Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finished: Best Friend and Four Leaf Clover Banner

Well, it's a day later than planned, but it's finally finished.

St. Patrick's Day Banner
My previous post about this project has all the machine embroidery information and links.

The embroidery phase of this project went really smoothly; choosing the border fabrics and piecing them together progressed well also. I used EcoCraft Eco-friendly (100% PLA) batting for this project because I had a large enough piece left in my stash. I ran into trouble when I tried stitching in the ditch quilting and forgot to use the dual feed foot, and ended up picking out several rows of stitching that were all puckered.

Later I had problems with the binding. I don't know what I was thinking, but it ended up being too narrow the first time I tried to apply it and I decided to trim the edges of the banner to try and make it work. I should have just ripped it out and started over. What a mess -- I decided to trim about 1/8" from each side to straighten it out again and made a quick shopping trip to find a new binding fabric.

I finally got a binding on the piece and after taking the first set of photos decided I should have done more quilting. I know, the quilting should be done before binding, but I just had to do it. Look at the before photo (below left), it just doesn't look finished compared to the after photo (below right), does it?

St. Patrick's Day Banner St. Patrick's Day Banner

First I attempted channel quilting around the shamrock shape on the top block. I know, it's not quite perfect, but isn't it more interesting? (oops -- that should have said echo quilting, not channel)

(left: after quilting; right: before quilting)
St. Patrick's Day Banner St. Patrick's Day Banner

Last, some wavy lines to frame the sampler block:
(left: after quilting; right: before quilting)
St. Patrick's Day Banner St. Patrick's Day Banner

I used a Sulky 30wt blendable green variegated cotton thread for these sections.

Here's a close-up of the center block, a white terrier dog with a shamrock on it's collar:
St. Patrick's Day Banner
The decorative stitches were sewn through all layers in 40ct rayon thread; I thought this stitch resembled four-leaf clovers. The green shamrock buttons were added after finishing the binding.

I still think the binding is a little bit wonky in sections, but overall I'm pleased with the finished project. I think the color and fabric selections go together well. And now that it's finished, I can see how I could have added other design features to help the sections flow together better.

I definitely need A LOT more practice quilting.



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