Thursday, September 19, 2013

Another Round of Chinese Checkers

It was a relief to finally be able to show off Chinese Checkers yesterday as part of the Sew Ready to Play series. And though I already shared the tutorial at I'm Feelin' Crafty, I thought there might be more details you quilty-types would like to know.
First off, as I designed Chinese Checkers, I had a baby quilt in mind, and my research showed that these dimensions would be appropriate: a width of 36-45" and a length of 45-54". Mine ended up 36x48" which seemed right in the ballpark.

About the fabrics . . . the background is a lovely gray "textured solid" by Andover called "Sidewalk" - my first use of this fabric, and I'm a fan. As the name suggests, it gives really great texture to this quilt - both in tactility and visually - especially used with such vivid solids as Kona Bright Periwinkle, Free Spirit Citrine, and Michael Miller Cotton Couture Mermaid and Charcoal. I loved this combo when I chose it for this quilt, and I love it still.
For a backing, I chose "yonder star" from Alexander Henry - to me, it looked like marbles, which was perfect for obvious reasons. If budget allowed, I'd purchase several yards in every colorway - this print is just downright happy.
I don't want to neglect mentioning the batting I used though that's not something I routinely do. To be honest, the majority of the quilts I've made have been filled with Warm & White. And I have no complaints. But Pellon kindly sent me a few of their batts to sample, and the Legacy Bamboo Blend I used in Chinese Checkers was like a quilting holiday. Since it was the first time using the bamboo batt and the textured solids, I'm really curious if the combo was what made it such a pleasure to quilt. But I'll definitely be trying the bamboo blend again. The finished quilt is super soft and just plain comfy.

When it came to quilting, I stuck with the marble theme and free-motion quilted organic circles using Aurifil 50wt #2600 (light gray). The gray was just the right shade to stand out but not overpower - exactly the look I was after.
By referring to the circles as 'organic' I mean that I was shooting for circles but in reality purposefully made them 'sloppy'. The circles were about 3" wide, which made it slightly more difficult to control than when I'd done smaller ones, but still, I think this is a perfect 'design' for beginning free-motion quilters. I'm still working on consistency in stitch length, but am hoping that comes with more practice. Anyway - my genius marking method - to ensure some consistency in the size of the circles, I used the rim of a drinking glass as a template. The rim was too thick to leave an impression that lasted very long, so I used the back-end of a crochet hook to 'trace' around the glass. I would trace 12-15 circles, go quilt, trace more, etc. It worked well enough.
The quilt was bound in more of the gray textured solid to leave the 'game boards' as the focus, and then taken out on the requisite photo shoot. The setting was near a small lake in our neighborhood, sleeping duck and all.

20 comments:

Katy Cameron said...

Love how you did the quilting on this, perfect way to finish it off!

Meia Ameruddin said...

The quilting just makes it all perfect! :)

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Beautiful! Such a great pattern and i agree perfect quilting!

Janet M. said...

This turned out great and I love the quilted circles. Great finish!

Ellyn said...

this quilt is fabulous!

Katie B said...

This is a really fun one, Deb. Love it!

Carla said...

Yes Debbie the quilting suits it so well. Don't you love the photo shoots? We get some weird looks, but that's OK

Svetlana said...

this is such a fantastic quilt, Debbie. And that quilting, wow!!!!

Heidi Staples said...

Such a clever, beautiful quilt, Debbie! And your photo shoots are always amazing!!

Erica said...

So pretty! I love that color combo and the pop of color on the back, and the quilting is great!

Vera said...

I love the quilting too. Great way to mark the circles!

Katie said...

Ooh, I love how you quilted HUGE pebbles. I haven't tried that before, and the jar idea is really smart. Beautiful!

Cary said...

Debbie,
Your quilt is beautiful. What a great design and use of fabrics!

Leanne said...

I love your quilt and all the insights in your post. I really love the circles you quilted.

feelincrafty said...

Thanks so much for playing!! :) This looks really great!

Heather D. said...

REALLY liking this Debbie. The quilting is really cool, like jumbo pebble quilting.

Erica said...

Very pretty quilt! Thank you for sharing your clever idea for marking up the quilt top. I find marking it challenging so then I don't bother and revert to something more mindless. This is a really doable alternative!

DKB said...

great quilt, love the 'solids', love the backing fabric, love the 'marble' quilting

Marci Girl said...

Your idea of using the drinking glass as a template is genius, I will have to remember that one! Such a pretty quilt!

Sarah said...

I really like this idea. It brings back lots of good memories for me. My Great Grandma had a Chinese checkers game that we would play at her house. It was very old in the early 80s, so it is definitely a vintage board fame. I think someone in the family has kept it. Thank you for sharing your quilting process. It's nice to find out how others quilt eg by marking small sections at a time and then quilting. If I didn't know that I'd probably go and do the whole thing at once and hate the process!