Finished Handmade Quilting

A Fishing Net Quilt {handmade}

01/07/2016

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

A year and a quarter in the making, and it’s finally finished.  If ever a quilt was to be my magnum opus, I think this would be it.  Whether it can claim the title of the biggest quilt I’ve ever made is a little uncertain; my silk quit isn’t as long, but it is wider and I haven’t quite got to the point of getting out the tape measure and doing the maths to be absolutely certain.

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

What is absolutely certain is that this is the biggest quilt with this degree of piecing, the silk quilt basically being rows of 10 giant squares, and the biggest quilt that I have ever quilted on my little sewing machine.  Looking at the quilt and then looking at the sewing machine I rather feel like I owe it a service as a sort of spa break for sewing machines so it can recover from all the hard work.

In size it is big enough to wrap around a tree, big enough to completely cover me (and I’m 6’0”), and the sort of size that can see Kitty, Pip, Elma and me all sat on the sofa and all nicely tucked up underneath it.  It’s going to be a popular quilt come winter, and because it’s new and shiny it’s my favourite now – though I’m having to fight H for it of an evening.

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

The backing is a batik print that came from Bramble Patch.  If I’d been more organised at the time I’d have written down what it was but I think I was just too captivated by it to pay much attention to important things such as labels.  I’m pretty sure it’s a Makower Fabrics Island Batik print, the imaginatively named 6/550  As I said, the quilt is massive, so I pieced the backing by buying 3 metres of batik, cutting one metre off, dividing that in two vertically and sewing that on the side of the remaining 2 metre section to give a 2 metre by 67ish inch backing section.  It was pretty much exactly the same width as the quilt so I tried to be as careful as possible when lining up front and back but I did end up needing to piece in a little strip a couple of inches wide on one corner.  Fortunately in such a busy fabric it’s not noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for.

The binding is a sea of calm compared to the riot of the back, it’s a Moda essentials dots print, and I love how it works as a soft companion to the front and then a crazy vibrant contrast to the back.

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

As well as winning the prize for biggest every quilt quilted by my machine, it’s also the first time I’ve done more than just an all over stipple of one variation or another; the first time I’ve really tried to match the quilting to the quilt.  I started with the blue zig zags; in the piecing they make the net, but for the quilting they were waves. Each line has three rippling lines in varigated blue thread (YLI Sea Mist) so for me they’re fairly densely quilted and oh are there many hours of working the quilt through the machine in there.

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

For the inner triangles I went with a much lighter touch, and a different colour (yellow varigated). I wanted them to be under the water; the little swirls and eddys and occasional air bubbles so you can imagine a fish, or perhaps a teeny tiny submarine wiggling from one side of the quilt to another.

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

I love the way it turned out; while I was quilting it I seriously began to question whether I actually like the quilting part of it and thought wistfully of long arm quilting machines; it’s a serious upper body work out hauling that much fabric around and I am very determined that the next quilt I make will be smaller. Much smaller.

Space for the Butterflies - fishing net quilt

Famous last words I know, but I do have a plan for the next one, and a lovely little stash of Liberty scraps too!

Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On 

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  • Anna 01/07/2016 at 10:12 am

    Well done! That’s amazing – really beautiful!

  • Lee Cockrum 01/07/2016 at 1:45 pm

    So amazing!!! Totally lovely!!! I’m very impressed!!!

  • karen 01/07/2016 at 1:53 pm

    gorgeous!!! I love the colors in the quilt and of course the awesome photo shoot 🙂

  • Vickie 01/07/2016 at 3:43 pm

    Wow Carie it’s absolutely wonderful! All of the little touches in the quilting are just perfect.

  • Rebecca Grace 01/07/2016 at 5:56 pm

    Congratulations — your quilt is gorgeous, and what a milestone, your first FMQ project! I know exactly what you mean, lusting after a long arm machine (maybe I could buy one, if I sold my CAR!) — but it just keeps getting easier with each quilt, I promise. The first one is such a hurdle to overcome, and you did a great job with the quilting. And yes, your sewbaby deserves a spa treatment after that workout, for sure. 🙂

  • Jenny Benton 02/07/2016 at 3:22 am

    Lovely quilt indeed, and so family friendly too! Congratulations on your great finish.

  • Ruth 02/07/2016 at 12:49 pm

    It is such a fun quilt and looks like you had great fun on the photo shoot too! Really like that vibrant backing!

  • Jen 02/07/2016 at 2:01 pm

    Great quilt! Well done on a smaller machine. I have an older Bernina that I love, but wrestle with when quilting larger quilts. I haven’t sent a quilt to a long arm quilter yet because I feel like it’s only really my finish if I quilt it as well as do the piecing. Love your blog!

  • Sandra 02/07/2016 at 3:07 pm

    Ooh Liberty! I have ogled that fabric for more than a decade and still have none. Your fish quilt is adorable and I enjoyed reading about the thoughts behind the quilting motifs you chose. Oh I hear you on wrestling a large quilt through a machine! I did it for almost 20 years before I finally got my longarm, much better! However, what saved me was quilting a large quilt in thirds. Check on the tutorials and tips page on my site for what I mean; it was a lifesaver, game changer and shoulder and neck saver when I stumbled across that method! I also love the post after this one with your children, especially seeing your laughing little girl in that sweet dress, quilt in the tree (I have a ‘thing’ for quilts in trees, lol) beside her! Lovely colours too.

  • Zena 05/07/2016 at 1:21 pm

    What a mammoth task! I so enjoyed reading the journey in detail. Its a wonderful quilt! I love the contrast in fabric – busy batik in the back and contemporary fabric at the front.

  • Jennie 05/07/2016 at 3:07 pm

    The colors you’ve chosen are to die for. What a beautiful quilt!

  • Tracy 06/07/2016 at 9:48 pm

    Carie! This is beautiful!! Your backing fabric is just perfect, and your quilting really enhances the whole thing. I hear ya about smaller quilts 😉 Every time I finish a biggie, I think, “I should stick to baby quilts….” But there are only so many babies…. Well done!

  • Laura G. 08/07/2016 at 3:29 pm

    That quilt is incredibly beautiful… and fun!! What a wonderful keepsake.

  • Ranee @ Arabian Knits 08/07/2016 at 6:24 pm

    What a gorgeous quilt! Those colors are wonderful!

    • Jobeth 18/07/2016 at 2:14 am

      ça faisait longtemps que je ne venais plus dans ce forum, mais je vois que je n’ai perdu, il y a toujours autant de dÃlaéiti©dbns les propos et les questions ! je te plains mon gars tu devras rester frustré pendant de longues années !ciao

  • Bobbi 10/07/2016 at 4:37 pm

    This quilt is so much fun! I know what you mean about the workout of squishing a big quilt through a small machine. Even though I’m a professional longarmer now, I’ve done many a quilt the other way. I even did one of my own on my domestic machine a couple of weeks ago because longarms are horizontal, and the quilt had long diagonal lines that I wanted to follow. It’s such a workout!

    My favorite picture is the one of your daughter playing in the quilt. Her grin is contagious!

  • Eline @ Emmy + LIEN 12/07/2016 at 11:24 am

    It’s absolutely beautiful Carie! I can imagine the workout it gave you – I have gotten stuck at the machine quilting point with every quilt I’ve ever started.