On a Whim

Hi and welcome if you’ve arrived from the Blogger’s Quilt Festival!  I am so proud of my finished On a Whim quilt!  And it is finished just in the nick of time – it is currently all wrapped up and ready to be given to the happy couple later tonight.

On a Whim finished quilt

I started this quilt back in August using coordinating fat quarter bundles from Sew Fresh Fabrics to be a wedding present for a dear friend. The top got done fairly quickly but the back was another story. Last month, I took a longarm quilting class at Laurena’s Longarm Studio in Burlington, MA. I really enjoyed it and the finished quilting product was so much neater and tighter and faster, oh my goodness was it ever faster. I think this is going to be my go-to method for quilting large quilts from now on.

Anyway, to quilt on a longarm machine, the back of the quilt has to be substantially bigger than the front. I bought several yards of branch-patterned backing fabric at JoAnn’s and also used Kona in Bone. And while I thought I had purchased a substantial amount of backing fabric, it just wasn’t enough. I had to get creative, and even then I had to slice and sew several times to get it the right size.

On a Whim back

Once I figured out the back, I was ready to quilt. I headed straight to Laurena’s from work on a Tuesday night. She helped me set the quilt front, back, and batting up on one of the machines and off I went. The machine quilted so smoothly and quickly and soon I fell into a rhythm. I’d quilt across a section, roll the quilt up the rollers and tack down the edges, and then quilt another section.

Quilting On a Whim

Quilting On a Whim

It went really quickly and I am so pleased with the result. And at the very end, I free motion quilted the couple’s names and wedding date along the edge.

The quilt is bound with turquoise polka dots I had in the stash. I’m pretty sure that I bought this for the in-process llama quilt, but it ended up not going with the color scheme. So it got used here! Originally, I tried to use the “turn one fat quarter into 5 yards of binding tape” tutorial from Stop Staring and Start Sewing that I saw on Pinterest but it didn’t work for me, none of my lines lined up. This was probably more a product of being tired and not really paying attention to the measuring (darn you, The Flog, and your entertaining and geeky webisodes!). Anyway, I got the quilt bound and then decided to embroider over the couple’s names.


This took longer than anticipated. Partially because embroidering with a darning needle and four strands of floss through layers of quilt and batting is HARD, yo, and my fingers are delicate. But also partially because I ran out of embroidery floss number 760 with only inches to go. INCHES TO GO!


Finally, it was done, bound, embroidered, washed, dried, and photographed. And as of this posting, it has officially been wrapped and given away. LONG sigh of relief.  I love how big it is, the quilting, the crinkled texture, and the fact that right now it smells potently of fabric softener.  The quilt is roughly queen-sized and I hope it will my friends cozy for years to come!

On a Whim

Now, on to finish up those llamas!

What are you looking forward to finishing?

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 72″ x 88″
Special techniques used : embroidery
Quilted by : me, at Laurena’s Longarm Studio, Burlington MA
Best Category : Bed quilt
Amy's Creative Side

18 thoughts on “On a Whim

  1. LOVE. Love. Love. LOOOOVVVVE. You have a wonderful eye for both color and pattern in concert. The colors work well together close and at distance. They make the quit blocks pop and the quilt blocks highlight the patterns in the fabric. And the crinkle from the longarm quilting brings it all together visually as much as it does physically. Well done. You are so good at this :)

  2. Love it. I am working on one of these babies at the moment. Mine is also for a gift and so I may have to steal your embroidery idea, but as my fingers are also delicate lady fingers I might do it before the quilting. Ps. You are hilarious!

    • You know, if I had been smarter, I would have embroidered it before I quilted it. But I actually didn’t have the idea until I was in the middle of quilting it and then there was no turning back. Hope your On a Whim turns out well!

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