Sunday, September 11, 2011

Carolina Rain - The Miniature

The deadline was looming, and the swap is Sunday, 9/11, and with the start of hockey practice, I knew I needed to get a lot done this weekend. (Note - I started writing this post on Monday, 9/5)

Thursday I added the final rain strip, and figured out that the top pieced was a bit short as I forgot to factor in the wider border. However, I had already decided that I wanted that border to be narrower that originally planned.  I clamped the backing to my big board, spread the batting, and started pinning. I put most of the Pinmoors in the colored bars as I decided to stitch in the ditch first around the "L"s and then across every third bar (or so depending on if a length was divisible by three or not).

I overexposed this shot to show the ditch stitching.  I used black thread on the back and clear YLI monofiliment on the front.  The clear is a bit shiny, and in hindsight, using the smoke might have been better against the black. My stitch in the ditch skills definitely improved during this project.

For the black sashing on the front, I decided to use one of the filler designs from Leah Day's "The Free Motion Quilting Project"  I chose to use the Flowing Lines design because I felt comfortable being able to use it on the long narrow strips.  I think her site is a great resource.

The finished project

And some detail of the flowing lines quilting.

When I was testing the tension on my practice sandwich, I realized that I could accomplish a gentle wavy line with the walking foot.  And with a bit of starting and stopping could circle the drops on the rain sashes. 

Once the quilting was completed, the fun of adding the binding began.  Because it is a miniature, I also needed to reduce the binding width - so I ended up cutting the binding 1.5 inches wide and the seam is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch.  With a significant join about every 3/4 inch, there is significant lumpiness, and it did make it more challenging to turn it over to the back as there is significant bulk in there, especially in the corners.  Not my best binding, but definitely my most colorful.  I do like the look of the pieced binding a lot, but I doubt I'll do one this tiny again.

The swap was tonight at the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild meeting and I'm happy to say that Carolina Rain is heading to its new home.  And yes, I was very tempted to keep it for myself.

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