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Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Beginnings Final Edition

My New Beginnings Mini Quilt Swap project is finally finished and on its way. I am very happy with the way this quilt turned out. I am calling it Picket Fence. For some reason it just feels like I am looking through a picket fence to see the pretty flowers on the other side. The New Beginnings part of it is the little tree that is blooming where it is planted right in the fence row.

I really struggled with this quilt because I knew what I was going to make from the day I saw the announcement for the swap. You may recall seeing New Beginnings v.1. It is bright and green and orange and blue. I made the first prototype just to see how it would all work together. I really liked it and was ready to make one the right size for this swap. But then when I received the information about my partner I realized that the colors would NOT work. There was very little information available about my partner. In fact the only information I had was that she liked red, gold and black. I spent weeks playing with fabric and every time I knew what to do, it wasn't red, gold or black. Finally, I remembered some scraps I had from my ME quilt. I was able to pull the ones that were mostly red, gold and black.

I put together a simple stacked coins pattern using a slightly off-white kona. (The ME fabrics are a Mary Engelbreit design for Moda from a number of years ago.) I liked it, but I was still stuck on putting my sprouting tree on it. That lead to a long discussion with my mother and then a series of on-line posts and requests. The consensus was Tree!

Better yet, the lovely Buttoncounter on Flickr suggested quilting in black thread and adding leaves. That suggestion resonated and I finally could see my through to the end of the quilt.

This is a bit of a close up of the tree. I did it using the fused, raw-edge applique method. I stitched around it with a machine blanket stitch to make sure it was secure. Then I used a double strand of black quilters cotton to quilt around the tree.

Next came the leaves. They were a simple heart shape, again quilted in black cotton.

This picture shows the hand quilting. I came back in with the machine and stitched the straight lines for the picket fence with a white thread.

Here you can see the whole back of the quilt. I had to finish the machine stitching in a hurry since I was going to be leaving town for a few days and wouldn't have time to get it in the mail if I waited. It wasn't until I was taking the final pictures that I realized the last two lines I stitched were off and make the first perfectly square quilt I ever made look crooked. Sob! Oh well, It is just the pickets the dog uses to get in and out of the yard, right???

So Ta Da! My wee quilt is on its way to its new home. I surely do hope its new owner loves it. This one was very hard to part with.

Some final details. The quilt measures approximately 18 x 22 inches. It is made with a Mary Engelbriet design for Moda. The background and backing are Kona. The applique tree is a piece of black cotton from my stash. Quilting is a combination of hand and machine work. The binding is a black and white woven cotton check. It is hand stitched on the back.

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  1. Love this little quilt. I'm sure the new owner will too. I like the way you combined machine and hand quilting and the use of an accent thread around the tree. The colors just "pop", very creative.

  2. That is a super cute mini quilt. I love the way you quilted black around the tree and the heart leaves are just wonderful!!

  3. I like it! She gonna love it. Congrats

  4. Looks beautiful, what a awesome tree! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love everything about this especially the dogs entrance ;)!

  6. Awww! I can't believe you are giving me credit for helping you on the leaves suggestion. This was all you. It looks way better than imagined! Tenacity is the key to all success. :)

    1. You really do deserve credit for your idea. I might have quilted leaves, but I would not have used black thread. Your suggestion gave me the push I needed to
      'git er done'! Thanks.

      By the way, I LOVE your blog. Wanted to comment on every post, but tried to restrain myself.

  7. Saw your quilt over at Michelle's - and had to come and tell you that I think it is fabulous! I love it...

    1. Thank you so much Sara. That is very sweet of you to come all the way over here to say so.