“To everything there is a season…a time to rend and a time to sew” (Ecc. 3:7)
“My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and Thou sewest up mine iniquity.” (Job 14:17)
It’s a work in progress! The Log Cabin pattern is one of my favorites! I’ve been working on this for about a year now. One of these days it will be done.
The bed my husband and I share has really been neglected for a while. I am on a mission to get our room to be a special place for us, and the biggest part of that is this quilt. Aron gave me his input as to what colors he liked, and he said, “dark red, blue, and muted, autumn colors.” Great. How do I incorporate that into what I had in mind? So I found this set of fabrics in a honey-bun, pre-cut set of fabrics. The fabrics are replicas of Civil War Era fabrics. So I started looking for those color schemes. Some day the colors will be on the walls. When I told my hubby about all of this his comment was, “OK. So we’re going to have a Civil War in our bedroom?!” Ha ha! Well, only with the colors.
I really like how the back turned out. I didn’t quite have enough of the red gingham that I had purchased, so I chose fabrics from my stash that matched the colors of the front and just did a simple square patter with the gingham as the main color (half of the squares are gingham.) I like how simple it is, and if we get bored with the top, we can just flip it over for a while. I like that!
Well, I’ve decided to go ahead and hand quilt the whole thing. Basically, it is just too much money to send it out to be long-arm quilted. Even the places here in Missouri that let me “rent” a long arm machine by the hour or by the day end up being too much. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but then I got to thinking. At first, I was going to have the machine quilter leave off, or not quilt, the corners and maybe some borders anyway. That way I could do a little bit of hand quilting on those spots. So why not just go ahead and do the whole thing by hand? I have actually enjoyed the little bit of hand quilting that I’ve done. There are definite advantages to hand quilting — more precise patterns; no fooling with bobbins and sewing machine mishaps; more freedom with the pattern than I would get by sending it out to be done; portability of not needing to “plug in”; not to mention the pride of doing a hand-quilted project.
PLUS, it may even be easier for me to sit down with the quilt and my needle and frame to do the hand quilting. The kids like me to sit out in the living room with them to watch their shows and their playing, rather than hide in the sewing room with my machine. (Which is why I hardly do any quilting at home! I rely on our monthly Sew N Share at my church…one full day of quilting per month is what I get, and I can turn out about a quilt per year just in those 12 sessions….well less than 12 because some months the scheduling just doesn’t work out.) It was looking more and more like this was the way to go! I mentioned this change of plans to my husband, and his comment was, “Well, of all the quilts to do by hand, this would be the one, right?” 🙂 I’m sure he likes the price tag better too!
I used this method for the Log Cabin blocks using a “honey bun.” However, I didn’t like the look of using only two fabrics per block. I preferred the scrappy look of using several fabrics per block. BUT I did find a way to include my original two-fabric blocks as you see in the pictures below. I found the honey bun rolls on eBay which was cheaper than buying in a store. Buying the pre-cuts not only saved me time, but it meant that a designer was picking out the fabrics that matched well together. Another bonus was that there was very little left-over fabric, and that was a money saver in the end. I hope you enjoy watching this come together as much as I do.
Whew! The most tedious part of the quilt is now done thanks to the annual Crafter’s Retreat at Higher Ground Baptist Bible Camp! My husband accepted the call to our new church here in the great state of Alaska, and I knew it was a great fit for me because we have some quilters and crafters in our congregation. I enjoyed speaking at the retreat and was able to finally finish the hand quilting on the middle section of the quilt.
I tried a few different things for the hand quilting. At first I thought I’d do some sort of pattern, but it just didn’t show up well. The fabrics and log cabin pattern did not allow for that. So I settled on a simple straight line quilting on the diagonal. I tried drawing the line with a fabric marker, but my colors are rather dark and it was just hard to see. So I used the blue painter’s tape to mark my lines. It comes up easily and doesn’t leave a residue. I just place my quilt in the frame, beginning in the middle, then lay down the tape trying to connect my corners as best as I could. My quilt isn’t exactly precise, so it was tricky at times. Then I just stitched along the tape edge and removed it as I went.
I love how it turned out! The next step is to quilt the borders using my machine. I’m nervous about that because it’s been a while since I’ve done any actual quilting with my machine since the hand quilting took so long. I’ll need to do some practice runs before I begin.