Monday, November 18, 2013

"Stash's Quilt" for Label One

I've been playing hookey the last couple of weeks, ever since I came home from Houston.
I know I have a commission project to do for DMC, and in my head it is very far along!  But I realized that I have plenty of time to make my deadline.....and I had to get something out of my since I got home, I've made this quilt for Stash.

The backstory:
I went to the Quilt Festival mainly to work in the booth of the Quilt Alliance, the non-profit I am privileged to serve as a board member.  Here I am in our booth with our executive director, Amy Milne.

In the booth you can see some of our auction quilts, which you can bid on NOW, here! They will raise funds to support our mission of documenting, preserving, and sharing the stories of quiltmakers and their quilts.

But as you know, Halloween was during Festival. Amy and I decided to dress up.

Amy became "Label One", encouraging everyone to label their quilts.  She handed out labels printed for us onto cotton by Spoonflower, and made that fetching spool-of-thread hat.  She is holding Michele Muska's auction quilt.

I became "Stash".

Amy and I gathered so many smiles as we walked through Festival that day.  No wonder people love to wear costumes!  I had pinned vintage blocks, laces, and jelly roll strips to my skirt and sweater, made some necklaces out of spools of thread, and a crown covered with buttons.  Too fun!

After I came home I took apart my costume on my sewing table.....

And something came over me.....I really did love how all those things looked together...

I went to my "stash" of vintage 30's scraps to go with those blocks, some 30's repro fabrics, some contemporary Ebay blocks made with vintage fabrics, vintage linens, more of my lace stash...and set to work making a quilt for Label One from Stash herself.  Me!!!!

Using the design wall was critical to the process, so I could keep elements balanced as I worked out my composition.
I just started pinning things up there and sewed together units as I went along.
It came together very quickly.

Because I was eyeballing everything sizewise, when it came time to sew all the units together, sometimes I had to trim, or add a strip...

No biggie...this was a very loose quilt.  The big constant was keeping those lines straight and the corners at 90 degrees.

After I got the top assembled, I knew I was going to add some decorative couching stitching that would also double as quilting.  I had gotten the brand new couching foot from HandiQuilter for my Sweet 16 and was most eager to try it out.
But first, as I learned in my Craftsy class, Design It, Quilt It, taught by the great Cincy Needham, first I had to quilt "ESS"--every stinkin' seam.
It is a very good practice.  I used clear thread with Bottom Line by Superior Threads in the bobbin.

Finding the right kind of couching fiber took a little experimentation.

A single ply was the way to go, although later I learned that size #3 perle cotton was perfect too.  Again, I used clear thread as my couching thread and Bottom Line in the bobbin.  You can see I marked my lines before couching too.

I left tails on either end of my lines of couching, and buried them inside the quilt sandwich with a large needle.

It was very fun, adding this element of embellishment in the same step as my quilting!
(Even though this is going to be a functional, "sane" quilt, after 14 years of crazy quilting, I MUST embellish, somehow or other.)

The last step was to bind the quilt, and as you all know, I loathe making traditional quilt binding.  For Stash's Quilt, I came up with an interesting alternative.

I simply folded the back to the front, and pinned lace over it.

Pins, pins, pins!  I placed them this way so they were easy to pull out before getting to them as I stitched the binding into place, so I didn't sew over a single one.

Sewing it was easy, using a wide zig zag and the clear thread which virtually disappeared.

I think it came out great, and totally fits the style of the quilt.

And here it is!

Stash's Quilt, 70" X 80"

Ahhhh......that felt great!
It will make a great souvenir of our wonderful time in Houston together.
Now, on to my DMC project, for real!


Anonymous said...

What an amazing, lovely quilt. Love, love, love it!!!! I can see why you had so much fun making you memory quilt. You Go Girl!!!!

Rebecca Grace said...

This is just GORGEOUS, Allie! I hope the quilter who pieced those vintage blocks is able to peek down from heaven to see what you've done with them. And the lace binding is a stroke of genius! I'll be looking forward to seeing your commission quilt for DMC.

Susan Elliott said...

Oh my, where to start. First of all, I wish I could have photographed you as "Stash" at Houston. You looked adorable with your button crown and fabric gown.

I love this quilt. From far away, I thought the dark blue scraps were indigo dyed but up close I see they are vintage scraps. That's one of my favorite parts is how the blue offsets the pink. I must admit that I'm failing to understand the quilting speak these I have no knowledge of the machines and threads that you use for that. That being said, I compeletely understood the binding you came up with with the lace and that was another stroke of Allie brilliance. I went to check on your quilt which I'd love to buy but it's already beyond my budget...which is GREAT for you, GREAT for the Alliance, and bad for me....xox

Judy S. said...

You are so clever! So glad you made something for you and such a great memento of what sounded like a very fun show. Loved your costume!

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