Saturday, January 14, 2012

why'd the chicken cross the road . . .

To escape having to machine quilt, of course!

I admit it.  I'm a BIG road-crossing chicken.  I had Ellie's quilt all prepped and reading for quilting (remind me to share sometime, about the hazard of using basting spray in an RV master bedroom near the carbon monoxide detector).  I'd looked at lots of different options for quilting it ... 

I'd admired Leah Day's (of The Free Motion Quilting Project fame) Hearts & Spirals design some time ago and thought it would be cute on Ellie's quilt:

Barbara over at Cat Patches suggested this fun free-motion quilting pattern called Bottom's Up Hearts by Nichole Webb:

And Michelle, at Michelle's Romantic Tangle (which is where I got the idea for this quilt to begin with), whipped up her heart quilt just so she could quilt it with this Swirly Heart FMQ design -- another one by Nichole Webb:

I watched them, I practiced each of them on paper, and I *even* got my machine ready.  I really thought perhaps this quilt would be the one ... that I'd work up my courage and put a quilt under the machine and do some cute free motion hearts all over this quilt.
But I just COULDN'T do it!  I'm hand-quilting it.  Hand-quilting is safe to me.  I'm stitching-in-the-ditch around the hearts and blocks and all the interior patches.  And in three of the four 5" square, I'm going to quilt hearts, and in the fourth 5" square, I'll quilt Ellie's initials.  I'm not worried about durability; I hand-quilted Sawyer's baby quilt, too, and it goes in the washer regularly and hasn't a pucker.  Plus I'm using a nice, heavy YLI quilting thread.  From the durability aspect, hand-quilting will be fine!
I've got all this year to practice FMQ ... I wasn't comfortable practicing it on Ellie's quilt!  Ah well.  The weather is cold and perfect for snuggling up under a quilt to be quilted.  It should be finished and ready for the washer early next week!  Oh, and by the way?  Ellie is quite happy to be home . . . check out that dimple!

:)

17 left a comment . . .:

Barbara B said...

Oh, my gosh, how adorable is that baby?! And I am right there with you, sister, in the fear of FMQ arena. This is the year I plan to conquer that fear but haven't started yet. enjoy Ellie, she's so precious!

Jean said...

oh my gravy... Ellie is just so freaking precious!!!! You're going to love that baby girl to pieces!!!!!

Barbara F. said...

Baby Ellie is so beautiful, that smile is precious and the dimple! I am sure that when you are ready to try the machine designs, you will do great! xo

Vroomans' Quilts said...

A smile and a dimple - how precious! I'm a die-hard handquilter so I understand.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I'm with you girl. I just don't have that much control. My machine quilting is far from even. I can start out pretty good, but after a while it looks too sloppy. I need lots more practice :-(

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Ellie is darling and she looks completely content with life! I'm just taking the machine quilting plunge too and I am completely and utterly frightened and intimidated, but I'm working on that. :) Ellie's quilt will be lovely, stitiched with lots of love, and treasured.

Editfolt said...

Very cool videos. You that to move project FMQ ? I would not draw a big duvet mechanically to have stitched.
Sweet baby, with small dimples.

Janet O. said...

That photo of Ellie is way too cute!! I would just want to hold her all day!
I am so slow at hand quilting, even though I have done it for decades, so I admire your spunk. The quilt will also be more of a treasure that way.
I plan to conquer machine quilting this year, too. I'm following Leah Day and SewCalGal on their challenges. Did you do lots of practice sandwiches on your heart patterns? I know they can be tedious but they really help me get confident, after having memorized the design with paper and pencil.

Cathy said...

That picture is just perfect. I could look at it all day, and smile. She is soooooooooo cute. And Ellie's first quilt is not a good place to practice. And every hand stitch you put into it gives you the opportunity to fill the quilt with love and prayer, rather than the stress and anxiety trying to machine quilt it would do.

Mary said...

Daring G-ma to hand quilt it. If Hand quilting was good enough for Sawyer it's good enough for Ellie. Love the Dimple- She's Dreaming of Angels, as my Mom and Grandma used to say.

Quilter Kathy said...

Enjoy your hand quilting....it's the most relaxing way to finish your quilt :)

Michelle said...

Now I'm going to have to make more little heart quilts!

c. Joy said...

O Denise, she is soo cute. What a beautiful, content looking baby. Can't wait to see the label for this. Stay warm, quilt on.

big B said...

Your granddaughter is so beautiful - and looks very happy! Your quilt is lovely - I love all the pink. I am really new to quilting, what is stitch in the ditch?
Kim

Lee said...

That little sweet pea, is , well, a SWEET pea :) What a precious photo!

I took one class in FMQ, but haven't practiced. I need to get a machine cabinet so my machine and table are even with each other which I think would take some of MY fear out of it. I haven't tried hand-quilting, yet.

Momof3girls said...

Oh my goodness, I love that dimple! She is too precious! I bet I know what happened when you sprayed the basting spray..... Let's just say I had an experience with hairspray in our camper. LOL I can't wait to see the finished quilt.
Blessings!

Sarah said...

Such a darling dimple. I adore Ellie's accessorized outfits.