Taming the Wild Quilt Edges

The weekend ahead will be busy, and my mind got an early start when I awakened at 2:30 a.m. and started working through all of it. After lying awake until 4:30, I decided to get up and do something productive. There will be time for a nap later.

This morning I'll head over to Working Hands Farm and pick up 40 lbs. of tomatoes. The weekend will be spent turning them into pasta sauce, salsa, and tomato jam. Just so you know what 40 lbs. of tomatoes looks like, here's a picture from last year's harvest. It's two grocery shopping bags full.

There are probably another 10 lbs. of ripe tomatoes on our own plants. Also, the plums are ripe, and so we'll be harvesting enough of those for a plum torte and a batch of plum chutney.

So, you can see there's lots to do in the kitchen. Also, the quilting is finished on the Baby Birds quilt. I don't know about you, but when a quilt is at that point, it's hard for me to relax until the binding is sewn on...at least by machine, if not by hand. Strangely, those raw quilt edges make it hard for me to rest easy.

Allow me show you the quilting. Wednesday, I was working on some feathered flowers. The patchwork areas that day were rather small, and Thursday's quilting taught me that this design is better worked in large areas. When I moved to the larger areas of the quilt, it felt so freeing! Here's how it looks now.

If you watched the video from yesterday's post, then you know she went on at some length about choosing the direction you wanted to travel and how to end up at the right place. My spatially- challenged mind was having the hardest time with that. I kept drawing the motif in the air with my finger again and again thinking about which direction I wanted to go and what that required of my stitching. Eventually, I figured out that the hook in the center needed to point in the direction I wanted to travel. Duh. This next image illustrates what I mean. I was at the edge of the quilt when I started the center hook, and so I wanted my "petals" to end up on the other side from there. Knowing that, I pointed the "hook" in that direction.

Once I had that figured out, I flew. It was perhaps the first time I've ever felt truly comfortable and "in the groove" so to speak so that the stitching flowed easily and I could relax into the motion of free motion quilting.

The last thing I needed to do was to outline the wing on the baby bird. This looks much better.

With that finished, I yanked the quilt out from under my needle and spread it out on the floor.

Here's how it looks from the back.

This quilt is for my cousin's newest granddaughter, expected to arrive in October. She might have to fight Sadie for this quilt.

You made this for me, right? I'm your baby, right? That baby will have to get her own.

So there I lay this morning, thinking about those raw quilt edges, and finally, I got up to sew on the binding. As you might expect, the furry nocturnals were there supporting me every step of the way.

As I got ready to cut the binding strips, I noticed this in the selvage edge.

So there you go...a little message from the quilting gods. A little over an hour later, those edges were tamed, and I could relax.

All that's left is the hand-stitching...and tomatoes...lots and lots of tomatoes.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

Wow, the quilting is wonderful! All of your practice is showing now - great job!
Looks like Sadie might put up a fight to keep this one! Nice of Smitty to hold those edges down for you too.
Have fun with all those Poisonous Wolf Peaches this weekend!

gpc said...

Outlining the bird wings really made them pop! I love that selvage message -- I wish my piles of UFOs were so smart. Good luck with all your kitchen work -- it will be so worth it this winter! Nothing is better than home canned tomato anything when the grocery stores are full of cardboard-tasting imposters. :)

Teresa in Music City said...

Don't you just love that zone when the FMQ just flows? You've done a fantastic job with this Barbara! Obviously, Sadie thinks so too :*). Good luck with all those tomatoes - I envision you brandishing that "S" on your t-shirt again this weekend!

CathieJ said...

We should have been communicating with each other as I was up and thinking at 4 this morning also after waking up at 3am. I may be napping soon also. At least you were productive. I just can't work in the middle of the night...or early morning. Good luck with the binding and tomatoes. Sweet dreams tonight.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Ha, love that salvedge edge - naps are good things. Lovely job on the quilting and lots of luck with all those tomatoes.

Frog Quilter said...

Lovely quilting. Who's the new kitten? So cute!

Debbie said...

Great job on the quilting.....glad you figured out a trick to point you in the right direction :)

Kate said...

The quilting looks fantastic. This is such a sweet baby quilt, it's sure to be well loved.

Auntiepatch said...

What is it with cats and quilts? Mine are the same way.

Brown Family said...

I love it when the cats 'help' me quilt. It is very hard to move a 10 pound cat!