Friday, April 20, 2018

Postcard from Sweden is a Finish!

And I couldn't be happier that it is finally done and I am sleeping under it tonight! (well last night when you read this lol). It is one of the items on my Q2FAL list.

When I thought about all the places around me for a photo shoot, I just knew Lakeside Park would be a great place, this bridge, the 'magic' bridge, in particular. You've seen a few quilts photographed here over the years!
on Lake Erie's shore
Because of the storms and winds of last weekend and beginning of the week, the lake is looking pretty stirred up muddy! This quilt is sure a pop of jewels in the bright sunshine today!

I'm so very happy that Helen of Midget Gems Quilts (she's made two!) nudged me to get this quilt off my 'wanna make' list and onto my bed, my love seat, into my life! I'll be taking it as my sit-upon quilt when I teach yoga on Friday.😎

Before you read any further, be sure to link up your finished quilt or finished flimsy, both are acceptable! on my previous post. The deadline is Saturday midnight EST, so Sunday for those in England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia...(not sure there were any quilting along over there, but I know I have likely missed seeing everyone's long the way, and so I sure want to on the linkup! I've been visiting a bunch of you who have already linked up!
I had to put it 'in' one of 'my' massive cottonwood trees. I used to walk through this park on a daily basis when we lived on this side of town, and I miss it so much. The Kingsville Horticultural Society has done wonders to improve all the flower gardens and it is a riot of colour throughout the seasons, though not this April with all the cold weather we, like most of the continent, have been having.

You saw the front of the quilt on the bridge looking toward the lake; here is the back, on the other side of the bridge looking toward Mill Creek and the park:
Love the tree shadows
This backing is a piece of wide backing I bought from Lester's mum a few weeks ago when she was destashing. It's my friend Judy's favourite backing, and I can see why. I was contemplating what to use as the back and had pulled one or two pieces from my stash when I spied this on the pile that hasn't been sorted through yet, and I just knew.
My mmm! quilts label. I'm getting pretty good at remembering to stitch them in before I put on the binding ha! You can see the turquoise Isacord I used to top-stitch the binding down here.


The cloth label:
These are from Moda, really interesting and unique labels. I did the 'from' on an angle on purpose as I knew the title wouldn't fit there and there isn't a title spot, hmmm. 

The binding, the colour idea I got from Heidi of @sewnheidi, (who also used a label on hers from that very set!) is stitched to the front by machine and then turned to the back and topstitched down. I keep playing around with machine-binding techniques to improve. I'm not so in love with this one. Although it gives a really nice finish on the back, it leaves a line of stitching not in the ditch on the front, so it's visible. See below along the edge.

Oh! How happy I am with that Aquarius binding, a Paintbrush Studio solid that is incredibly soft.

I did use a medium grey in the bobbin with the turquoise Isacord polyester in the top thread so it blended in, and it's not a visible here I guess as it was with my nose against the quilt. I had a couple of greys and a few rainbow-stripe/motif-themed fabrics as binding choices, but when I saw Heidi's post on IG, I fell in love. See how we inspire each other? (...and I always give credit where credit is due😊)

This photo is here as well to show you two things:
1.  the oranges variegated Aurifil thread popped a little more than anticipated, but I hoped it would sink in (and you'll see it did) after washing. I was amazed that this thread blended better than the rainbow variegated one!
2.  the imperfections that are loud and clear, as I was quilting on Avril. They aren't really apparent in the spiral design at the bottom, as that design is forgiving. All of these are Christina Cameli's btw out of her book, Step by Step Free-Motion Quilting. Look at the swoop 'C' design and you can see immediately where I a) didn't quite hit the arced edge of the wave, and b) where my backtracking wasn't exactly lined up over the first pass, and c) where some of those wobbles are fairly bad is due to a couple of blips along Avril's track that need adjusting (again, sigh, which drive me, along with MacGyver, who gets out his micrometers, bonkers). I was a bit upset at quilting that particular design, which I super-similar to one of Angela Walter's that I've used a few times on quilts, but I've only done it on my Bernina, not on Avril. Meh, I'm not a computer, and this isn't for sale, I kept telling myself.

