Lots of pictures on this finish since I'm giving this away to the Colorado flood relief through the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum - and it's a really difficult quilt to let go of! :) Besides, it's starting to get so pretty outside with the fall colors coming on. . .
Pattern is "Rachel's Joy" from Plum Creek Quilts, renamed as "Piñata Pizzazz"
Border and most inner fabrics are Jinny Beyer. The back was pieced from left-over border portions and stash pieces. All fabrics are cotton, batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/poly in black.
Top thread throughout is Invisifil smoke, with a 50-wt Aurifil gray in the bobbin. Perfect combo - not a single thread break or tension problem.
Such a nice day, perfect amount of overcast to catch the quilt colors perfectly all around the house, on the hill, down the garden slope...
Loving the colors we're starting to get!
...And out front so the neighbors can come see what's going on. ;D
And the back is its own wonderful quilt! See for yourself:
I've never before quilted a bed-sized quilt in such a short period of time - 9 days from pin-basting to bound finish! But with this government attack on its own people and the stress of no pay coming in for an unknown length of time after 2 years of political stupidity and messing with Scot's active duty pay have already depleted our savings, I couldn't focus at all on reading or writing for my thesis. I literally used this quilt top that I'd pulled from my UFO list for disaster relief community sewing as a sanity escape and dropped all other responsibilities except caring for the teens.
I really love how the quilting turned out and how it shows on the back. I brought it back inside to see if any photos would let us see that.
I do all my quilting on my Viking Sapphire 875Q. Love that desk-top machine!
The name I gave this comes from the center area with the 4 radiating "arms" that kept leaping out at me when I had this laying out to contemplate how I wanted to quilt it. I tried to find motifs that would go with the theme of festivity with a slight Mexican flavor, and I wanted the piñata portion to have a little more puff than the "background" portions. My other consideration was to keep the quilting from getting too dense, as this will be a bed quilt and I wanted to keep a nice softness to it.
So the arms got a fairly sparse treatment, as you see above - I alternated coin lines (literally traced quarters) with "crows-feet" lines. I was a little stumped at the tips - my original idea of some line stuff didn't look good up there in execution - until I decided to throw in the somewhat stylized rose motif that is popular in Mexican quilting. When all was said and done, those turned out to work perfectly.
I'd wanted to try some Margaret-Gunn-style out-of-the-box quilting, but with all the strong geometry and color stripes in this quilt, I would have had to quilt much denser than I wanted to make the quilting shapes stand out enough. I did have fun emphasizing the border between the two "layers" of the background area. That worked out really well in this case.
The center was fun to do - I played around with several ideas - laid my acrylic boards over the quilt and messed around with dry-erase markers until I liked an idea. I made a 1/8 template out of that whitish plastic to trace in the very center. I threw some 5/8" lines in the intervening triangles, but when those were marked I didn't really like them. So I quilted 3/16" on either side of every other marked line to get these wider-spaced double lines, and I'm really happy with those. Much nicer than the original lines would have been.
I also made a plastic template for the triangles' basic outlines.
Oops - an uninvited guest came in with me! I don't want a box elder bug in the house!
uhh.... Not a problem anymore. Thanks, Clara!!
And, Koko - can I please get a clean shot?
The smoke Invisifil was a great choice for the entire top. It did show a little on the lightest values, but not intrusively.
The one thing I would have liked to be different is that it would have been stunning if I could have spent money on good, thick, metallic silver thread for all the quilting on the piñata's center and arms. Don't you think?!
I gave the two "layers" of background shapes different fill treatments. I wonder if I would have liked it better if I'd switched the hook-and-swirls with the meandering. . .
I also like how the border worked up. Soooooo easy for that quilting, particularly with "invisible" thread. Just blast your way down the element outlines!
I used the faux-piped binding method that I bookmarked years ago from TLC Stitching. It looks fabulous and made an advantage out of a lack when I didn't have *quite* enough of any one good fabric choice to do the whole binding. There's a lot going on in this quilt geometrically, so I didn't want a patchwork binding breaking the outer line. This was the perfect answer, and better than a plain binding, I think!
I did match the bobbin thread to the back fabric when I top-lined it down instead of using the same gray as the quilting. And for my own future reference: This binding was wider than I usually like to have. I had too much fullness at the edge. Attaching with a 3/8" seam instead of a 1/4" seam would probably be the perfect match for what I usually want to achieve. Either that, or cut each piece 1/4" thinner. I will definitely be using this binding approach often in the future! Thank you for sharing, Trisha!
So - there we have it! Piñata Pizzazz all quilted up in record time, just waiting for a label and delivery. I hope it helps a family feel better - it sure helped me get through the last two weeks of insanity!
Can I get a Whoop! Whoop!