Once again Amy is hosting theBlogger's Quilt Festival. I'd like to revisit one of my earlier quilts for this Spring's Festival because it made me so happy and I learned so much while making it. This was my third finish and the one I'm most sentimental about thus far.
As part of the Flicker group Old Red Barn Co Quiltalong, we've been led through 6 rounds of quilts; each one has had a different leader and it's been a terrific experience (I skipped one round so have only made 5 of them myself). In fact, our anniversary just passed - 6 classes in one year, that's a pretty good record for folks with busy lives outside the 'Net! I don't have to tell you about the support, technical assistance and new friendships that have come from the group - suffice it to say that it has strongly reinforced my belief that quilters are a uniquely remarkable group of people.
For our second project we made Zig Zag quilts utilizing HSTs (half-square triangles). I had a recipient in mind, a friend of many years who lives far away, and during construction I often smiled to myself thinking of him and his wife snuggling with their made-with-love quilt.
I quilted in the ditches but it looked incomplete to me, so I went down the scrolly "solids" and quilted several fat arrow shapes up and down; I don't know why I chose arrows - maybe because the quilt felt so frivolous. I cussed a bit running around all those corners with my walking foot! When it was finally completed and I put it through the washer and dryer, disaster struck: there was a popped seam! Time to get a 1/4-inch foot and no mistake. I tried to repair the seam but it looked awful. Time to try a little applique then! I used Anna Maria Horner's Super Circles tutorial to iron down my seam allowance, then appliqued a triangle and a square - hmm, not bad! I made another to balance it. I knew I worked well under pressure - long years of work have proven that - but I was genuinely sweating it with that applique, especially those persnickety points! I also learned that as with all new skills, you need the right tools to do the job well. I've since acquired both a 1/4 inch foot and a darning foot; I've used the one ever since, and the other is just starting to get a workout. It's so satisfying having the right tool for the job, don't you agree?
Finally I was satisfied: I had a piece that was lots of fun, smart, a little silly, and very comfy - like my friend. I like the back almost as much as the front!
He likes it!
I'm fully aware that this is very much a "newbie" effort, that my arrows are wonky and that it looks more A-for-Effort than made-with-skill. But the nice thing about old friends is that they overlook such technicalities and view these things as gifts of love - which of course they are.