Gramz's Blog

Musings of a crazy quilter

December 2012 - Posts

This is my with my "Norse Star" quilt.

I had been planning a graduation quilt for my nephew for some time, but the demands of a house filled with DIY projects delayed it for more than a year. Plus I had not finished the graduation quilt for his older brother (for the same reasons). So when I had an opportunity to do a mystery quilt at my guild's retreat, I figured maybe I could kill two birds with one stone. I gathered the fabrics in my nephew's college colors and hoped it would turn out pretty; if it did not, then I would just donate the not-so-pretty quilt and start over for the graduation quilt. I was very happy when the fabrics I chose were so striking in this pattern.

At the retreat, I worked quickly because I had so much to do! When I had down time between instruction installments, I quilted his brother's quilt which I managed to finish piecing just before leaving for the retreat. The farther along the mystery quilt went, the more excited I became and I could hardly wait to learn what the next step would be.

My nephew attends Northern Kentucky University. On the NKU website is a variety of logos and the permissions read that it is okay to use the logo as long as long as I would not sell the project. I enlarged the logos to fill the screen of my laptop and traced the logo onto white paper. Then I cut out the logo and traced it with pencil onto the corners of the white background fabric. Then I slowly stitched on the pencil marks. Later, I filled in the logo with a black Sharpie being very careful to stay about 1/16 inch away from the stitches. Low tech, maybe, but it looked even better than I had hoped.

I started free motion quilting on my domestic sewing machine at home but it was taking too long, so I rented a mid-arm machine at my LQS to finish the job. The lines are not straight and I had some goobers on the back at my stop and start points, but I did okay for my first attempt FMQing on the mid-arm . All the meandering loops were done on my home machine. Here is what it looks like on the back.

Once it was quilted and bound, I washed the quilt with those dye-grabbing sheets to make sure the ink would stay put and would not run. It was fine. I also wanted to make sure all my pencil marks would wash out. They did - mostly; the next wash or two should take out the rest of the marks.

I incorporated a few extra blocks into the back and used them for my signature label. Can you find their mates in the quilt top?

UPDATE: Wahoo! He likes it!