Thursday, August 6, 2015

Family Tree Quilt Finished. . . For Reals this time!

I am on a roll people! I'm not sure what has happened over here but things just got a lot more productive! :) It might be that I decided to play along and set some goals for the quarter and link up with Adrienne over at On the Windy Side for the Q3 FAL. Or it might be that the nightmare of purchasing a new vehicle is over. . . after a month of madness. Or it might just be that it has gotten so hot outside that I don't want to leave the house. . . I'm guessing it's a combination of all three :)

Goal #4 on my FAL list was to add a name to the Family Tree quilt. Seems simple enough right? Yeah, things are never as 'simple' as they sound around here :) First, here's the back story. I was talking to my mom and she mentioned that she was going to send this quilt to someone to have someone else add my nephew's step son's name. . . Someone else!! This is an edited version of what my response was "Hell NO, you are not letting anyone else touch that quilt!" Her response was "You never would have known had I not said anything." Seriously?? Before I start hyperventilating again, we'll move on... I told her to send the quilt back to me. Which she did. It' has been sitting here for umm.... a couple of months :) I have been itching to get my hands on this quilt again! I was not happy with how puffy the background was and knew immediately after binding it that I should have quilted the snot out of it. . . The before and after pictures of this quilt are the perfect example of why evenly distributed quilting (whether dense or not dense) is important. So let's start with the before and after pictures. Then I'll walk you through the sometimes very painful process to get here ;)
I think you can see pretty well in this picture that the background is really poofy. I used a double bat (wool/cotton) so think major poof! :)
OH YEAH! So much better... IMHO :)
What a difference, huh?? I am SO happy with the end result! I can send this back to mom and she can hang it back in its spot and I won't cringe at the thought of everyone seeing this quilt with a 'naked' background ;)

Here's what I did. First, I had to remove the quilting sleeve and label. This was very painful for me. . . not because it took a long time, it took no time really. It was painful because they were hand sewn on . . . you all know that hand sewing is not much fun for me and the thought of having to sew them back on was daunting. So I just took took the parts off that were over the background. .  . :) And when I sewed the binding back on, I sewed the label into the binding on two sides - tricky huh? Learned that little trick from Jasmine. I don't always remember until after the binding is on. . . but not this time! :)
The label even lays SO much better now that the background is quilted :)

Speaking of binding. . . it had to come off too. I had machine sewn the binding onto the front using a very large stitch - thankfully! :) Then I looked at the stitching which attached the binding to the back of the fabric. . . hmmmm, must have forgotten to reset my stitch length. . . I had used my 1/4" foot and my machine has a 1/4" setting. . . with a stitch length of 1.8 for piecing. Ugh! It took about an hour to remove the binding. BUT, once it was off, I could quilt the background! Now that is what I call motivation! :D

But first, I needed to figure out the best way to get Jason's name onto the quilt and have it look like it had been there all along. After staring at it for awhile, I figured out where I was going to place his name (thankfully there was a perfect spot for it!). Now I had to start ripping. I did not realize until that moment. . . metallic thread kind of binds itself to the quilt. I don't think those stitches are meant to come out! Oh, this is going to take some time. So I started quilting the background :) And occasionally would go back and rip some more. Here is a snap of the half way point of ripping.

Once I finished ripping of the leaves, I spritzed the top with a little water. Those holes completely disappeared :)
The past couple of days have gone like this. Quilt. Rip. Quilt. Rip. Quilt. Rip. Quilting = fun. Ripping = no fun! I have to say though, mixing it up a bit made it a lot little more tolerable. I spent about 6 hours ripping just this area. I did not want the fabric to rip. . . I should say I didn't want to rip the fabric so I took the stitches out Being a little anal about it paid off, no rips, no snags and when I was finished and after the water spritz, there was no indication that it had been quilted previously. So here is the end result of adding Jason's name.
What added name? :D
One more thing to do to this quilt before it goes back home. . . When I showed the quilt to my niece, the first thing she said was "You spelled my name wrong!" . . . NOOOOO!!!! I felt so bad! There was no way this quilt was going back to its home without making that right. I spelled Shanee's name with two Ns. Crap. OK, how big of a deal could it be to take out an N and the last E and replace the N spot with an E. . . make sense? :) Well, I did not remember that I had gone around each letter at least twice... Makes them stand out real nice right? Not so much fun to rip out! It took me 1.5 hrs to rip out those two letters. . . and about 10 seconds to put the E back in the right spot! But it is done and now I can sleep at night! :)
For those who have been following me for awhile, know that Shanee is my Goddaughter. . . yeah, I spelled my Goddaughter's name wrong! But it is right now! :D
OK, all is right as rain with the quilt, now time to put it back together. I was shocked at how flat the quilt was after all that quilting. The quilt really didn't need to be blocked again but I did square it up. I thought I might need to make new binding. I was careful taking it off but it was pretty much shaped exactly as it was when it was on the quilt :) So I ironed, spritzed with water, ironed, spritzed, ironed. And it came out good as new! This time when I sewed the binding onto the front of the quilt (yes, by machine) I used white thread. I think it looks cleaner than the metallic thread. I never would have taken the binding off just to change that but since I now had the choice, I went with white :)

