Tuesday, January 21, 2020

One Improv Hourglass Quilt Finished

"It has been said that patriotism is not a frenzied burst of emotion, rather the quiet and steady dedication of a lifetime." 
~ George H.W. Bush


After three weeks this "quick and simple" baby quilt is finally done. Wow, that's too long but it turned out well.

Nine groups of four to nine hourglass blocks sashed with black and white stripe fabric and bordered by pink, blue, and black hourglasses
Improv Hourglass quilt 

Since my machine with the working walking foot was in for repairs I had to use FMQ only. No SID around the sashing. I tried using a ruler to make straight lines a quarter-inch inside the sashing with mediocre success. The lines wobble but worse is the way the fabric pulls without an even feed foot. It doesn't pull with other FMQ designs so I'm not sure what caused it. My solution was to go back and FMQ a simple sine wave down the sashing. It won't win an award but looks much better. More stitching usually hides irregularities.

The rest of the center alternates spirals with wishbones although none of it is visible.

I used a design from Angela Walters FMQ challenge on the pink part of the outer border then sewed parallel lines on the blue and black sections.

The front corner shows the black and white striped inner border and the outer border of hourglass blocks with pink inside, blue on the sides, and black on the outside. The border has FMQ petals on the pink and  parallel quilting lines elsewhere.
Detail of quilting and binding of Improv Hourglass quilt 1

There wasn't a large enough of any pink for the back so these peach fabrics filled in. I'm not sure why I didn't look for any blues. Some days... The quilting doesn't show much on these busy prints either.

Folded quilt shows part of the border and the peach fabrics making the back of the Hourglass quilt.
Detail of quilting and back of Improv Hourglass quilt 1

There was just enough of a black-and-white print for binding which blends well with the outer border.

Another view of the front, back, and binding. The dots are the same size which help the odd pink and peach combination work. The white gives needed contrast and the black ties it all together.

Quilt is folded to show details for both sides and the black print binding.
Detail of front, back and binding
on Improv Hourglass quilt 1

I thought this would go on the stack but it was a grandchild asked for it as it came out of the dryer. Isn't it fun when they are old enough to have opinions?

Quilt Specifics
Size: 42"x42"
Design: Hourglass
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton
Thread: Gutermann 50 wt light blue, pink, and white cotton
Quilting: FMQ spirals, SID, parallel lines
Approximate yardage: 5 yd

Previous Posts
  1. Choosing fabric
  2. Working the border


The white book cover has the author's name in large print above a sketch of Chika, Mitch, and his wife with the title near the bottom.
I just finished Finding Chika by Mitch Alborn who also wrote Tuesdays with Morrie. Mitch directs the Finding Faith Haiti Mission and Orphanage where Chika was brought after her mother's death. Two years later doctors found she had an inoperable brain tumor so Mitch and his wife brought her to the US for treatment.

Enjoy the day, Ann


Julierose said...

Oh you did a lovely quilting job on this...sometimes what you think will be a quick job turns out to take the longest! Hugs, Julierose;)))

QuiltGram said...

Hi Ann, I was happily watching this quilt grow waiting to see how the finished quilt would look. Since probably no two quilters would do the same thing (putting aside the obvious fact that we all have different fabrics) it is delightful to see this finish. I find that I really like the bright busy striped slashing. And I also like the unique grouping of the hourglass blocks. And if I remember correctly, you had some decisions to make about the setting blocks. My only ‘wish’ would be: I would wish that I could see the real quil!! I think it turned out adorable. I’m hoping that I remember this lesson that you shared with me though watching its progress. I did jot down a few take-a-way notes in my Quilt Notebook for further reference. I have a section called CONSIDER THIS. When I get stumped with a quilts’ progress, I usually refer back to this portion. And many times one of the notations I had written down triggers an idea for a solution. I also want to add to Consider This, remember that the setting triangles really need to frame that quilt. The choice of the black is soooooo great.

What strikes me here is the choice of the sashing because I think if I had used a ‘bold or boldish’ stripe like you it would have solved a problem I encountered with a quilt about a year ago. I like so many others, really appreciate all the time and work that you and other bloggers take to share your quilts with us.

Alison V. said...

