Thursday, November 1, 2012

Unplanned Steeler Quilt for Ray

This is one of those quilts that happened accidentally.  I tend to have days (the older I get, the more often they come) where I just need something to do to keep me from going crazy.  Sewing is very good "therapy" for me....much better activity than wringing someones neck! :) :) :)

On really bad days....I cope so much better if I can just sit and sew at the machine for hours.  The constant hum of the motor is very soothing.  On days like this....I just need to sew, and sew, and sew....mindlessly sew, and sew, and sew....without having to think and plan and cut, etc.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Quite a few weeks ago, one of these days popped up so I decided to experiment using a pattern/idea shared with me by my friend Marianne.

The photo above shows a stack of fabric strips - 40 strips that were 2 1/2" wide by 44" long.  I sewed these 40 strips of fabric together....end to end....sewn on the diagonal (the same way you would sew strips together when making binding).

After sewing the strips together, which means I had one continuous strip of fabric that measured approximately 1,600 inches (instructions say to clip off approx. 12" - 18" from the beginning of the long strip to make sure your other seams end up at the right spots during the construction of the quilt top)..... I took the end of the strip and brought it up to meet the beginning of the strip  (basically folding the strip in half) and started sewing them together.

I so enjoyed sewing one long continuous seam that equaled approximately 800 inches!!!! (Seriously!!!)  At the end of the seam, where the "fold" was....I simply cut the fabric across the fold line.

As before, I took the end of the now double wide strip, folded it in half and brought the end up to meet the beginning of the double wide strip and proceeded to sew them together.  This next continuous seam was approximately 400 inches long and 4 strips you see the concept of what I'm doing now?

I just kept doing this over and over until I ended up with a lap size quilt top equaling approximately 56" x 75" (my mind just went blank so I can't remember the exact measurement at the moment).

It's different....but I really like it. that I've actually used this "pattern"....I have figured out how to get a better layout based on the order in which I sew the strips.  Of course, I'm NOT about to rip this quilt top apart and start all over....NO WAY!!!!  :) :)

The more I looked at this quilt top, the more I realized that the colors reminded me of the Pittsburgh Steeler husband and daughters' favorite NFL team.  This wasn't planned.  The 40 strips of fabric used just happened to be in yellow/golds, grays, white and black.

It needed a border to pull it together...

Yep....I decided to use a solid black as the border to frame my "Steeler" quilt.

Now what do I use on the back of the quilt?  Well....if I'm going to call it a "Steeler" quilt...then I need to go all the way with that theme.  A quick shopping trip later and I've found the perfect fabric to use as the backing.

I know, I know....maybe I've gone just a tad bit over the top here...but oh makes me happy! :) :)

Now time for more experimenting.  I'm still trying to practice and develop my free-motion quilting skills.  I have used my regular sewing machine in the past to "stitch-in-the-ditch".... to outline the blocks using 1/4" free motion a meandering design and even use my embroidery attachment to quilt more elaborate designs....but I need to learn MORE!

After watching a few Youtube videos online showing some different (supposedly easy) techniques....I decide to give it a go.  This quilt is staying here why not experiment with it! :) :)'s not perfect....but it's not terrible either. :)  It doesn't quite look like what the lady on the video tutorial was teaching....but it's in the same vicinity I guess.  It took me about one week to finish quilting this.  It's hard on the shoulders, arms and back so I had to take LOTS of breaks.

Maybe you can see the design on the back side, against the black fabric a little better....or maybe not... LOL

I used the same solid black border fabric to make my binding.

After I had completely finished it....I proudly handed it to Ray during this past Sunday's Steeler game (thank goodness they won this time LOL).  He likes it and has placed it by his side of the bed and says that the next time I steal all the covers during the night, then he will grab his own quilt and cover up with it. :) :) :)  Sounds like a good plan to me!

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