Friday, May 5, 2017

Waterloo on a galloping horse


Veggie Mountain is finished. This twin sized quilt, about 66" x 88", is the biggest single quilt I've ever made.* It will be a long time before I tackle another one as large, as this one proved to be my Waterloo. I know there are people who can push much larger quilts through their domestic sewing machines, but the weight and bulk of this one really tired me out!

*I did make a queen size for our own bed, but it was four separate quilt as you go pieces, each section about the size of a lap quilt. Much more manageable.


Just finding a place on the boat to take a photo was a challenge. Our ceilings are only about 80" tall and the quilt dragged on the floor. It's been very, very windy this week in Galveston, TX, so outside shots were tricky. This one was taken at the Moody Gardens Hotel's dock, which was spectacularly coated with bird poop. In addition to worrying about the quilt blowing away into the water, I worried about it falling in the guano!

The pattern for this quilt is Majestic Mountains, or Scrappy Mountains Majesty. I used twenty fat quarters of vegetable themed fabrics and a bright green background yardage. The charity requested quilts of at least twin size, so to fatten it up, I added a thin orange inner border and a wide, dark green tonal outer border. The binding is another, slightly different bright green with tiny hearts.


The background fabric is a cream and yellow rooster print, which is thicker than regular quilting cotton and made the quilt heavier. It has a nice heft to it, but boy was it a struggle to quilt! However, I had enough of the chickens to cover the entire back with just a single seam. And I think chickens and veggies go nicely together.


I had grand visions of elaborate free motion quilting in the background "mountains," but in the end I did simple straight lines with my walking foot. As I was quilting, it seemed like there were a lot of puckers, and several lines needed to be ripped out. Quite a few cranky words were spoken. Not all of my times in the sewing studio were joyful.


That wide green border also seemed sort of plain and boring with just straight lines that intersected in the corners. I decided to stitch a message in a contrasting thread color. Since this quilt is destined for a refugee family via one of the Hands2Help charities, "Welcome" was the message I wanted to send. Actually, I wanted to say, "Welcome to America! We're so glad you are here. May your family find peace, joy, and prosperity in the land of the free." However, my handwriting is not up to the task. It's a little known fact about me that I never learned how to do cursive writing. My family moved between my second and third grade school years, and I somehow managed to be in the wrong state each year and missed cursive lessons altogether. I can struggle through a word or two, but that's it.



Oh well, "Welcome" is a good word. It gets the message across. And both my handwriting and my slightly puckered quilting look fine from a galloping horse. In fact, after a good wash and dry and crinkle, I'm pretty happy with it. And the most important thing is that this bright quilt with a universal theme of fresh vegetables will comfort a family who may have arrived in the United States with very little. 

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, because I'm pleased to be finished!

20 comments:

  1. Oh, this quilt looks more than fine! And it looks spectacular on the boat. (I'm glad it didn't blow away.) I like your simple, one-word message. Interesting about your having missed cursive instruction. You are actually quite modern in that. Schools seem to spend little time on it these days. Yours looks delightful, though. Congrats on making it through a big quilt! Veggies seem just perfect and are sure to bring smiles to a family.

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  2. lovely quilt and I think the straight line quilting looks fine. I love how yu are able to display your quilts on the boat

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  3. Beautiful! I have made that pattern veggie Ave really liked it. Isn't Moody garden lovely? I guess Schlitterbahn Galveston may not be open for summer yet... Fun place.

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  4. What a lovely quilt with a lovely message.... it is hard working a big quilt on a domestic machine.... i used to need remedial massage after doing it!! The quilt is lovely and no one will notice a few puckers... and if they do they will know it's been puckered with love
    Hugz

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  5. Galveston! Wish I was still in Texas! I'd take a road trip and meet you! Maybe one day! This quilt is just perfect! It's a lovely gesture and a lot of hard work went into it. I've thought to do the same thing for making a bigger quilt! What pattern did you use to put four together? I can't decide. Enjoy Tx! XO

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  6. A beautiful quilt for a wonderful cause. I actually think the straight line quilting was what it needed. Glad you were able to hang in there and get it done.

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  7. It looks beautiful and will be such a wonderful welcome to someone.

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  8. Wow! I can hardly imagine how one with quilt on a boat but you're obviously a pro at it! Your quilt is great fun. I'm planning on making a quilt for the same organization and the size is getting to me. (Cutting 400+ squares is a never ending task!) I laughed at your confession about not learning cursive correctly because of moving. That's my excuse for being math challenged and phobic.

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  9. I think it looks great, well done for your quilting. I'm also a domestic quilter and agree at times straight and a walking foot does the job. Lovely colours and pattern and the recipients will be delighted.

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  10. I feel your pain in trying to quilt a large quilt. Ugh. It turned out great in spite of the difficulties! I can just imagine your heart beating just a little bit harder until you got the picture taken and the quilt back to safety!

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  11. Wonderful quilt. Big quilts in small spaces is really a challenge. Love the straight line quilting on this quilt. I just basted my version and started hand quilting it with Baptist Fan last night. Thankfully our campground had tables where I could get the basting done.

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  12. What a wonderful quilt and sentiment to welcome a newcomer with.

    I had the opposite experience as you; I also moved between grade 2 & 3 and was forced to take cursive writing in both grades.

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  13. The Majestic Mountains design is always a winner but you've come up with such a good idea using vegetable fabrics! I'm another quilter who struggles getting the quilting done on my domestic, I decided smaller quilts from now on. Whoever is the lucky recipient of this quilt will be so very happy snuggling down!

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  14. Beautiful quilt. Yes, pushing a large quilt through a domestic sewing machine is very difficult.

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  15. What a wonderful quilt! I love everything, from the fabric prints to the message of welcome stitched into the border. If you'd motored up here to Puget Sound I'd have had my son do the quilting for you! (I rely on laundering to compensate for any minor unhappiness in my quilts. Seems to work pretty effectively!)

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  16. I think your quilt is marvelous! I also love the look of straight line quilting and do a lot of it with my domestic machine.

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  17. Louise this is a spectacular quilt photographed in a spectacular setting! I love how bright it is as well as its bright message and bright thoughts behind it. I too like quilting in thirds, the way you described doing your queen sized quilt in quarters. I love your sense of humour, "from a galloping horse" and "spectacularly coated with bird poop." Lol

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  18. Louise, what a great project. I think "welcome" more than suffices...it says more than just a word's worth of sentiment. Oh, the horrible visual I had, imagining your quilt blowing into the water (bird poop would be terrible, but at least retrievable and washable)!

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  19. welcome is perfect for this, it will make a family very happy. You know print writing is probable easier to read so maybe your teachers did you a favour . And I clicked on your ocean blog and read it too, cant imagine having to reverse a yacht.

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  20. It is lovely Louise and the setting is fantastic. You are so generous.

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