Monday, January 14, 2019

Winner of the Giveaway and the first 2019 Finish!

First of all, the winner of the Strip Quilt Secrets giveaway is Kyle, who wrote, '...Don't know if I have a true favorite book, but I love looking at all the different states documentary quilt books.' As do I! So much inspiration in many of those books. Lots of ideas for further reading in all of the comments, so be sure and check them out too!
Looking at the stitching
My Rising Sun quilt has become the first 2019 quilt finish of the year! It was the one that kept me company late in the evenings, all through the holidays. As usual, the quilting is mostly echo style quilting with a little bit of grid work over the top of the appliqued vases. 
Rising Sun is a finish!
I machine stitched in-the-ditch between all the blocks and then put the quilt top in my hoop and started filling in the insides of the blocks with hand quilting. That little bit of 'stitch-in-the-ditch' work, prior to hand quilting, is something that I have started doing more of in the last couple years. Whether it saves me any time or not, it certainly feels like it does. Mind over matter. And we all know how important it is to have positive endorphins....
Still loving these folky vases!
I have been using Perle Cotton thread exclusively now for several years and will probably never go back to standard hand quilting thread. There is just too much joy in using #8 or #12 Perle Cotton thread. All the different color choices, including variegated threads.*swoon!  Plus, the texture from this slightly chunkier thread makes me all kinds of happy!
When the quilting makes it all look even better....
I ended up having to soak this quilt for most of two days because of a bad fabric bleed. It didn't even show in the water {just a light tinge}, but when I started to take the quilt out of the bathtub, I could see where the bleed had pooled at the back of the quilt. Only behind one vase and that fabric was a high-quality woven that should never have reacted that way! I'm telling you. This quilt top was put together a long time ago, but for the last year or so, I pre-soak every suspect fabric until all the water is clear as can be. This is getting tiresome.
It's big enough to use on a bed!
So I went ahead and soaked it overnight and then most of next day. Uggh.. I'm half regretting the remaining soak. Yes, the bleed disappeared from the back of the quilt, but unfortunately, some of it ended up migrating to the front of the block in three spots. Very, very annoying. THREE SPOTS! How does that happen? I soaked until the water ran clear for hours and then washed the quilt in the washer with lots of color catchers. They ended up with only the faintest tinge of pink, but I still have the slightest of bleeds in those three spots. They lightened considerable, but as they are a dark purple/red/blue dye, would never go entirely away. Maybe if there wasn't blue in the mix?
Some finishes just feel a little sweeter....
I made sure to not dry it fully in the dryer and so the next time I wash this quilt, it will probably be washed with Oxi-clean. That will be eons down the road though. For now I am done messing with it. Most people will never see the problem areas because they simply won't look hard enough! After a stint of brutal disappointment, I was able to shrug it off and go back to loving my quilt. This one was always meant for me anyway. It's been a bit of a problem child from the beginning, and I had great, enormous fun in fixing it so that it looks fabulous to me. 

The gold floral sashing fabric was won from a giveaway over at Barb's, and is the understudy star of the entire quilt. It simply wouldn't be the quilt it is, without that particular fabric! I want to put on record, that I'd still be tremendously nervous to make these sorts of rising star blocks again. They were very difficult to piece and that sort of complexity is just not my strong suit. Still....  even knowing that, I am extremely grateful to see this quilt laying here in front of me. Courage, my quilting friends. We're never going to get better if we don't even try!

25 comments:

  1. Such a lovely quilt! I love the rising sun border - it's fabulous! I'm sorry about the fabric that bled... I know I always say this but I adore the texture of your quilts - all those handquilted stitches are marvelous!!

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  2. Lovely quilt. Sad that a fabric bled. I love the quilting, especially the vases!

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  3. Simply beautiful .... love everything that you did with this quilt. Yeah, fabric bleeds are annoying .... even if they are pre-washed.

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  4. I love this quilt, especially the folky vases with their little fruits or sprigs on top! I can't see the bleed from the photos. I know how frustrating that can be.

    If you don't want to soak all of your fabrics before using, here's an easier way to test them. Put a wet paper towel (I spray it with water) on top of your fabric and iron it dry. If the fabric is going to bleed, you'll see it. If not, it's safe. I learned it from someone who uses a lot of hand dyes.

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  5. Fabulous finish! It's interesting to hear why you chose certain fabrics and why they make your heart sing. I'm glad you're keeping this one. So sorry to hear about the bleeding issue. I'm with you - this problem is getting tiresome. It shouldn't be happening any more.

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  6. Gorgeous quilt Audrey, congratulations!! Fabric bleeds are so frustrating.

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  7. where do you get your selection of perle cotton from? I was just writing my post for tomorrow and said I might try it on the next quilt up. congrats your winner and I love the quilt - sorry about the bleed problem

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  8. I've never been able to figure out why some fabrics are bleeders and some don't. Sorry you've had to deal with one. It's a fun finish. Also thanks for drawing my name. Lots like I have another string quilt in my future

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  9. The cross hatching in the vases is perfect!

