lovely to see this quilt all finished up and your straight line quilting is just right! I don't like the quilting to overshadow the blocks and fabrics.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. It's so nice to finish quilts and send them to their "forever homes." I'm glad you like the quilting. It's so simple that it sometimes seemed wrong.

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  5. This is a lovely quilt and I am sure the recipient will be delighted for years to come. The straight line quilting is perfect.

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    1. Thanks so much. He always enjoyed the quilts my son took to college. He even commandeered one for TV watching. I think this quilt turned out so well, too.

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  6. Fabulous quilt finish - love how you alternated stars and circles for the block centers!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I hope it personalizes the quilt for the recipient.

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  7. Your quilt looks wonderful with the added stitching! Simple and clean lines. Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. Somehow I'm always unsure of the quilting.

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  8. Ann, I love how personalized this quilt is! Your color choices and straight line quilting made the block quite masculine. I have used that form of quilting in many of my quilts. I love how simple and effective it is. Enjoy watching the egrets' family growing. Our back yard is buzzing with feather friends these days. I can not stay away from the kitchen windows for too long.

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    1. Thanks, Sujata, for the reassurance that it looks masculine. My son is sure he'll love it but I always worry. How fun that you have many birds. Although I shouldn't be, I'm always amazed by the number of birds on the west coast. You must really enjoy the show if they're coming to your yard! I do recall you had a nest in one of your hanging baskets.

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  9. I like this quilt a lot, Ann. Gorgeous fabrics, the quilting is just right and even a fancy back. Sounds like the young man is going to appreciate it though, lucky chap.

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    1. How kind of you, Kaja. It is fun to use all the "best ideas", isn't it. And it seems to keep more flowing in.

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  10. Lovely finish. I never would have thought to straight line quilt one like that but it's perfect. My machine has had problems with a variety of threads. If I'm using a different thread than usual I've found a top stitching needle in my machine helps. I really like pieced backings but for some reason I really dislike piecing them. My fav part of quilting is piecing the blocks and I'm not so crazy about the rest...that's why I have so many darned UFOs.

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    1. It was scary to quilt across everything. Some antique quilts quilted on the diagonal inspired me. I agree with you - piecing the tops is the most fun. Piecing the backs mimics piecing a top and I'm another step closer. Putting planes on the back of propellers really tickled my funny bone. This one was attractive and reminded me of square in a square.

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  11. I love the quilt, it's so fun! And thanks for the pics of the egret, how cool! :)

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    1. Thank you. The egrets are such fun to watch. With their long, skinny legs they usually hang out near water. It's very interesting to see them build their nests and establish a rookery.

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  12. Your quilt has so much depth to it. I feel like I'm looking through some kind of lattice to the blues beyond. So cool! Thanks for sharing about your experience finding the right shade of thread. I've just been trying to figure out how to choose a thread for a quilt with lights and darks, and this info will help a lot! The pictures of the egret are awesome.

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    1. What an interesting point of view, Janine. I do like these blues. Good luck with your quilt. It is tough to choose one when the quilt has such a value range. It looked funny while I was quilting but looks great now that I'm not right on top of the line. We should remember how painters use long brushes and try to get some perspective on our work, too.

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  13. Lovely quilt. The variation from star to star and the variation in texture really appeals to me. So does the strong contrast. It looks like "Amish Gone Punk-Rocker"! --- which I know doesn't sound anywhere as lovely as the quilt is. I hope the recipient appreciates it!

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Koshie. The young man does, too. Amish Punk Rock - such an image! You are so funny.

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