12 Days of Christmas Quilt ~ Finished

This project was started in 2008 with the embroidering of the 12 blocks. The blocks were part of the 12 Days of Christmas Embroidery Club – BOM series from Grandma’s Attic Sewing Emporium. Each month I received a kit with the floss, fabric, & iron on transfer to complete each block in the series. Sometime during 2009n the embroidery and piecing of the quilt top was completed.

Fast forward to December or 2020. Being that it is a small wall-hanging sized quilt, I figured that it would be no big deal to load it onto the quilt frame and “just knock it out”. I have no idea why I always think such nonsense. Right in the big push to finish all the holiday projects I thought I’d just quickly finish a project for myself? Yeah… no.

It was quick and easy to load on the quilt frame.

The quilting was to be fairly simple “stitch in the ditch” around the blocks, combined with stitches tracing around the embroidery. Holly leaves quilted in the borders and posts.

Not having had any practice using this set up to quilt, I wasn’t a good judge of what to consider “simple” or “easy”. There were many challenges that I hadn’t anticipated: difference in tension between the lower layer and the upper layer, black bobbin threads showing through to the top of the quilt, thread breakage, long loopy bobbin threads due to improper tension, the narrow area of play for each quilting pass before having to roll the quilt, the rolled quilt taking up space causing the poles to be adjusted, among others.

Not happy with how things were going, out came all the stitches and I started over.

Then another project, that took precedence, needed to be quilted using the quilt frame. Off came the 12 days of Christmas quilt to be replaced by the other project.

This was not a very good idea. The fabric wasn’t stiff enough to do what I needed it to do. Off came that project and back on went the 12 days of Christmas quilt and this time I actually “quilted” it.

Even after all of that, the four corners were “bunchy” on the back of the quilt. The the layers at each of the four corners were separated and then re-quilted by hand. That wasn’t super easy because of all the white in the printed fabric masking the traced quilting pattern lines. The quilt was backed with a relatively plain fabric, which made it much easier to actually see the traced lines. After hand quilting from the back side of the quilt, I notices that it didn’t make it look very nice from the front. :-/

The quickest fix was to go slowly with the treadle machine to trace along the hand sewing lines. The binding was cut on the bias and hand stitched down, both front and back.

No quilt is ever finished until a label has been attached. At Grandma’s Attic quilt club, In pre-COVID days, we would be gifted quilt labels during our birthday month. Not only did I have this quilt label in my stash, but I was also able to find it. Excited to be nearly finished, the details were written on the label and then it was put in someplace-super-safe (read: I lost it). This past weekend it was finally re-discovered. It was quickly affixed to the quilt, which is now truly finished!