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  10. This is a lovely quilt. Thanks for explaining how your hand quilting shows so well. If I ever hand quilt anything I'll use Perle cotton. {Don't hold your breath.}
    I'm so sorry about the bleed. That happened with one of mine. The whole back was an extra wide red and it bled all over the light colors on top. I still don't think it's all out. Sigh.
    Still, most people won't notice. I can't see the problem on yours although if we ever get together I'll make you point it out. ;-)
    Pushing your skills with Rising Suns paid off. Thanks for encouraging us to push ours to the next level.

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  11. I love your 'rising suns' border! And all your lovely hand quilting makes this one special quilt. Glad you are keeping it!

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  12. What a pity that fabrics bleed. Hope it will disapear even more next time you wash it. I have had the first case of fabric bleed, in the small red and white runner I made, some fabrics are pink after washing and others stayed nice and white.
    The quilt with the vases is beautifull. Warm greeting from a wet and grey country

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  13. Such a pretty quilt - whimsical and the border is so special - sorry about the bleed - that is so frustrating and I hope it works itself out next time you wash. I love the chunkier quilting as well (in my case I use sashiko thread) and all that homey texture. Congratulations on starting the year with a great finish!

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  14. Courage indeed! Courage to try something difficult and courage to keep all your hair on your head after realizing you had a bleeder. ARGH! You can't see it from here and I absolutely adore this quilt. Your simple and beautiful appliques floor me! Congratulations on your first 2019 finish.

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  15. I love that final sentence - Courage, my quilting friends. We're never going to get better if we don't even try! -- so completely true. What I like most about this quilt is the way you took something so difficult and challenging and made it look like the border was your original plan. Thanks for sharing the process with us (and like the others, I send you hugs regarding the bleeding issues).

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  16. Audrey, beautiful quilt with wonderful stitching! And ditto other comments re sharing the trials too.

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  17. Wowsers!!!! That quilt is gorgeous. Love the whimsical vases and that gold is so warm & wonderful.

    Here's a tip that has worked for me & several of my quilting friends concerning bleeders:

    Pour the hottest (yes, you read that right -- HOT!) tap water that you can into a tub big enough to comfortably hold your quilt. Don't boil water or anything, just use hottest tap water possible. The quilt can be smooshed a bit just not super compacted. I've used the sink for a mini and a 5 gallon bucket for a table topper and my friend used a bathtub for her bed-sized quilt. Anyway, add a bit of Blue Dawn dish soap and swirl it in a bit. Let soak 6 hours or overnight. Poof! Bleeding was gone!!! Rinse & dry. We've been very happy with our results and might help your lovely quilt sometime down the road.

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  18. Such a beautiful quilt! A treasure for you to enjoy, but a remarkable marker in your quilting and personal history.

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  19. What a beautiful quilt! Those rising star blocks are gorgeous! I have never attempted anything like that and I don't know if I would have the patience if they didn't come out just right. It is so disappointing when fabric bleeds, which is why I like to pre-wash everything ahead of time. If there is a problem, I wash the fabric again until I am OK with it. Sometimes I am too afraid to use it in my quilt. I have a few of these bleeding fabrics put aside and I don't know what to do with them as I don't want to donate and then give someone else the problem.

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  20. I'm sorry for you recent quilt-bleeding issues. I think that I will learn from your experience and try to fix any of my quilts as best as I can, and then learn to live (and love) the quilt anyway. The first time my quilt got ruined, I ended-up just throwing it out after trying a few things. I was so disappointed, I just couldn't look at it anymore.

    Also, I appreciate that you did not just give up when your blocks didn't turn out exactly like you wanted them to. I would like to re-purpose more of my 'rejects' in the future, giving them new life in a beautiful quilt!

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  21. Congrats on that Rising Sun beauty! Although I still think those are dishes of pudding and not vases ;-)

    I love using perle 8 and 12 for hand quilting too but have a lot of regular hand quilting thread to use up also. I'm not very good at staying in the ditch so don't do that.

    Positive endorphins and courage, oh my!! Looking forward to what you have in store for the New Year.

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  22. Oh my what a great border! I have heard Dawn detergent is suppose to help. I have had a few bleeds but after a few washings they were gone.

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  23. Absolutely fabulous and quite spectacular!! Congratulations on finishing this gorgeous quilt. It is so BEAUTIFUL!!! such fantastic work!!
    Regards, ctnbee

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  24. How rude of those fabrics to try and mess your gorgeous quilt! I am so glad you persisted and now look at the prize! This is stunning and your story gives me hope and motivates me to go try something challenging. Thanks for sharing and thanks for entertaining. LOL

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  25. I love perle too, partly because it has a lovely sheen to it. This is a wonderful quilt and deserves to be loved, even if it has been rude enough to stain itself.

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