Binding the quilt went smoothly. I did have to shorten the binding by a bit. The only thing left was to hand sew the two sides of the label and about 3/4 of the hanging sleeve had to be resewn. Sewing the label on went quick and wasn't so painful. Then I had the brilliant idea to sew on the top part of the hanging sleeve with the machine using the YLI nylon thread. It wouldn't be that noticeable right? .... yes, it was that noticeable. I didn't even take pictures of it to document what a bad idea that was. I hand stitched the top of the sleeve down prior to removing the machine stitching and that made the hand stitching go a lot faster. So it wasn't a complete waste of time! :)

The quilt is packed up and ready to head back to MN! It feels really good to have this quilt finished. Completely finished. For reals this time! ;)

I have already started cutting for Jason's quilt. Goal #6 on the FAL list. Finished flimsy to hopefully follow soon! I know, I know! What about Nod to Gees Bend??? I'll be working on that too. Pinky swear ;)

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday and potentially others, which I will add here when I do! Where did this week go?? Oh yeah, I was sewing :D

Until next time, keep on quilting!


  1. Wow! Your changes look like the quilt started out that way. The background fill you chose allows the tree to still stand out as much without all the scandalous nakedness.

  2. Wow, way to go! Those were not easy fixes to make and you did a great job. I do agree that the heavily quilted background looks better.

  3. The additional quilting in the background looks so great, Judy. Like Afton says above; it looks like it started out that way! I am glad your mom sent the quilt back to you, and hooray for getting it all ready to send off. You are definitely on a productive streak - awesome. :)

  4. I like the addition of the background, it's more you and finished looking. Too much ripping for me, though!

  5. Just fabulous! Great recovery on the name change.

  6. Wow, what a task! The result is perfect. I take my hat off to you; I absolutely hate changing anything once it's finished.

  7. I am sure it was all very painful to 'rework' the quilt but you did it well, I do agree the quilt looks better with that edge quilted with the same density as the inside. Nice job!!!

  8. It looks like it was all meant to be that way. You made some great changes without it looking like it was changed. Are you going to be continually adding names each time someone gets married or has a child? That would be a lot of work! P.S. Love your label in the corner.

  9. What a stunning quilt! And what a treasure for your family too!

  10. The family tree is such a cool concept for a quilt and family heirloom. It must have been painful to have to do all that ripping but the end result is so worth it.

  11. The quilt looks great! For a while my Mom was making the family xmas raffle quilt and she was putting everyone's name on the quilt including spouses and grandchildren. That stopped when several of us started divorcing our spouses! I know I changed one of the quilts as my brother got remarried so the first wife's name needed to be removed!

  12. Oh My - Fabulous!! I can not imagine letting another person even touch a quilt that I put that much work into - glad mom let the secret slip!!! And, well, It's ok about your god daughters spelling - I have had that issue my ENTIRE life - one of my aunts never even called my by the right name - and an uncle just gave me a new one lol - Hugs!!

  13. I just shiver and feel a bad mood coming on reading about and contemplating ripping out and taking off and re-doing all that stuff on this quilt!! However, your tenacity and perseverance paid off in spades daaahhling for this incredible heirloom you have created. And uh so you damn well SHOULD fix it yourself! Can you imagine? Yes, you did, so I am so glad you made it very clear to your mom that YOU are the only quilter to make any alterations on your quilt!

  14. Judy - I thought I loved your family tree quilt before, but now that you have quilted the background as well, it is hang-on-to-your-seat fabulous! You turned what would have been angst and drudgery (in my experience) into an golden opportunity! So beautifully done and no one else could have done it even half as well!
    Don't feel bad about Shanee's name. My MIL used to run through the whole litany of family names (including the dog's, LOL) when she called someone.
    Have fun taking Nugget's glamour shots! Can't wait to see you at the Pets on Quilts Show!

  15. Love that dense echo quilting! I had to remove the label and hanging sleeve to add quilting to the Crystal City quilt, so I toooootally feel for ya! Hahaha. All those ripping and re-quilting totally worth it!

  16. You have just created an heirloom quilt, Judy. I know it is not visible but I do see a Blue Ribbon on it.
    You are an inspiration!!!

  17. Major poof! I just love your language and your mad quilting skills. Just WOW!

  18. You did a fantastic job of making it look like all the changes never happened! Love the leaves and the sentiment in this quilt - I admire your persistence /stuborness to get it just perfect!

  19. Wow! What a stunning quilt and the changes you made take it to the next level. What a labour of love - I hope your family appreciates it!

  20. OMG Judy if I had seen this before I would have highlighted it this week!!!! It's amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! You are right...I need to jump in and try this...just the change in thread does so much!!!


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