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Work in Progress Wednesday: Last Snowflake (Quilt) of Winter

Work in Progress Wednesday: Last Snowflake (Quilt) of Winter post image

After getting a [amazon_link id=”B000UUBCNO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Roomba vacuum cleaner[/amazon_link] for my birthday and experiencing how wonderful it is to have a really clean floor in the rest of my house without lifting a finger myself, I’m making an all-out push to finish enough quilts that I can get my boxes of fabric, scraps, and unfinished projects off the floor of my sewing room and send in the robot to vacuum the whole place.

Today’s Work in Progress is part of that push.

I bought this snowflake-themed rail fence quilt top several years ago on Ebay. When it arrived, the top measured 36″ x 42″—not quite big enough to fit my idea of a really cozy lap quilt. Also, it looked a little… blue.

Adding a border was an obvious way to enlarge the quilt, but none of the fabrics in my stash struck me as just the right color. (Isn’t that always the way? Of all the hundreds of different fabrics in your stash, not one of them is ever quite right for the project you want to finish.)

I considered adding blue borders. White borders. Blue-and-white piano key borders. A dark blue inner border with a white outer border. A white inner border with a darker blue outer border.

Finally, I decided to make this quilt into a rag quilt, backed with white polyester fleece, and blue borders. The ragged seam between the center section and the outer border would look like a white inner border.

As of today, I have finished quilted the inner section. I’m now working on quilting the borders.

I’m always looking for new ways to experiment with free-motion quilting, so this time I decided to quilt the borders with free-motion snowflakes.  I looked at a bunch of snowflake photos on the Internet, then sat down to stitch. (Interesting side note: all snowflakes are six-sided.  Some of mine ended up with an odd number of sides, but who’s counting?)

First, I spray basted my border to the fleece backing fabric. Then I used a marking pencil to draw circles around the bottom of a coffee cup to mark where I would quilt the snowflakes. This also gave me an approximate size to aim for. 

Like real snowflakes, every one of mine was a little different from the others. And none of them is perfect! I’m still only a beginning machine quilter, even after years of practice.

The snowflakes in the photo below were the wonkiest of them all, but I’d have to admit they were all pretty wonky. And I like them that way!

After I finished the snowflakes, I thought they looked a little lonesome, so I added some swirling wind. Unlike the snowflakes, I straight stitched the wind with the feed dogs up.

One border down, three to go.

Unfortunately, my workhorse Brother 1500S, which I was using to stitch this quilt, has started making a weird rubbery grinding noise with every stitch, so it had to go to the shop for surgery. I probably won’t finish this until I get it back two or three weeks from now.


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