This is such a fun little quilt!

LA Paylor said...

I can almost feel the crinkled pinkness of this as it came out of the dryer. I understand someone wanting it I would. I know what you mean about the free motion vs walking foot. different patterns and threads want different techniques to work easily but you wanted it done and you did it!!!

Kaja said...

This really turned out well; the black and white elements have pulled it all together, balanced out the sweetness and given it a distinctive character, I think. And how nice to have it claimed by a grandchild.

Ann said...

It was fun to practice Angela's techniques. Baby quilts are a great place for me since I always seem to be making one.

patty a. said...

This quilt turned out fabulous! I like that you made the binding out of the same fabric as that outer border of black triangles; that really frames the quilt. Not having the walking foot makes sewing/quilting a battle doesn't it? I know I will be sewing along and wondering why I am having a tough time and fabric is shifting. Then I will check and here the walking foot was not engaged. Duh!

Ann said...

What a kind comment. Thanks. I'm delighted you find these posts useful. I much prefer to read ones where people actually discuss their process including photos. It's good to find other people who feel the same way.
A notebook is a good reference. I have a long list myself which helps get me out of jams like this when I remember to refer to it. Sometimes I figure out where the solution came from after the current quilt is finished. Or perhaps I've internalized that solution. After all, there are only so many ways to cut up fabric and sew it back together.
I think I wrote that the stripe was purchased for binding but certainly saved my bacon here.
I will miss seeing this quilt regularly but love that a grandchild chose it.

Ann said...

Thanks, Alison.

Ann said...

Thanks, Lee Anna. I'm going to miss seeing this one regularly but thrilled a grandchild wanted it.
I know I didn't have a walking foot for several years when I first started. How did I do it? Why was it so difficult this time? Thank goodness the machine is ready. Picking it up soon.

Ann said...

Good point. The black balanced the sweetness. I was afraid it would be too stark for a baby quilt but this made an excellent recovery. I'm trying to use up the remaining blocks since another is needed soonest. I'm having trouble coming up with anything different.

Ann said...

Thanks, Patty. The binding is not the same fabric as those outer triangles but it looks like it, doesn't it? I've had these black fabrics in my stash for several years and never found a place to use them. I guess they were just waiting for this. And now they are gone. Yay.
We have really gotten used to our walking feet, haven't we? I really miss it.

audrey said...

Another excellent save Ann! Love how the black and white stripe adds a little character and focus to the quilt. Funny how directional fabrics can end up being the secret sauce so many times. Your stitching adds a lovely texture to this quilt, really makes it look cozy. You are so good about giving a quilt what it needs in that department.:) I'm especially fond of the random green triangles in the border area and also, that black fabric in the same area? Great pick. Just enough feathery white to lighten the dark border without being too busy. All in all, a wonderful, wonderful looking quilt and so perfect that one of your grandchildren laid claim to it already. Couldn't ask for a better compliment!

Mystic Quilter said...

What a beautiful quilt Ann and definitely worth the three weeks gestation period! Congratulations also on the quilting.

O'Quilts said...

So beautiful, brilliant work..I love it

Mel Beach said...

Another fabulous finish. I don't blame your grandchild for claiming this lovely quilt!

Janie said...

Lovely finish! I like using Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting too.
Do you order it online?

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Yes, a great quilt! Love the pink & blues with the black combo. And off to a new home already!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Your grand child has great taste - that is a wonderful quilt!

Ann said...

Thanks, Maureen. It's good to finish a prompt, practice new quilting ideas, and gift that car quilt immediately.

Ann said...


Ann said...

Thanks, Mel. I just wish they lived closer.

Ann said...

I do now since I can no longer find it locally.

Ann said...

That black really sets off the other colors.

Ann said...

Why, thanks. I think so, too.

Barb said...

what a fun and lively quilt! great colors and movement.
The new book sounds good.

Ann said...

I hadn't realized how much that stripe would help this quilt. Strong prints and large designs can make a huge difference. I am thrilled a grandchild wanted it. As you wrote, the best compliment.

Ann said...

Thanks, Barb. I love the colors with the addition of the black fabric. It sets them off so well.
Mitch writes stories that connect us all and can open our hearts.