Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Big Ta Da!

The Big UFO in the basement is no more. The Big WIP in the basement is no more. Instead, Janni's Woven Stars is now a finished quilt.

Here it is on our bed. It is huge (88 1/2" X 106" or thereabouts), so I had some problems figuring out how to photograph it. And, no, I don't think I would put it in my bedroom, the shade of blue that it is. But it is not staying here anyway.

Here is a side view.

I tried hanging it over the railing in the living room, but, as you can see in the picture below, you don't even see half of it.

This quilt looks better from a distance than it does close up. Now that it is done and I am not closely examining mistakes every day, I do think it looks kind of nice. 

I learned three big lessons from this quilt. Well, that is not exactly true. I learned two lessons from the quilt itself and one lesson after I had marked it and begun the quilting. Want to know what the lessons are? Keep reading - yes, there will be more pictures.

Lesson #1 - I have mentioned this one before. Don't take four years to complete a quilt, because your quilting improves and then you have less respect for the quilt you are working on that you started so long ago. (Yes, I have mentioned this one before.) This was the first quilt I ever did that was set on point and I did not deal well with the setting triangles which resulted in the cut off points like these:

I have gotten better at them now, which is a good thing because this year's church quilt requires them! But working on the hand quilting was much less enjoyable because I kept seeing the mistakes in the quilt that I wouldn't make if I were piecing it now.

Lesson #2 - (This is the one I did not exactly learn from the quilt itself.) Quilting should be kind of evenly spaced and should fit the shape of the quilt. The borders and setting triangles of this quilt have elaborate curvy motifs which leave big gaps in the quilting between the motifs. Not the best look. Simple crosshatching might have been better used. 

(I guess maybe you can't really see them.)

Lesson #3 - Pay attention to details - all of them. This quilt was the first quilt I ever put on my "new" four rail frame. I probably hurried too much putting it on because there are places where the backing is a little wrinkly and the batting bunched up in a couple of places. Sigh. I know that I was very anxious to get started quilting, but I should have been more careful.

The other place I should have been more careful is in the marking of the motifs.

I hope you can see these. The two motifs are not at exactly the same angle. Although you can't see the border, there is no rhyme or reason to how these are arranged. "Somebody" should have really been more careful. Really.

I don't think hand quilting a queen-sized quilt will always take me four years. (After all, I took at least a year off and let every other project under the sun take precedence over this one.) However, the next quilt that goes on the hand quilting frame will be a bit smaller. Maybe that won't take me four years!

Quilt on!