Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pop Mod Delivered.

Duck Duck Berry Duck was gifted on Wednesday.  It's so much fun to present a finished project to someone...especially when it is a surprise!
My sister loved her new quilt top.  She's going to have it quilted in Eugene, OR, where she lives.

Here it is!  My wife and I are doing our best to unfurl it, but the ceilings in my parents' home aren't high enough to open it up completely.  Hopefully my sister will do a photo shoot when it has been quilted.  You can also see some of the left over wrapping paper and boxes from Christmas morning.  With 10 grandkids in town, it was quite a zoo all week, but the "animals" has so much fun together!  Hope your Christmas was merry and bright (and white, as was ours in Minneapolis).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Home For the Finish!

I had a wonderful time in Lynchburg, both singing and sewing!  Although I wasn't sewing with my Singer, I got a lot done on my Christmas gift quilt, which I am calling Duck Duck Berry Duck (explanation will follow).

The two big challenges for me on this piece were the curves and the sheer size of the quilt (it is a king size quilt measuring 103" x 109").  As for the curves, I have to say it was a challenge, but a fun one.  I don't repeat quilt patterns yet, as I have so many to try for the first time, and this variation on the drunkard path was a perfect choice.

A crummy picture, I'll admit, but without my Nikon on the road, the camera phone was pushed to its limits!  The pattern is Pop Mod, and it didn't have a King sized pattern, so I improvised, adding extra squares all the way around the Queen version.  This quilt was so big that I couldn't lay out all the squares on my living room floor as I usually do to finalize configuration.  I had to build it in two halves, then join them at the very end.

...I know, another crummy picture.  This time I was at home and just too lazy to get out the Nikon.  Though you can't get much of a feel for the scale, the "O" block is 17.5" square, so the quilt is almost 9ft across.  This is the top half being put together before joining the blocks.

Last cell phone pic...  This is the bottom half all pieced together.  I am really getting jazzed now!  The bottom half went a bit faster, as it was a few blocks shorter.  When I finally finished it I wanted to crack open a bottle of Champagne or something!

Ah, finally the DSLR...sorry to make you suffer in those last few photos :)  As you can see, I can't even get it all in this wide-angle lens shot, and it creeps up to the couch because my floor can't contain it!  So pleased with the results, though. You might notice that this is just a top, and not a finished quilt.  My only regret is that I just can't quilt this thing on my little home machine.  My sister lives in Oregon, where there are plenty of great long arm quilters, so I'm sure that will be in good hands.  It will be weird to "collaborate" on this quilt, and not bind it myself or see the finished product, but that's just how it's gonna have to go this time around.  The flip side of that is my sis can pick her own quilting pattern!

At the suggestion of a super knowledgeable and helpful friend of a friend quilter (Eastern PA quilter Sharon Rehrig), I learned that I should stabilize the edges of the quilt by stay stitching around the border.

This simple step of stitching very close to the edge (1/8-1/16th of an inch) will help protect it while it gets groped between now and the long arm quilter.  That was a big concern of mine, but no longer :)

One thing that really excited me with this project was that, while I was so worried about getting my curves right, I seemed to have mastered the art of squaring up my corners!  For me, ironing seams closed and very precise pinning does the trick.  Of course, the curves are a work in progress, but those imperfections didn't bother me much.  This is a design I could see myself doing again, so the experience gained from this giant will help next time.

So, my favorite part about the quilt is how personal the design is to the recipient!  When I saw the Pop Mod design, I knew it was for Sheree.  She lives in Eugene, Oregon and is a huge Ducks fan.  School colors are Green and Yellow, and the Pop Mod block looks eerily similar to the Oregon Duck logo.

 Probably would have looked more like it if I had used solids, but I like my version because it's more of a quilt with subtle suggestions of the logo, not a blatant hijacking of copyrighted material :)
So I clearly used Duck colors and logo for inspiration, but decided to add the row of berry flavor to break up the color scheme.  Green and yellow aren't the splashiest of color combos, so the pinks/purples/berries help ad that "pop" of color in this Pop Mod!

I might add a better pic of Duck Duck Berry Duck when we get to Minnesota and I have some help holding it up in a bigger space.  Oh, and the name...  As you may or may not know, Minnesota has an unusual name for a child's game called "Duck Duck Goose".  When we Minnesotans leave the sacred borders of this frozen tundra, we eventually learn that our beloved game of "Duck Duck Grey Duck" only exists in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  Everyone else calls it "Duck Duck Goose".  So, the name reflects my sister's roots as a Minnesotan.  In addition, each line of "O"s in the quilt also represents the University of Oregon Ducks, but of course the pattern is broken by that berry chain of "O"s, therefore Duck Duck Berry Duck.