Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Christmas Star Quilt is finished!

Yes, I know Christmas was a few weeks back but never mind, this quilt can be enjoyed all year round!

If you remember, a few posts ago, I asked for help with machine quilting this quilt, which was made with the help of The Quick Christmas Bee.  You were very generous with your advice and I got lots of ideas, especially from Marg, Lynz, Deeroo, Shayla Sharp and Sue SA. Thanks so much girls!

I had bought myself a walking foot so I thought I better use it and leave the Free Motion Quilting for another time. I just quilted diagonal lines all over the stars, lined up along their 'spiky' bits.
Because the quilt was made by 5 different people (which is lovely!) the blocks do differ quite a bit in size, so the diagonal lines aren't exactly parallel, but it was more important that they 'hugged' the stars.
You can see the quilting lines better on the back.  This was my first attempt at a pieced back on a bed quilt. It's a bit rubbish actually. I was trying to make it look random, I think I need to try a bit harder next time! Also I still begrudge using nice fabric on the back so I used a lot of red. Maybe I will just go back to using white sheets...
Do you like my wellies, by the way? I am standing in front of our barn.
Anyway, about the walking foot. At first it worked fine, but then it started juddering and 'jumping' a bit, and then it started breaking needles! After the third needle I gave up and went back to using the standard foot, and I have to say, it didn't make much difference with the quilting. So I am sending the walking foot back and my not bother with it at all.
But the quilt still didn't seem finished. I sort of felt like I had cheated by machine quilting and still needed to put more work in to it. Dolores had suggested picking out the stars with 6 strands of embroidery silk. Well Dee, I liked your suggestion but I used 3 strands, as 6 was just too hard to get through the layers. Thanks so much for the suggestion!
I tried to use a contrasting coloured silk to the star so that the stitches would really stand out. And also made them bigger than my usual hand quilting stitch size, more like Sashiko.
I am really pleased with the way it looks and it is already on the spare bed. The Spare Bedroom having reverted to Felix's room over the Holidays as he was back from his travels for about a month. You may remember, I mentioned in early December that his girlfriend, Emma, had an emergency appendix removal when they were in Sri Lanka, and they had flown home so she could recuperate. I have to say, she recovered remarkably quickly! But then she is only 18. So now they off again, this time to China! They flew to Beijing on Wednesday and it sounds like they are having a blast as usual. So now my spare room can look pretty for a few more months (until he returns again!).
So what's next for quilting? Well, I have my Doll Quilt Swap partner now, and am already having lots of ideas. This partner will really keep me on my toes and make sure I do something extra creative!
Also I am going to take part in my first Old Red Barn Company Quilt-a-long. This is being hosted by Dolores (yes, her again!) of DeeRoo Designs. It is a ticker tape quilt, which I had never heard of but it looks incredibly easy and really ingenious. I am going to try a cot quilt to start with. We are still at the getting ready stage so if anyone is interested in jumping in, take a look at Dee's blog or the ORBC group on Flickr.


  1. Love it and especially the bit of handquilting on the stars. Stars are my favorite :)

  2. Oh, Jo, it's gorgeous!!! I've just finished quilting a quilt with those diagonal chaps - it was really quick to do! Your borders are beautiful but I think my favourite part is the spotty binding. No, wait, the hand quilting (that's a bit like what I fancy doing on mine - if I ever get round to it!!). It's a wee cracker!!

  3. I love the quilt and the stitching, enhances it without over powering the design.


  4. I'm just a ooooohhhing and ahhhing over my computer screen....hubby thinks I am being loonier than normal!:)

    I just love how that turned out. I really like the two borders and that spotty freaking fun!

    Yes, that handstitching on the stars is the bomb!!:)

    Glad the kids could quickly continue on with their adventure!

  5. Love that quilt! I wouldn't be without my walking foot. It made a huge difference to machine quilting for me.

  6. I love it Jo! (I love your wellies, too!) I have to say, I seldom use a walking foot as I don't se eit making a big difference - in fact, I tend to get mor ewrinkle and messes with it than without

  7. Love the look of the quilt. And the back looks fine to me. That's what back art is! Yes, love the wellies. I must have been here before, because I remember the story about the girlfriend and the appendix, and I don't think there would be two of them suffering that. Yes, 18, I remember when I healed that fast, too. LOL

  8. I love the quilt, and especially the back! I think there's so much creativity in a pieced back - and it's such a great way to use up scraps (so you can buy more fabric!!)

  9. Jo, it looks so fantastic, great guilting especially the hand quilting that just makes it look extra apecial, well done you xx

  10. Blooming heck Jo, it's fabulous!

  11. Thanks for sharing your quilting story. I haven't yet done any 'proper' machine quilting and was interested to hear how you got on. I love the look of contrast stitching with embroidery floss and agree it finishes things off nicely! Lovely result!
    Teresa x

  12. Great looking Quilt! Greetings from Berlin

  13. What a beautiful quilt! You did such a great job with your color placement.

  14. WOW! I just got to your blog and I think it's awesome! you have great pictures that gives me a lot of inspiration and all of your owls are soo cute!
    I'll be following your blog from now on!

  15. So pretty! I like how you decided to up the ante with the your hand stitching!

  16. I love the quilt, and I agree that you can use it all year round!

  17. The finished quilt looks great, I think the hand quilting adds an extra special zing! Sorry to hear that the walking foot didnt work out, if it was breaking needles it might be that it wasnt fitting properly? I use to have a "univeral" walking foot for my old Bernina and was had a love/hate relationship. My "new" secondhand machine was designed to take a walking foot/has its own walking foot and it works much much better. Anyway the end result was worth it! happy quilting Sue SA.