The Free Motion Quilting Project: The Monster is Done!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Monster is Done!

I'm definitely on a roll with big projects this month!  After more than 2 years needing to be made, and 1 year floating around unfinished in the sewing room, the KING quilt is finally finished!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This quilt was constructed very simply using the Quilt As You Go technique we learned back on week #7.  9 panels were each quilted separately, then connected using binding strips to create this monstrous 117 x 117 inch quilt.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I learned loads about quilting on a large scale while making this quilt.  Circles especially are far easier to stitch if you mark the outline first.  It's very difficult to see your way around a 7 inch circle and be able to freehand stitch it, so for the largest circles I'd stop and quickly draw the outline before stitching it.

I choose a wide variety of designs just to see how they would stitch out on such a large scale.  Overall the circular, stacking designs were the most time consuming and the Independent, Stippling based designs were the fastest.

Rather than sit with this monster on my lap for the next week to hand bind the folded binding strips, I instead choose to secure all the binding by machine.  I simply folded over the binding strip and stitched very carefully about 1/16th from the edge, then repeated that stitching again on the opposite side so the binding looked uniform.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Overall it was the perfect finish because I was able to get it together quickly and efficiently.  I sort of wish I'd used this same technique for the 365 quilt, but it's a bit late now.

One thing I can definitely say about this project is how surprisingly huge it finished.  It turns out the quilt didn't need to be this big.  As you can see from the photo of it on the bed, even tucked over the pillows, at least 20 inches hangs off both sides and the end!

Dealing with a big quilt also has a learning curve.  To remove the starch from the fabric, I soaked it in the bathtub, squeezed as much water out as possible, then threw it in the dryer.  It proceeded to roll itself into a tight ball, refused to get dry, and instead sprayed half a gallon of water on the basement floor.

It was kind of surprising it didn't destroy my dryer completely!  I finally realized it just had way too much water still in it and threw it in the washer.  After 3 spin cycles, I threw it back in the dryer and after 2 60 minute sessions, it was finally dry.  With all this difficulty, I definitely don't plan to wash this quilt a home ever again!

So that's one massive check on my vacation To-Do list!  The KING quilt is finished, so it's time to get cracking on some of these other projects floating around the sewing room.  The next focus is to get my two UFO goddesses finished and another 2 designed on paper.

If I want to get all this done by June, I'd better shut up and go quilt!

Leah

25 comments:

  1. It looks really great! OMG what a work you had to do! But it was surely worth it! I enjoyed your story!
    Warm greetings from Holland!
    Trudy

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  2. I was secretly laughing because i had found the drying part the hard way. Beautiful quilt!

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  3. It looks fantastic! You'd never know it was quilted in pieces. Definitely gives me confidence to try this technique for myself on a really large bedspread. The sawblades look especially good in this scale.

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  4. It's stunning! So much work! I'm not sure it's appropriate to say 'I hope that you have many happy hours under that quilt, sleeping' but there'll be no issues with losing your half of it, as it overlaps to the floor - brilliant!

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  5. Leah this is beautiful. I have tried a quilt as you go once, it was a disaster.

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  6. It looks great! OMG what a lot of work you had to do! But it was worth it!. Enjoyed your story!
    Greetings, Trudy (The Netherlands)

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  7. wonderful! What a way to show off your designs. I, too have come to the conclusion that monster sized quilts are just that...monsters. Let the support decor do its job like bed-skirts and duvet covers and the quilt shines on top.

    But glad you got this one done and hope you enjoy it.

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  8. Wow, it turned out beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pics!

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  9. So gorgeous!! Realizing that the QAYG method is the only way to handle a massive project like this one, I feel that the method seems to take 'forever' (not really), or at least longer!! I agree with the thought that bedskirts serve a very important purpose: the quilt can be a 'sane' size!!LOL! Can't wait to see your next finish....on a roll!!! Hugs, Doreen

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  10. Awesome! I'm glad you got a quilt done just for you..and hubby of course! It is beautiful!

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  11. Oh, fantastic work, beautiful.

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  12. Brilliant, what a fantastic achievement
    Well done Leah

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  13. Congrats! it's so wonderful transformation.

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  14. Hi Leah,

    What a beautiful quilt!!It looks fantastic!

    Greatings from Germany,
    Klaudia

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  15. That's a really beautiful quilt. And a great idea for male quilt changing the color.

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  16. Wauw that is a "monster" achievement, love the colour.

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  17. Wow Leah, that's one heckofa MAMMOTH size quilt!! good for you - You and your hubs can tug and try to steal as much of the covers as you want. .. and still have plenty leftover ;c)

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  18. Мне очень понравилось одеяло, великолепное,большое, выразительное и в то же время лаконичное.

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  19. My first quilt for our CA king bed was also a monster - 120" x 140" - because I wanted it to hang to the floor, tuck under the pillow and be able to cover the pillows during the day. Thank goodness I have a sister with a huge quilting machine! In the end, I cut off the outer 6" border to make it slightly more manageable, but we only use this quilt in the winter when the extra layer of quilt is needed.

    My second quilt for the bed was just not quite large enough and did not have enough to hang the way I wanted it to - 100" square - but it was the perfect size for our queen bed in the guest room. I'm now working on a 110" square quilt - I'm hoping it is just the perfect size.

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  20. Next time, try throwing in a cotton terrycloth towel with the quilt. Works wonders to absorb the moisture.

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