There it is again, stitched in the rainbow variegated thread, a little closer together arcs than the first photo which was the third time I stitched it across the quilt, the above photo being the first. I worried about them not being even, but as Judy and I have discussed a few times, (and I have to ask Tish about this) your quilting changes from one day to the next, or from one part of a larger quilt to the next. Incidentally, did you notice my new button on the sidebar, for which you can grab the code and put it on your own blog if you're joining in? Thank you Tish, for coding it; Photobucket won't do it for me anymore. The button will take you to the Plus Playtime main page.

Now... take a look below....

Laundered quilt

Find that same design. It's about dead centre. The thread has sunk in beautifully and the imperfections with it. It looks pretty damn fabulous if I do say so myself, and therein lies the lesson that I still haven't totally learned: when you're quilting with your nose inches away from the quilt you see every. single. mistake. And if you're like me, a perfectionist, you beat yourself up about it. Let it go. Know that washing and drying, and a normal distance smooths it all away. And besides, if you want a perfectly quilted quilt, then get someone to do it who owns a computerized longarm. I do not.

The other thing apparent in that photo is that the line of stitching that shows just inside the binding isn't as bothersome either.

The five designs I did are visible in that photo and the one below.

They are, from top to bottom, Wisp, Vapor, Gossamer, Impulsive and Vestal. Such cool names she gives them. Wisp is the e's inside a fish body shape, (that's how I think of it, a kind of pointed oval). Vapor is large pebbles inside the same shape, Gossamer is the 'c' arcs inside the curving lines. Impulsive is the eee's design and Vestal is the spirals inside the curving lines. I knew I would do wavy organic lines, but when I saw how Anne-Marie of Stories from the Sewing Room quilted hers, with the Angela Walters trademark motif, I thought, ooh, that looks so good... So I knew I was going to vary a little from the wavy lines plan.

I always quilt in my name or initials if it's for someone else, and usually their name too. This baby's all mine, so it got my name and my initials in another spot. I am so amused that I thought to quilt in Sandra in the Wisp motif! The difference between pre-laundering and post-laundering is really amazing in the photos, isn't it?
Here are the threads, and no the photo isn't sideways, just looking down from above.

The next two I took this morning, as I didn't get the post finished last night, (and have had umpteen interruptions this morning), and I also wanted to get a full-on straight shot of the quilt in the early morning light.

The sun is coming from the side here. I need to block this!

Laid down on the grass, 30 seconds later, and such a difference in tone right?
The more I photograph my quilts, the more intrigued I am by the sun's influence. The previous texture shots were on my bed in the setting sun last night.

One final shot on the bench in Lakeside Park, Kingsville, Ontario. 😄 I do believe I may be making another in the not-too-distant future and selling it...

Isn't it just glorious! I could gaze at it (and have been doing) for hours. Thank you Kelly SO much for this beautiful quilt you designed, and continue to offer for free on Craftsy. (Affiliate link - check out my sidebar for the current special, a pretty sweet deal I'd say, on both, the 60% off kits and supplies, and the 2 weeks unlimited for $1. There I guess I told you, lol.) I should mention that the batting I used, Hobbs Tuscany 100% polyester, which I was told, and witnessed, at Alma Sue's Quilts in Sarasota, the Amish ladies LOVE for hand-quilting, and I am LOVING for machine quilting, is on for a terrific price at Craftsy this weekend, $20CA for 120X120"!

Thanks to all of you who quilted along 😍😘😘!!  Puh-LEEZE link up your tops or finished quilts by tomorrow Saturday, midnight, HERE, to be eligible for the prizes, which are amazing. Tagging me on Instagram is not an entry, so please tell your friends. I've been trying to catch those who tag me, but there are a LOT of us quilting along, so I don't want anyone to miss out on the chance to win.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Postcard from Sweden by Kelly of Jeli Quilts
Size: 48X60": after laundering, 46 1/2 X 57 3/8"
Fabric: top: Kona cotton by Robert Kaufman; backing: Prism by Studio e Fabrics; binding Painter's Palette Aquarius by Paintbrush Studio
Batting: Hobbs Tuscany 100% polyester
Backing: Prism by Studio e wide backing
Quilted: on Avril, free-motion designs by Christina Cameli from Step by Step Free-Motion Quilting 
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton mostly on my Bernina, but some on Tillie, my Featherweight; quilted with Aurifil 100% cotton
Stitch Count: 97 323 stitches

Thanks to Yvonne's comment pinging in my email, my brain went ping! and my mouth said drat! and my fingers are now flying to enter the other photo I took of the other quilt I washed at the same time as PfS:
Just look at the wonderful texture this now-crinkled up lovely Wayward Transparency, which I named Flow is! Quilt porn or what, eh?!
Any guesses what it's lying on finishing drying? Splash of Colour, Float! How I love my new quilts I've made for me, ha! Lots of colour indeed.

