My last quilt finish of 2013, just in time, four days before Christmas. I say just in time because I wrapped it up on the last day that my son was in school, so it was a total surprise. He never saw the fabric, the process or anything, the whole thing was done during school hours and then quickly hidden before he got home. This quilt started when I bought the panel designed by Jill McDonald from the Out of this World collection. I just loved it and knew my son would too, he has been fascinated with the planets and space this year.
Once I had the panel, I decided I liked the overall size, be it that I wanted this to be a wall hanging in his room. The length was great, but the height was a tad too skinny, so I added in the skinny Lizzy House Constellations black borders and then the yellow polka dot by Micheal Miller (dumb dot maybe?) Oh and before I forget I also had to add a skinny white border in between the panel and the black border because the panel was cut in a way that I needed to add some white in order for it to look even and correct. It was a struggle to match the white from my stash, but in the end, found a "close enough" and went with it. Thankfully you can't even see the seam and you certainly can't tell that it wasn't originally there..
The backing was totally from my stash. The ABC print on the left is from JoAnn fabrics a few years back. The middle yellow dot is the same print as the front and then the B&W tickets to the right are a Timeless Treasures print. I used a high loft polyester batting for this one. I wanted that plush and soft feel to it. I am also super proud to say that I lined up the backing perfectly straight in reference to the lines on the front panel. All of my quilting that is on the back is perfectly straight, especially since a lot of lines ended up on that narrow strip. I was super nerdy excited about that, my backs always end up a tad wonky, but not this one, it was perfect!
I knew all along that I wanted to quilt this one by hand with pearl cotton and large stitches, which I did around every motif, actually twice around every motif, you can see that below. What I did not expect to do was to end up tying this quilt also, a technique that I have never tried before. After I was finished with the hand quilting, I felt that it needed a tad bit more, but couldn't decide on what to quilt and in the end I ended up tying in the center of each motif. If you look really hard below on the Mercury block you can see a little yellow knot on the planet. I tried to blend in all the ties, especially on the motifs. I didn't want that to stand out. I also tied around every 5" on the yellow polka dot border. That was so easy and quick, I may have to do that more often, especially on quilts that won't be handled a ton.
The finished quilt measures 36" x 42." I used a solid matching Kona red for the binding, which was totally machine stitched on (so quick!) I also added five loops to the back top, to be able to hang this one on the wall. Opening his present Christmas morning, my son seemed to love it and quickly explained to me all of the planets. It was so nice to have it finished in time, a total surprise and seeing him open a handmade gift on Christmas.
This was my second (and final finished) project listed on my fourth quarter finish-a-long list. I am happy to say that I met this goal and can link up over at She Can Quilt. Thank you so much Leanne for hosting a great year of the Finish-A-Long!