Well Madrona Corners is finally complete as far as the long arm quilting is concerned.  It took a total of about 12 hours to do all the quilting on it, due to the size, and the complexity of the design (I don’t like to make things easy on myself you know ;o) ) and I learned a number of valuable lessons along the way:

  • For instance, did you know that should you end up with ‘fullness’ on your top (ie, you apparently can’t measure the things you’re putting together and/or sew in a straight line, leaving surplus fabric in one direction) that you can fix this with darts here and there?  Bet you only ever thought you’d do those on a full bust adjustment ;o)  Because my 90” top was effectively only 4 blocks, my propensity for fullness was quite great, although only one quarter had a really noticeable problem as we were smoothing it out to start off with, and I was able to fix as I went thanks to Carole’s advice!
  • I also learned that white thread on white fabric can strain your eyes a bit, and moving your head to check what’s happening where you’re sewing can leave you looking like a turtle, with a corresponding sore neck afterwards! 
  • I opted to stand and quilt, although it is possible to sit and use the machine.  I suspect that for finer designs in smaller areas that sitting might be a better idea, but as I was moving about quite a bit, I thought the chair would get in the way for me.  This did mean that after 8 hours on my feet on Saturday, they were a bit sore!
  • Sometimes the tension clamps bite.  Resist the urge to bite them back or hurl them across the room ;o)
  • The further down the quilt you go, the more you will need to raise the rolled on completed section so that the weight doesn’t press down on the machine making it ‘sticky’
  • Sometimes thread gets caught in the flywheels underneath that can make the machine a bit jerky in places, this is why you are asked to trim all your threads (although the loose thread caught under when I was using it had come from elsewhere, as I wasn’t using black)

I spent Sunday and last night squaring up (BTW, if you make ridiculously large quilt, and only have a small floor space to work on, you may be crawling around on the floor for a ridiculously long time with lots of pens and rulers…) then getting it bound and all the ends buried and guide marks removed.  I also did a very small amount of hand quilting on the two panels, just to hold them in place a little better.  I still don’t have a full photo of it, and I’m afraid I had to send it off to the competition today, so won’t be able to get any til the actual show at the end of the month – BTW, if you’re going to the British Quilt & Stitch Village in Utoxeter on the Sunday, let me know and we can meet up :o)  Otherwise if you’re there on other days I’ll be the one with the quilt in Madrona Road that stands out like a sore thumb from the rest of the exhibits ;o)

The entire quilt is rather like a giant converging corners block where it meets in the middle rather than the log cabins on opposing corners (if that makes any sense!)  On my log cabin sections, I did a geometric meandering design in 2 different colours – on the top section on the blue colour way I used a mustard yellow (King Tut’s Sheaves) which matched the yellow in the fabric; on the lower section on the pink colour way I used a variegated thread called Chariots Of Fire (also King Tut’s) which is a pinky red/orange/yellow mixture.  In the white sections I did the cobbles in King Tut’s White Linen.  Finally, for the hand quilting I used #8 perle cotton in black to highlight some of the flowers on the trees in the panels, which I had fussy cut from the print with the tree, barn, house, truck, mail box and donkey (I love the donkey!)

Here’s a few previews that I could get before I sent it (I will sooo not be winning prizes for my quilting!):

It’s ‘organic’ geometric ;o)

This was the best I could get of the texture for now

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