08 December 2016

Quilts for Lyra and Kaela

Back when I finished Lyra's quilt top, Heartless was my favorite top ever so far. I had never pieced so many little triangles in borders before, I LOVE flying geese, the border design was one of the most unique I'd ever come up with, and this was my first mostly white quilt top. I'd been scared to death to make a mostly white quilt, particularly with lots of piecing, because I worried the seams would show through.

With white batting and a black backing (the last of the sheet I cut up to back Noah's quilt and Lexi's quilt), Heartless, which started with one of my very own Spoonflower designs, looks just perfect to me!

I had planned to be far more fancy with the quilting, but I was on a tight deadline to finish seven quilts for cousins by Thanksgiving (which I didn't achieve), so simple crosshatch and echo quilting would have to do.

I did, however, have fun quilting white on white on Black Friday, since I made a resolution two years ago to celebrate White Friday instead of Black Friday from now on because I abhor the commercialism of the season. We didn't get any snow for Thanksgiving this year (and haven't had much since, either), so I had to make my own White Friday.

Another fun thing about quilting during my days off during Thanksgiving was being able to take pictures of finished quilts in daylight instead of with the flash at night! This time of year, it's dark when I leave for work in the morning, and it's dark when I get home. So it's darker than dark when I finish a quilt at night after work.

I have two more unused just slightly different Spoonflower panels incorporating nearly this same design, and right now, I'm leaning toward making fancy borders like this on at least one of them, then taking the time to quilt it more attractively. That likely won't happen until some time next year, though. Not because I don't love the design!

I deliberately saved Kaela's quilt for last so I could do some fancier quilting. Almost all the other quilts I finished for Christmas this year were stitch-in-the-ditch or outline quilting. Since beginning Hearts of Gold back in June, I'd wanted to practice my free-motion quilting on this quilt.

I wanted to symbolize all the emotions and healing that went into making this top with quilted hearts, swirly hearts and bulging hearts all over. Unfortunately, I was still on a deadline, even though I missed my original deadline, and I got discouraged after the first couple of hearts because they didn't turn out that well. This is the first free-motion quilting I've done in several months, so I was pretty rusty once again. I even forgot to change one of the machine settings before I got going on the first heart.

Nevertheless, I kept going, outlining each heart one at a time, trying to make each one better than the last. After about eight hearts, I was getting a little more comfortable with moving the layers through the machine without pulling and distorting the fabric. The lines started looking more confident, too.

I used the remaining blue from a sheet I cut up to back another quilt that feels like a lifetime ago, and the binding is the remainder of the shimmery gold Artisan Spirit I used for the hearts and am SO glad I didn't use to add applique hearts to Lyra's quilt also. Because then I wouldn't have had enough for the binding on this one!

It feels SO good to be done with this year's Christmas quilts! I still have a niece whose quilt hasn't been sent yet because her younger (but grown) brother needs a quilt, too, and I haven't even started his. A new nephew is coming in January, and I plan to make another quilt for him (but not from a WIP because I don't have any suitable for boys). Lurking in my hopes and dreams in the deepest recesses of my heart are Christmas quilts for four adoptive granddaughters and four adoptive grandsons I might be able to begin establishing relationships with if my adopted kids are able to finally connect the dots. I also have panels I bought to make lap quilts for both my mom and my dad ages ago but have never started, and there's that quilt for my sister-in-law I've been wanting to finish for Christmas or her birthday every year for going on about five or six years now. So plenty of gift quilts remain on my horizon.

But for right now, this very moment... I get to work on something for me!!!

After I finish admiring Kaela's quilt, that is...

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


  1. All ready to go. I never thought about having to take them in the darkness of night. Just another perk about being off the 9-5 as it is light.

    1. Yes, it was a thrill to be able to shoot these in daylight, Pat. They go to their recipients not this weekend but next!


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