Sunday, March 17, 2013

Audra's Iris Garden Complete: Things I've Learned

The lap quilt for my daughter-in-law's birthday is complete! I detailed fabric (Audra's Iris Garden) and pattern (Two Block Delight) in this post. I named her quilt Garden of Dreams, a combo of the fabric name and my DIL's love of a very infrequent nap. I delivered it to her when we met them for dinner Friday night, and she seemed very happy. My son sent me an iPhone photo of her later that night, wrapped up in her quilt.

My patient husband held it on our staircase for my photo attempts at front and back views.

I attempted to capture the colors and layout in various spots in our house, but my photos don't show the vibrant colors of this quilt.

I am still keeping the quilting simple, as I have not yet graduated to true free motion quilting. I use my walking foot for "waves", and I am fine with it for now. I found many ideas for FMQ using a walking foot at this website.

I used my Janome DC3050 stitch #47 for the corner blocks - a nice little connected flower. And for the binding I tried another tutorial I found on Amy Smart's blog Diary of a Quilter. I loved the ease with which the binding went together this time, and the mitered corners were a snap. Hers will be my go-to method from now on!

Here is the label, which I hand embroidered.

As I stitch and quilt, I contemplate. I don't always write down my "a-ha" moments, but here are a few things I learned this time around:

I learned a new word for quilting mistakes - "organic". I have to laugh every time I see this word. I realize there is a very sincere meaning behind the term, but to me, it's a nice way to say "I'm still learning."

I learned that good thread is really good. I used some fabric store quilting cotton for the piecing, but for the quilting I used a thread called Putty from Angela Walters 6 spool pack for Superior Threads. I purchased the 6-pack from her at Houston's Quilt Festival during her free motion quilting class. I still haven't learned much about thread, but I know this one seemed silky, strong, and well, "like buttah".

I learned that my Grandmothers made great sacrifices to quilt. I quilt for pleasure. I have the luxury of no children at home (OK, I'm not counting the dog and cat), minimal chores, modern conveniences, and lovely free time, not only to create but to enjoy creating. My grandmothers had very few labor-saving devices, limited resources, and rare stolen moments of privacy. Yet they both managed to save scraps and put them together - by hand - to produce quilts that were functional, beautiful, and survive to this day. My appreciation and love for them grows daily. If they were still alive I would ask them so many questions!

Next project: a quilted-top floor pillow for my grandson's birthday Friday!


  1. I love how your "waves" turned out, I will file that away as an idea. I'm still learning to FMQ so I like to use very busy fabric, then you have to get up close to see the "organic-ness".

    1. Lisa, LOL! BTW, I updated my post to include the link where I for ideas for FMQ using my walking foot. If you don't want to have to go back and look for it, it's here:

  2. Congrats on the finish, Linda! I recently made the switch to Superior Threads and am loving it! Happy quilting to you!

  3. Beautiful quilt and beautiful post!! You are very talented. ;)

  4. Linda, I love your quilt!! It's so beautiful.
    I've been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I am to be able to enjoy quilting too. I have a quilt my mother made me that she quilting by hand (she may have pieced on her machine though). I look at those stitches and think WOW!

    1. Thank you Tricia. Those quilts are really precious, aren't they? It's nice to think someone may say the same about ours someday.


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