Friday, October 27, 2017

Cardinal Stars Finish


It's almost exactly seven years since I first cut the fabric for this quilt, and Cardinal Stars is finally finished!

It's one year since I sewed the red binding and extra yellow flange to the front. I learned how to do it from Mimi Dietrich's book Happy Endings (Martingale 2013), which is practical and helpful.

I thought that machine sewing the high contrast yellow flange nice and straight would be the hardest part. But then I wrecked my back, which changed my posture, and it turned out that hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt had become extremely painful.

I don't have arthritis, the problem is excessively loose joints and pinched nerves. Every couple of months I would try another few inches of binding, and the pain would return. I used to hand sew every day, and for the past year this binding is the only thing I've even attempted.

But, over the last month I've been working on my shoulder, and whatever was out of place seems to have corrected itself. Yesterday I was able to finish the last side and the last corner in one sitting! So that is a considerable relief.

I'm not going to jump back into a full schedule of hand sewing, but at least now I know I can do it once in a while.

Cardinal Stars, about 62" x 62" (158 x 158 cm)

After all that drama, the finish feels a little anticlimactic to me. But, I think all my experiments -- retrimming and remaking the blocks, "floating" the blocks on the background, my first time renting a long arm, and the flanged binding -- were quite successful. I have learned a TON, and I think part of the reason why this quilt feels out of sync to me now is because I've come so far.

So, yay! A second finish for 2017, an ooold UFO off the books, and some hand sewing hope for the future. :D

15 comments:

  1. Hurray that you have less pain and can do some had stitching. I can do hand stitching that's why I have so many applique blocks on the go.

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  2. Beautiful finish! I like the yellow in the binding, good idea and the orange outside
    of that, perfect.

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  3. The fabrics and colors you chose for this quilt are just beautiful together. I especially like the green(ish) trim around the stars; it sets them off so well and coordinates with the green in the border so well. The whole quilt just glows!
    I'm sorry to hear about your pain. It's miserable when we can't do what we're used to and love doing. Glad you're finally able to do some handwork.

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  4. Congrats on the finish and learning a ton! I've never done a flanged binding but sure like the look. Glad you can get back to a little hand work.

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  5. My sister and I always think of our grandmother when we see cardinals; she loved them so. I'm glad you're finding ways to quilt again. We have to change with our bodies. I've had Mimi's book for years but didn't try her flanged binding. The site I used was less helpful. Thanks for the reminder to check my bookshelf.

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  6. I don't know if this is even available where you live, or if it would help your physical problem--it is mainly a treatment for ligaments and tendons. I have had Radio Shock Wave therapy and it helped me tremendously (my ribs were moving from a car accident--I'd get adjusted at chiro's and they'd move within the hour--very painful). Anyway, if it is available, you may want a consult. I have been in constant pain for nine years so I sympathize. Hope you can find something to help!

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  7. I love this quilt! I wish I lived closer as I would be happy to sew bindings for you when it is too much for you. Happy that you could do it yourself, though.

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  8. Hooray for all that you "learned" during this project. . .especially the part about hand sewing! What a wonderful finish. Please celebrate with all the fanfare possible. I am so slow in the quilt finish department so I will celebrate for several weeks. . . (any excuse to party is okay by me. . .at least that is the story that I'm sticking with!)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Terry! You're right, it's so easy to start on the next one without taking a beat. I'm trying to let it sink in!

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  9. Way to go Monica. Congrats on a beautiful finish. The hit of yellow in the flange binding creates a perfect finish to the quilt. Love it.

    The quilting looks great. Never having worked on a long arm, I would love to hear about your experience.

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    1. Thank you! The design is so simple, so it's nice to have a little extra in the binding.

      I did indeed write about the quilting experience. You can read it here -- http://www.lakeviewstitching.com/2016/04/adventures-in-quilting.html

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  10. Lovely finish, the yellow flange pops and is perfect with the cardinal fabric.

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  11. You're the second person to mention flanged bindings this week - I like how it looks a lot. I'm glad your shoulder is now allowing you to do at least a bit of hand stitching.

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  12. Absolutely beautiful - harmony again, which is extraordinary given the sharp edges of the stars and the flow of the cardinals. I wish I lived close enough to come and do your hand-stitching for you. It’s real progress on a number of fronts.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jillian! It does feel like good progress. Of course, it's taken me a week to recover from sewing that binding, so not huge progress...

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