This adorable baby quilt called my name the minute I saw the pattern at a local quilt shop. I had never done machine appliqué but decided it didn't look too hard. Besides, the pattern was on sale so I had to have it. I dove into the project which took me just about two weeks to complete. I made one small booboo early on which had to do with the tracing of the appliqués. Instead of tracing each of the parts of the duck separately, I just traced the whole duck. When I started to cut it out it dawned on me what I had done...lol. Oh well, they say we learn more from our own mistakes. Luckily, I discovered the error of my ways on the first duck so it wasn't a major catastrophe. I did learn a neat trick when it called for making two of the same duck with one of them being a mirror image. Using quilting paper I traced the duck image and then simply turned it over to reverse the image. I then had a mirror image to trace.
Any of you longtime quilters probably already know that trick but it was simple, yet brilliant to me. The only thing I'll probably do differently on my next appliqué project is to invest in a light box. Trying to hold up the pattern on my front glass door was just too awkward. Besides, I'm sure the neighbors wondered what the heck I was doing! I've been practicing my free-hand machine quilting and decided to place swirls in the sashing to give the impression of water. Ducks need water, right? The small dark orange squares simply have diagonal stitch lines to form an "X". I also shadow-stitched around the ducks, but I wanted to leave the rest of the area surrounding them to be soft and "puffy", so I did not quilt in the triangles of each block. The border and inner sash are quilted with a simple meandering stitch. I really didn't have anyone special in mind when I decided to make this quilt. I simply did it for me to learn machine appliqué. I've been wanting to do something with Sunbonnet Sue so this quilt certainly gave me the necessary practice and confidence to tackle that. I may hang on to it for one of my sons...whenever they finally decide to get married and give me some grandkids. Or, I work in a large office and one of the many young mother's-to-be might be interested in it. For now, I get alot of satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment just looking at it for my own enjoyment. I've been quilting for about a year and a half and have been loving every minute of it. I love meeting new friends who have the same passion (uh, obsession) as I do. Everyone is so willing to share their knowledge and give me lots of encouragement to know I can do anything I set my mind to. I know there will be many more appliqué quilts in my future as I had so much fun making this one.