I put the last stitch in the label this morning. I'm really happy with the quilt. The one criticism that you might have is that the motifs don't show up well. Selecting the thread for this quilt was a real challenge. My original idea was to use gold but it looked terrible. I settled on 3 shades of orange-brown. I'm actually really happy with it. Some of the motifs stand out more than others so it invites you in to look closer.
You can see more photos on the Lost My Marbles page.
I'm happy to have this 5 year old UFO done. Now I can start something new!
I'm determined to have Lost My Marbles as an official finish for June. That means it has to be bound and have the sleeve and label attached. I started the binding this weekend.
I wanted the binding to gradate with the shades of the quilt so I started by gathering/dyeing enough fabric to bind 10 quilts. You never know what you need and the extra will not go to waste.
I cut 2 strips from each. For this quilt I wanted a small 1/4" wide binding so my strips are 2 1/8". I could have spread out the quilt and placed strips around it and the sews together but I decided to piece the binding as I sewed it to the quilt.
I stitched a strip to about 8" from the end and then pick the next strip.
Then I'd attach the next strip and sew another section. I was surprised that this actually went pretty quickly and was a lot easier than trying to pay out a bunch of strips and keep them in order. It also allowed me to cut some strips shorter when I needed.
I'm about half way done stitching the binding to the back.I love how it's looking so far. The sleeve is ready so I can stitch that as soon as the binding is done.
My goal for this past weekend was to get Lost My Marbles blocked.
When I was getting ready to wash the quilt I remembered something critical. This quilt was made with every brown scrap of hand dyed fabric and much of it was from my early days of dyeing. That means that much of it wasn't processed correctly. So that meant I should soak it and, as you can clearly see, it was a necessary step. I soaked it for 24 hours in 3 soak cycles and that was enough.
I do my blocking directly on my sewing room floor. When I had the carpet put in here I put in a wool pad and picked a commercial grade plush so that I could block quilts right on the floor.
I was ready to block it Monday evening about 9:00 and figured it would take at least 2 hours. I really hate blocking quilts and generally have to it a couple of times to get it right. But I figured out a shortcut. See my fabric cabinets on the right? It looks like a white wall but it's a white wall of fun!
I measured the first side off these cabinets so I started absolutely straight. From there it was easy to use my collection of large Olfa rulers to line up the rest. I got it done in an hour! That was a record for any size quilt.
Then I got the fans from the Airbnb house and discovered that one of them has a short. I wish people would leave a note when something is broken. I hate having a potential fire hazard in guest space. The other one was one that a guest left behind and it's filthy so both need to be replaced.
A trip to WalMart for replacement fans and these tower fans will be better anyway.
I always leave a blocked quilt for 2 days just to make double sure it's completely dry. I'll get it off the floor today (after I do my dyeing). I need my cutting table back so I can trim these veterans quilts that I quilted last night.
And I need to get my binding fabrics cut and get started on piecing a gradient binding. I want to have this quilt done by the end of the month.
But first I'm off to do some shibori today! That's always a fun day.
Yesterday was a very busy day with errands and more mulching so I didn't get to the computer to post. Today is dyeing and more mulching. I'm so close! Only 2 more truckloads and I'll be done for a couple of years. I'm so glad I don't have to do this every year.
Had I gotten to the computer yesterday I would have posted this! The background quilting is done.
I'm quite happy with the background quilting and I like how it sets off the marbles.
All of the background quilting looks great from the back too but I did find two repairs that need to be done in the marbles so I'll reload the quilt and take care of those tomorrow.
I got the cutting table put away and the sewing room floor cleared so I'm ready to block it this weekend and I'm dyeing the fabrics for the binding today. It's soooo close!
One I finished all of the marbles on my quilt I was doubly inspired to get it finished so I jumped right in to work out background quilting.
of course my nature is to quilt something really dense but I ultimately want this to be a bed quilt and I had to take that in consideration. The quilting also had to be simple and fast because I really want to get it done. I'm tired of looking at it.
