Ok, I told you this one was going to be epic, and I hope you agree. After poring over Judi Madsen’s wonderful book Quilting Wide Open Spaces and getting some encouragement from my longarm mentor Sue Fox, I recently decided to attempt something with much more detailed quilting than I have ever done, and the result is this baby quilt version of the “Irish Lass” quilt in Judi’s book.
I simplified some of Judi’s suggested quilting designs to make them more manageable for myself, but the quilting is still pretty crazy!
Here’s a close-up of what I’m calling the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” motif. I’m really proud of my micro-pebbling here. I followed Judi’s advice and slowed the machine way down, to the point where I could see each individual stitch as it was being made. I ached the day after, and I’m not sure this super-dense quilting is something I’ll want to do regularly, but I really love the way it looks and feels. Each of these took about 40 minutes of quilting. The whole quilt took me about eight hours total, as well as some initial practice time.
The binding on this quilt is one of my favorite parts. Crisp but pretty, no? I’m hoarding this fabric now for binding future projects.
Overall, this project is definitely a lot more “traditional” than my usual style. I don’t know that I’ll continue to move in this direction, but working on this project has given me a lot more confidence in my quilting, and I think that will influence how I think about projects in the future. I’m noticing other people’s quilting choices more now, and feeling drawn to projects that make the quilting a more prominent part of the design.
Oh, and a bonus random tip for you: Hobbs wool batting is fantastic. This was the first time I tried it, and it quilts SO smoothly. It’s lighter and airier than cotton (a surprise for me), and it doesn’t crease like cotton, although it does still give you a crinkly texture if you wash it. In short, it is dreamy and you should try it if you haven’t yet.