Woohoo!!! You guys! My "Sew Spooky" is FINALLY a finished quilt hanging on the wall! It was my February OMG, and is my first full finish of the year, my first UFO completely shot down. (Flimsy finishes are like "sightings" in my mind, and I've had a great run of 4 or 5 so far this year, but full finishes are the best score, of course!)
This is 55.5 x 66.5 inches after quilting and a wash. It was a 58 x 70 inch flimsy, and has dense quilting throughout. I always prewash fabrics and presoak batting, so if you don't do that, expect a lot more shrinkage. Batting is a single layer of Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom. It is soooo soft after the washing, yet the quilting still has nice dimension and looks great hanging. Dozens of threads were used on this, including several colors each of Microquilter, SoFine, Glide 40 and 60 weights, Aurifil 50 weight, Bottom Line, and Sulky Holoshimmer. I used pre-wound SuperBobs in silver, black, and orange, whichever was closest to the color being done on top. Designed by Arlene Stamper and Melissa Harris.
Started as a BOM in October 2014, and sewn up relatively quickly, this was partially quilted on my domestic in 2016, but then set aside when I decided to get a longarm. I wanted to do a lot of fancy quilting on it, so it was shelved to await a time when I felt comfortable with the new set-up. And then it waited and waited.
In 2019 I squared up the backing's overflows and started working it on the longarm. I'm not sure why it got pulled off after only doing the top bat blocks. I do remember that I wasn't particularly happy with how my quilting design was turning out, and it was a time-consuming process that I was not about to pick out. It was something to do with wishing I'd used a slightly larger scale with the "wallpapering."
It got re-loaded in early September, but family deaths followed by getting a bad Covid case derailed all my quilting until mid-January. I did not have the heart to pull this off the frame yet again, so I called it my Pre#7 in terms of the APQ UFO Challenge that I settled into for 2021.
When I started back at my longarm on Jan 11, I could only do 15 minutes per day. This week I have been able to do three 90 minute sessions per day! So I'm slowly rebuilding stamina.
The first thing I tackled on this quilt was finishing up those bats. That took F O R E V E R, given my capabilities at the time. And once I finished, I was magically much, MUCH happier with the effect of the scale. I actually love them now!
Not knowing how-the-heck to quilt anything else, I had to jump mental hurdles for every element as I moved along. The candy corns were simple, as I wanted them to have good dimension, so they just kept the ditchwork and single line across the middle of the sections. For their background, I went with a curly-cue feather approach that was inspired by the print on their background fabric.
Next I tackled that bright orange sashing. I thought with the candy corn being a thing, this provided a good place for me to practice ribbon candy, which I'd never done before. I wanted to learn the double style, and my conclusion was that single-style is far more pretty in a 1-inch sashing. The double is pretty in wider sashing. In the end, though, the flatness of the double on this scale works better for this densely quilted quilt than the single would have.
See how the single style leaves more dimension play, and is cleaner and prettier in the small space? -
After the sashing, I turned to the blocks and did the work on the buildings. The witch house in the center was the most fun, as it kinda has a witch's dress feel to it. So I accented the buckle idea on the upper floor and gave the main floors a Bo-Peep style skirt ruffles effect.
I always kept in mind that I wanted my buildings to have more dimension than the background quilting, so everything was quilted more open on them. When I hit the background quilting, I used McTavishing as my main fill, but incorporated feathers, flowers, tree leaves, lamp glowings, and "magic spinners" here and there in the blocks.
Paths got dimensional lines, but the grass eluded me forever about how to handle. I finally tried out a half-inch on-point grid for CC's, and those worked out perfectly for lawn areas.
The black web border had been done on my domestic years ago, with a simple webbing-style FMQ pattern.
Which left only those star corners. Some ditch work around the circles and stars, outline the owls, and then I tried out that Sulky Holoshimmer thread on my longarm for some shooting star lines and "magic" squiggles. Wasn't sure how that was going to behave!
After a few minutes of fiddling with tension, though, it worked just fine. I used the lateral spool feeder on top of my machine, skipping the entire back half of the tensioning path and lowering the number of threading hole in the front half's bars. I did use a slick Glide bobbin with it instead of the matte SuperBobs. I only had like 1 break in the thread, so I was happy. I even went back and put silver highlighting on the belt of the central block, the cloud outlines on the witch block, and the detailing on the Ghoul School's doors, and then pulled out some glittery variegated thread to try for some more "magic" swirls in the Jack-O'-Lantern house's doorway and a window. Worked great. I'll be playing more with those specialty threads in future!
None of the metallics show up at all in the photos. In real life they glisten so prettily. Gold around the ghosts to help their glittery white fabric stand out a little more from the background fabric, as well as around the little moon and witch's broom straw, and the star on the crow's pumpkin. Silver holoshimmer thread and glittery variegated was used as described above in the quilting.
This quilt has fun embellishments here and there - novelty buttons mainly, with some embroidered eyes for crows, spiders, and cat.
It even has its own free-floating mini quilt that's hand quilted! With a "friend" underneath!
And even though I knew from the beginning this would primarily be a wall quilt, I gave it a fun Halloween print for its backing.
. . . Along with an appliqued bat for its label. :)
For a quilt that used up so much mental energy to figure out how to approach it for the quilting, it sure did turn out magnificently.
Linking up with:
February OMG finish party
Tish's UFO Busting party