I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 16, 2020

First Quilt Finish of 2020 : Darling Bitty

Good evening, on the very dark on blustery night. I have kept Mo in from his bedtime walk---"gusts [of wind] up to 50 mph" discourage my enthusiasm for late night walks.

Mo surprised us earlier by trotting off into the gale with his alternate dog walker, who comes one afternoon a week to help me with grocery carrying and to give Mo a special treat of a big run, with a different person. Pugs are very social and love seeing new friends. He just adores having her come, so much more fun than me, boring old mom.  She is teaching him to give kisses, lol

Biity is finished and gifted. I found the quilt difficult to photograph and perhaps at a warmer, sunnier time of the year I can take better pics outdoors.

Every bit of the background is densely boro quilted, 1/8"-3/16" apart. Boro stitching is a linear running stitch, though I did three or more lines of echo quilting around all the shapes too.

I had the deadline of the baby coming, and so I skipped some quilting I had had planned.

A couple wavy lines around the borders, stitches around each strange tree and lollipop flower, and down each leaf. A french knot inside each flower too. Interestingly after I washed it, I was so glad I stopped when I did, because magically the flowers and birds and stems puffed up beautifully against the densely quilted backgrounds. An almost three dimensional effect, and very pretty.

And the borders were just fine as is.

I sewed the scalloped border, inspired by a Cheri Payne quilt, with raw edges, sewing in 3/16" from the cut edges. In time this should softly fray and add dimensionality to the border.

I love the little rosebuds in the corners, deliberately imperfect in shape.

Bitty got her new wing[s] with better contrast and definition.

The backing is a blue and white print from Cotton and Steel, quite modern.

If you look closely, the design is tulips. 

And though this is a blue quilt, the flowers and pink touches make it definitely a quilt for a someday baby girl, while blue and turquoise plaid shirtings and blue batiks help avoid the too sweet error I dreaded. 

At some point I hope--had planned--to embroidered the baby's initials and date of birth on the urn, below. If indeed the parents want that.

Now, binding sounds like a last boring chore but it's actually a crucial element to a quilt both for function and style. Many antique quilts have very tiny, very tight bindings, less than 1/4" and I wanted to try to achieve this for Bitty's edge. I was very pleased with the results. I did miter the corners, a modern choice, as mitered corners are rarely seen, in my experience on pre 1950 quilts. I did this because the continuous fabric in a mitered corner seems sturdier than tucked ends and I was too rushed to do gathered. As I keep saying , I hope this quilt will be loved and used to shreds.

At any rate, I washed the quilt , by machine, hot; dried in the dryer/ hot. Nothing fell off or faded unduly so far.

It's fitting to take Bitty's picture here on the deck where I spent so many hours sewing...

 and here at the beach.

Bitty: a Minick and Simpson pattern. 

begun summer of 2017, finished and gifted January 2020.

PS *Why is Bitty called Bitty? I don't know, it's the name on the pattern: "Bitty's Quilt". I call the large bird focal image Bitty, but that's just me being, uh, imaginative.

 Bitty has gone to her future. I'll miss her.



gone to the beach....