It's a little hard for me to believe, but this is my first finished quilt of the year! It's already March. I guess no longer participating in the mini-quilt swaps has really dropped my number. Anyway, this is a baby quilt for my friend Hallie (though, really, for her little guy, who is nearly 5 weeks old already!) I will have to do a separate post on the evolution of the design, which went through a lot of revisions, but here's the final result. I really like it (it's my new blog banner).
And here's the back! I had intended on this pieced strip of birds being more off-center than it ended up, but I think it looks okay. I could've added more of the teal to the sides of the strip, but this baby came early and I wanted to finish.
This was my first time quilting on Gloria. I must say, the straight-line quilting looks awesome, and I didn't spring for the walking foot! I quilted in diagonal lines but didn't go corner-to-corner; it's all offset, and the teal and orange threads are at varying widths apart. I stitched at various speeds, sometimes going from slow to fast really quickly (I have a bit of a lead foot, it seems) and see absolutely no difference in stitch length, consistency, or tension. And it's good to note that I didn't have to adjust the tension at all for the quilting to be perfect. WIN!
To create some interest in the solid borders, I decided to do some free-motion curlicue quilting--with orange thread in the outer border and teal thread in the inner (so that one was more tone-on-tone). Unfortunately, I had a lot of problems. No win here. BUT it's not all bad. My main issue was with thread breaking. I was using an Aurifill thread (orange) and Mettler thread (teal), so there was no issue with quality, and each thread handled the straight quilting fine. The interesting thing is that my thread consistently broke at the needle (no snagging in tension discs that I could tell) and at the same part of my loops, so I really think it's operator error and not Gloria's fault. Of course, the problem never translated to my smaller practice quilt sandwich, which led me to believe that not having an extension table to distribute the quilt's weight probably resulted in pulling on the needle, which repeatedly snapped my thread. So, now I have a table on the way to me. I hate to spend even MORE $$ on this machine, but it needed to be done.
Instead of wrapping the quilt, I quick whipped up this little bag with the scraps I had. The birds on the front are a pocket, and it's fully lined with the teal solid. The strap is all on the back and has a velcro closure. My idea was that the bag can be reused in the car--hung behind one of the head rests--to hold trash, toys, whatever. I'm pretty pleased with how well this turned out and how quickly it came together.
Congrats, Hal! Glad you like it!