Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Large Category: Typewriter Swoon Quilt

 This quilt came together came together like a whirlwind at the most recent Front Range Modern Quilt Guild retreat.  The idea to use a unique combination of Melody Miller typewriters and other designer favorites was inspired by Nicole's amazing hexie cushion for the 2014 Sewvivor competition.  I've also been intending to make a swoon quilt for ages and loved being able to alter the pattern to accommodate large scale prints and eliminate several tedious half square triangle units.

I used stash fabrics to create this 90 x 108 quilt, buying a small amount more for prints that I only had a fat quarter of.  I am particularly happy with my choice of black scrappy sashing and borders- it's a lot of fun in my opinion.

This quilt almost went into the proverbial "will be quilted someday" pile because of my confusion on how to quilt it.  I had many friends encouraging me to splurge on custom long arm quilting, but when I looked into that option, I learned it would probably cost me at least $500.  I also worried that an all over design might not do the design justice.  But then I came across this post by Angela Walters, and her statement won me over, "The one thing that I love about  [the Swoon]  quilt pattern is the large scale of the blocks. The fact that the blocks are so large means that an allover design won’t take away from their beauty!"  

I also felt that my choice to use only prints in the quilt really would minimize the "wow factor" custom quilting generates when it's executed on solid fabrics.

After finally mentally resolving my dilemma, I went to Jukebox Quilts in Ft. Collins and rented time on a Gammill Statler Stitcher.  I was disappointed in the geometric/modern quilt designs available to me, but eventually settled on the "Scratch Modern" pattern.

I was about 35 weeks pregnant and it was a very long day getting this quilted.  When I was done and back at my sister's, I laid down for three hours.  I was exhausted!

I backed this quilt in a large cut of Hope Valley from my stash as well as some random stash (black) prints that I didn't think I would miss for other projects.  I really had wanted to go with something much more fun, but decided to use the money for quilting and not buy more fabric!  I bound the quilt in Joel Dewberry's True Colors woodgrain teal fabric.

I hope focusing on my thought process in choosing a quilt design is helpful.  I think it's easy to get excited about all of the amazing custom quilting that so many talented artists provide.  But if it's not in the budget or if our fabric choices are really busy, an all-over design is perfectly acceptable.  I once heard a traditional quilt store owner explain that new quilters really get sucked into modern quilts and the amazing quilting featured in patterns and books- but the "$5,000 quilting" is truly what makes the quilt and may not be achievable for beginners or within their budget to have someone else do it for them.  As I worked this all out for myself, I ultimately had to take another piece of advice I've heard from Angela Walters, "A finished quilt is always better than an unfinished quilt top."

Linking up with the Large Quilts Category at the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.  Thanks for stopping by!

spring 2015 BQF Button

Total stash fabric used in this post: 9 yards
Total stash fabric used since 1/1/15: 34 yards
Total stash fabric used to date: 43 yards


Ann said...

I said it before, and I'll say it again: it's a stunning quilt! How you actually quilted it was an afterthought for me. I adore the way you made a popular block so unique!

Wendy said...

wow! what a beautiful quilt. I love the way you've put the typewriters in the centre of the blocks and I love that black scrappy background. I have a Swoon on my to-do list and this is very inspiring!

Lonci said...

Your quilt is beautiful:))

Anonymous said...

I love your fabric choices and agree with you totally that the border is great fun. Wonderful that you were able to try the long arm yourself and did such a wonderful job.

Sarah Goer Quilts said...

Great post. I've long admired your quilt on IG and love reading about your decision making progress. It looks great! I've recently chosen fabrics for a swoon quilt. Are there directions online for the alterations you made to the pattern to avoid all the HSTs?