14 November 2014

Baby, it's the Guitar Man

Yipes!  Stripes!

Back in August, I broke my own promise and started another quilt before finishing existing WIPs(works in progress) because I felt I deserved a pleasant break after retouching hundreds of wedding photos non-stop. I cut up a selection of jelly roll strips from gradient handpaints I'd bought at the Denver National Quilt Festival nearly two years ago and whipped them into what I thought would be a new quilt top instead of finishing my existing quilts first.

Not one drop of remorse or regret! Not a single one! I loved this new top, and I couldn't wait to play with it. I had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head... vertical lines hand-stitched with perle cotton in rainbow gradient shades. I had at least six more ideas brewing like hot chocolate for how to make even more rainbow stripe projects with these delicious handpaints. (I can remember only three of those ideas now, darn it.) Oh, I couldn't wait to get started.

Yet this top was a promise to myself broken; I promised myself again I would not cut into the gradients until I'd finished at least three more quilts. However, this quilt top was now a UFO, an unfinished object, and perhaps I could use the tasty handpaints again to finish the other side. Oh, how tempting!!!

Then we learned my husband's only nephew is getting married. A quilt was in order, and it would need to be finished quickly. It would need to be squeezed in between a very heavy fourth quarter work schedule and all the volunteer projects that pop up this time of year. I kept thinking Broken Promises would be a wonderful wedding quilt if I changed the name because rainbows are a symbol of a promise from God, and a wedding features a bunch of really special promises.

Then an idea popped into my head!

My nephew teaches guitar. Those Promise stripes would be awesome guitar necks!!!

So I made a new quilt front entirely from stash, but not the gradients. I thought it would be neat for this quilt to be fully reversible, spring and summer brightness on the back, and muted autumn and winter hues on the front. Musical on both sides.

Plain Jane Muted Rainbow Front

I cut a guitar from the white leftovers from Broken Promises. Oops, I really have to stop calling it that!!!

I cut a second guitar so I could double the white fabric and keep a white tone for the guitar on the new quilt front. The stripes didn't show through two layers of the white as well as they did through just one.

I planned to applique the white guitar and stitch two more ghostie guitars, just outlines, white on the front and colors to match the stripes on the back, but I needed the neck of the white guitar to perfectly match the alignment of a stripe on the back. I put the layers together with the help of The Lizard, then taped them to my bedroom window so the stripes on the back would show through all three layers clearly. I lined up and secured the white guitar, then put the quilt on my bed with cardboard and my cutting board beneath to stabilize the surface for drawing two more guitars on the back with a water-soluble quilt marker.

I began quilting straight lines from the center, working my way out, until I reached the guitar outlines, then free-motion quilted and appliqued the guitar outlines. I would have liked to quilt strings of connected musical notes in the white stripes, but there just wasn't time.

I didn't plan to fully machine bind another quilt because I didn't really enjoy the process and didn't feel it saved that much time when I used that technique for my last lap quilt, Tickled Pink, but I was running out of time.

I tried the water-soluble glue-basting method this time, and that went much faster (and was far more pleasurable) than pinning the binding before sewing. I think the binding turned out even better than Tickled Pink. I used more of the Gradient Promises (how's that for changing the name and removing the unsuitable adjective???) white leftovers for the binding and again doubled the white layer to maintain the white tone when layered over the stripes in the quilt.

I finished the quilt Wednesday night, and the wedding is tomorrow! Another WIP bites the dust! Oh, maybe that doesn't fit too well for a wedding either...

Umm, I couldn't resist: Another WIP hitched!

Baby, it's the Guitar Man
Before Washing

Guitar Man
After Washing

Guitar Man
Before Washing

Guitar Man
After Washing

This was the first time I got to wash a gift quilt before giving it away. So this is the first time, except for Dancing Lizards on our bed, I've seen one of my quilts washed. I really had no choice with this one, either. The blue water-soluble ink kept showing back up as the water-dabbed marks dried. I assume the color molecules were getting trapped in the cotton batting. Thankfully, washing took care of all spots.

And now I know the quilt can withstand the cleaning process. It will stand the test of time. Now that's a perfect idiom for a wedding!

guitar top

guitar bottom

top ghostie

all lined up

green guitar

Ghostie Guitar

ready to give

The Perfect Gift

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. first of all, kudos for following the muse and not waiting to make something! Yea! It came out so cool. Love the colors and the white guitar becomes very special with it's thread work. LeeAnna

    1. Thank you, LeeAnna! My nephew and his new bride LOVED it!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, SewFrench! It was a thrill to finish!

  3. Awesome job indeed, have to go where your muse leads, even if you break a promise or three to yourself along the way.

    1. Thanks, Pat! No more broken promises for a while, but this one sure paid off!

  4. Wow, it looks FANTASTIC! Really great work and the quilting is perfect. Congratulations to the happy couple, and may all their gifts be this nice!

    Washing a quilt gives it so much more character. :)

    1. Thanks, Sue! And now I finally know the washing secret first hand instead of just reading about it on other blogs!


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