Linking up:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Dizzy Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Tish N Wonderland because this is a UFO OFF the list!
Dizzy Quilts for the Q2FAL when it opens


  1. This quilt is fantastic! I love everything, fabrics, quilting, and the label of course ;) And the picture background too!!

  2. The quilting and the backing fabric make your quilt unique!

  3. Hi Sandra,
    What a glorious finish! And look at all that quilty goodness. It must have felt just wonderful sleeping underneath it last night and seeing it in the bright of day today. That backing is just perfect for this quilt - all those beautiful blue triangles look perfecto. ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. That's a stunning quilt, Sandra. The first picture on the bridge can go on a post card (no pun intended, of course :-). I love the back and label too.

  5. Beautiful and congratulations on a finish all for yourself, Sandra. I love the way washing and sunlight angles can affect how a quilt looks. I bet this was cozy to sleep under!

  6. The Wayward quilting, Wow!!!! And your own quilt, that is a glowing beauty. No, I didn't do one, so not an entry from this Kiwi, but might save the pattern,,just in case, you know how it is when you see a finished quilt and think, I could maybe??? Great photo settings, perfect backdrops to show those colours so well.

  7. great photos as always Sandra, and how lovely to live somewhere so photogenic. I love your quilting and how the depth of quilting changes as you go through the quilt. When I eventually quilt, I think I will be going the wavy line route too. And the circles in your Flow quilt, love them too. Again, for me , the link up won't show up here. I will have to go to the phone to see the rest.

  8. Such a beautiful quilt...with beautiful quilting and beautiful photos. I think I need to get a bit more adventurous with my places for photography!

  9. I love your PFS quilt! Such a happy colorful quilt! Your Wayward is stunning too, love the quilting.

  10. I am loving your quilt with all of the beautiful quilting which looks perfect to me but those photos are absolutely stunning. I am so jealous that you found the perfect place to photograph your Postcard quilt. The colors just pop and I too would mind making another one. Thanks for hosting such a wonderful QAL and I'm looking forward to the Adult Plus Playtime--I need to grab the button.

  11. A very happy and bright quilt. I also do my bindings by machine.

  12. I love your Postcard quilt! You are not a machine, bloops happen. Once washed and dried they are extremely hard to find. I have experienced the stitching changing from day to day, as you said in your post we are humans not a computer. BTW your quilting is always fantastic!

  13. Your Postcard from Sweden turned out beautifully! It's still on my bucket list, but after seeing all the beautiful versions from the quilt along, it's definitely moved up on that list.

  14. Sandra, my dear, Postcards is stunning! Although not a longarmer, ALL of my quilts are considered practice quilts, and as a perfectionist like you, I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff! And YES, every time I sit down to quilt, it’s different. Even if I'm chomping at the bit to quilt, I can sit down and find it’s just not going to happen right then. Other times I sit down and it’s a breeze. Funny that. I certainly enjoyed your post! Hope you enjoy your weekend!

  15. Thanks for sharing the details of your quilting. Always fun to see what you've done and how you've experimented with various motifs. My friend made me a quilt for a significant birthday. She wrote words of encouragement and love and friendship into the quilting. The words can be hard to see, but I know they exist. It is fun to find a new word in a place in the quilt I'd never noticed.

  16. Yeah! Another perfectionist who has learned not to beat herself up over little bobbles and blips and less-than-computer-perfect quilting! I love it! I think we all have to learn this, and it's so difficult because your nose is right down focused into the project as you're quilting, and it just isn't exactly what you envisioned. But, wha-la! When it's done and stand back, you don't see it, and when it's washed, you definitely don't see it. What a concept! BTW, I think since this is a Postcard From Sweden quilt, you really ought to take it over to Sweden to get some really good photos!!! And take me with you....