I decided in a mix of pebbles (to continue the circle theme) and wavy lines.
The quilt is a diagonal gradient of light to dark browns. I picked 3 shades of brown Wonderfil Deco-Bob thread for the quilting. It will completely blend into the background so the quilting will just show as texture.
This is the best photo that I was able to get to show off the texture. I"m really happy with it and am excited to get it finished. I got through about half if it this weekend and am about ready to start with the darkest thread. I can't believe that this quilt is going to be wrapped up soon!
Well, except for blocking, binding and a label. There's still all of that left to do.
I should have a lot of time to devote to this quilt this week. I only have a dentist appointment tomorrow and shooting practice Thursday. At some point I need to go shopping for a suitable tile to finish off the dye sink backsplash. I don't think I'll find the exact blue penny glass but I should be able to find something reasonably close.
Yesterday was dyeing day but I saved some time to get the last 5 marbles quilted on this quilt.
I had the idea for this last one for a while but I saved it because I thought it was the most appropriate last design since it uses the most rulers.
Now it's time to start quilting the background and that means it's time to start agonizing about the background designs. I think I'll pick a few filler designs and just start quilting and start mixing them up in the background.
I got one more truckload of mulch spread yesterday (only 3 left to do) and even got some clay shooting practice in. My shooting skills have really struggled the past year but I recently invested in getting my gun fitted (shortened stock) and I switched from using both eyes to just my left and now I am finally seeing some good results. I have a lesson tomorrow that I'm really looking forward to.
I had to switch to one-eyed shooting because we discovered that my eyes were switching dominance in the middle of my shot. I've learned a lot about my vision with shooting practice which was my main goal. We quilters spend all of our time looking up close and I noticed that distance vision kind of fatigues me. That's why I started shooting practice and it's really helping. Like many women, I don't have a dominant eye at a distance and by distance I mean 2 feet! Apparently it also explains why I sometimes get a little vertigo walking down stairs.
Growing up I probably should have spent a little more time outdoors and a little less with my nose stuck in books! Do you find that because your hobbies are close up that your distance vision is more difficult? Or are my eyes just naturally messed up?
But of course after some long distance vision practice I went right back to my happy place and started quilting more large marbles! Here are 5 that I did yesterday and I only have 5 left to do. These large circles are such a challenge. Less than half my rulers cover the diameter of a circle this big.
Doing these is mentally exhausting so 5 is about my limit but I'm going to chain myself to the machine a get the last 5 done today.
More progress on the big marbles this week. The end is in sight! I'm starting to get the hang of the big marbles. I can use 2 or 3 thread colors to make them more interesting. The circles that visually fall behind other circles are the most challenging. I tie off every place where the design ends against the next circle and that takes a bit of time. Trust me that the thread shows up much better in real life!
I started the big marbles this week and I'm really happy to finally be at this point. One of the challenges that I had on the little marbles was dealing with the fact that my circles aren't really perfect circles. It shows on some of them and, no surprise, it REALLY shows on the bigger circles! I decided not to sweat it. But I know that for the next quilt I will need to applique the circles, not piece them.
I also discovered that I have less ruler options for the bigger circles. Most of the "shapely" rulers done reach across the width of these circles so I have to use those from the center. But, so far, it's going OK. Here are the first 5.
It's official. I'm tired of this project. It's been fun to come up with new designs for each circle but it's also been a little tedious and stressful because I'm running out of ideas. Now I just want to get it done and I'm OK with that. This was never intended to be a "special" quilt and I have no plans of ever entering it in a show or anything. It will ultimately be a bed quilt. The sole purpose of the quilt was to a learning exercise and it's certainly been that! I've really explored by ruler collection and have dozens of ideas for using then on new projects. So now I'm determined to get this wrapped up and move on.
This week I've been working on finishing up the small circles and next I'll start the 18 04 19 big circles. Here are all of the rest of the small circles. I'm excited to have them done and I think I came up with some good new designs with them.
Now to get started on the big circles!
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.