November 2021 Favorite Finish

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In early November I finished a 54” x 54” throw-size Christmas North Stars quilt (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman) that is primarily for my sister-in-law, Sharon, but is also my brother, Bill’s Christmas present this year. Last year I made a North Stars Quilt to include in my Christmas decorating that has a white polar bear, two otters, a walrus, and a seal. When I showed Sharon the pattern and told her she could pick four of the blocks, she chose the muskox, the foxes, the reindeer, and the bear but requested it be a brown bear instead. We decided to use a muted Christmas palette of some dark and olive green, red with a tinge of brown, cream/brown, gold, and taupe/grey. The above photo is on their couch right after they opened my package that I sent from New Mexico to California.

 

I ordered some fabrics from Tim Holtz’ Christmastime collection that captured that palette perfectly (I especially love the Christmas Carols fabric that I used in all four blocks that looks like it was printed on old parchment), and used several fabrics from my stash including a cardinal fabric that I fussy cut for flying geese units in the bear and foxes blocks. Below are close-ups of the bear and foxes blocks before quilting where the cardinals are easier to see as well as the brown and red grunge fabrics used in these blocks:

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I used several different Essex Linen fabrics in the Muskox and Reindeer blocks that provide such wonderful textural interest:

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The background fabric for all four blocks is Essex Homespun Silver and the sashing fabric which is subtly different than the background fabric is Essex Homespun Charcoal. I love the texture of these fabrics, but they definitely fray easily. Sharon specifically requested that the quilt be backed in minky fabric which I found at the Etsy shop CaliQuiltCo. I sent the quilt top and the grey minky fabric off to Jessica who has quilted a couple other projects for me and who coincidentally lives about four miles from Sharon and Bill (too bad I can’t get air travel miles for all the miles my quilt flew on airplanes!). Jessica, who is on Instagram as @sugarmillquilts, did a fabulous job with the quilting using Glide Celery thread which is a gorgeous shiny light green thread and the edge-to-edge quilting pattern called Fire in the Jungle worked wonderfully for this quilt. The photo below shows the beautiful quilting on the minky back:

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Since this was the first time I’d used a minky backing fabric, I was pretty nervous about binding this quilt and asked for advice from other quilters on binding with a minky quilt backing. I was encouraged to treat it like regular quilting cotton but to stay-stitch 1/8” from the edge to stabilize its fluffiness. And that worked like a charm! I did end up using a wider binding on the minky side of the quilt to further contain the fluff that tends to shed. 

Below is a close-up of the foxes after quilting that shows off the Glide Celery thread:

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We recently had our shed repainted, so I thought the quilt would look nice against the bright terracotta background. Since this photo was taken, I’ve had a black curtain rod that extends up to 120 inches mounted at the top of the shed to be able to more easily photograph quilts outside without using duct tape!

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I’ll close this post with a photo of Sharon holding her quilt. Doesn’t it make quilters feel wonderful when their quilts are loved and appreciated?

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Linking up to Meadow Mist Designs: Favorite Finish November 2021.

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5 Responses to November 2021 Favorite Finish

  1. What a great finish – so fun to see that big smile on Sharon’s face! Well done!

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  2. Oh wow, what a wonderful finish! The quilt is going to be so wonderful for them to snuggle under with the minky backing and I’m glad that stay stitching 1/8″ from the edge helped make putting the binding on work out well.

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  3. Pingback: To-Do Tuesday 121 Weekly Progress Update | Quilting is in my Blood

  4. What a beautiful finish, and that photo of your sister makes it worth every second and every stitch. I love the colors, the minky, the quilting – everything!

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  5. Pingback: 2021 Review and 2022 Plans | Quilting is in my Blood

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