  17. What a beautiful quilt. You did an amazing job and your choice of backing is perfect.

  18. Aaaaahhh!! The texture! The color! I just want to grab your Postcards and smoosh my face into it! I adore your quilting with all the curvy motifs. Thank you for sharing the before and after shots to demonstrate YET AGAIN why we should let go all that fine grained perfectionism. Embrace the large scale perfectionism, that wonderful feeling after the quilt is completely finished and you just KNOW it's perfect :)

  19. Doesn’t it feel wonderful when you Push yourself and even though it isn’t “perfect” it turns out nice. I am fairly new to long arm quilting and try to adopt an attitude of no fear. I am usually happy with the result when it’s all done. Love the quilts.

  20. Wonderful to see your finished "Postcard". It is beautiful and I can't see any flaws in the quilting. It was wonderful to have the kick in the butt that you provided to get this off my bucket list. Love your triangle transparency and the wonderful quilting.

  21. Stunning version of the quilt. I love how you've quilted it and that binding really pops xx

  22. Love, love, love the look of the quilt after washing -- all that texture! Did you have any trouble with bleeding (I assume not, or you would have mentioned). I have one awful picture of my flimsy. My quilt is out being quilted, so won't be done for this linkup. :-( I promise I'll do a post when it is done, though, because we came up with some creative quilting!

  23. Thank you for prompting the quiltalong. I read your blog regularly and the prompt of the quiltalong got me to purchase a kit, but I haven't had a chance to actually so it together yet, so no flimsy from me. Having the kit is enough for now until I get a chance to actually sew it. I would love to know how to make it into a queen or king sized you just double the pattern?

  24. In case I'm a no-reply blogger, I am at ljbisme at msn dot com. Thank you!

  25. Just beautiful Sandra! And such a successful quilt along too, congratulations. I wish I had had time to join in, as this quilt is one of the very few not-my-designs on my bucket list. Another time perhaps.
    I fully sympathise with the struggles with the inner quilting critic, and it is always good to be reminded that other people don't see the "mistakes" and many of them disappear in the wash anyway. I do my machine binding exactly the opposite of yours. I figure If I am going to machine bind, then it is a genuine feature and I topstitch on the front. If the quilt is too special for that, it is time to get out the hand needle. xx

  26. Absolutely amazing. Love everything about this quilt 💕💕💕. The label from Moda is very interesting and unique. Great finish, Sandra.

  27. This is just stunning! Your quilting is super fun too and I love that you stitched your name! Congrats on a really beautiful finish and thank you for linking up at TGIFF!

  28. It truly is gorgeous and wonderful!! What beautiful quilting! That backing is perfect as well.

  29. Your Postcard from Sweden quilt is stunning!!! I looked at the ones on the linky party and they are all stunning too. I NEED to make myself one of these. I am always amazed at how different my quilts look once washed. Before, nice crisp fabrics with a look of newness. After, soft and cuddly with a look of vintage.

  30. Sandra
    Postcards is beautiful. The before laundering and after pictures really help to see the difference in How the quilting looks.
    Thank you for sharing

  31. Love all the great photos. Congrats on a successful QAL. I love that backing fabric. I have it in the dark blue and grey. I think I'm going to buy a bolt when I go to the USA this fall.

  32. Beautiful quilt and quilting! I just love the texture washing adds to a quilt.

  33. Love the quilting! And I especially like how you showed us "Sandra" in the quilting! Great idea!

  34. It looks gorgeous! I like all the different motifs you quilted. Great idea to quilt your name in. Thanks for the shout-out too. :)

  35. Absolutely fabulous!!! Quilt, Quilting, Backing, and the pictures. It is such a celebration of color - it makes me smile every time. If you switched two or four HSTs, would anyone notice? Just wondering :-) Flow? It looks more like a Swirl to me. Another fabulous finish, indeed!!!

  36. So beautiful, Sandra. Lakeside Park was perfect place for photos. The backing with the shadows made me think of water and the aqua binding is beautiful. Sweet quilting too. A fabulous finish!


  37. Such a stunner, you really outdid yourself and that quilting is just fantastic! Congratulations on the finish. Thanks for linking up on behalf of the 2018 global Finish-A-Long hosts.