I started this quilt back in the 70’s with great intentions of making this fabulous fun quilt for my girls when they were little. It turned out to be harder than I thought and more time consuming than I expected. I completed the center part and the bottom panel, all by hand (note that this was way before rulers, rotary cutters, and fusible appliqué paper). The pattern that I followed had blocks of appliquéd carnival rides all around the center of the quilt. The thought of hand turning and hand stitching all those itty-bitty pieces was daunting. That’s when I stored it away for another day.
So 2017 rolls around and all my girls are grown up. While organizing my stash, I came across the unfinished carnival quilt top. I’m a quilter and semi-retired, so now I should think about how I might finish it. I ended up trimming it with rulers and my rotary cutter and eliminating about 4 inches between the bottom panel and the center panel. I completely removed the top panel. It was not that interesting and made the quilt too long. Finally, I made a variation of a pinwheel out of vintage fabrics for the vertical borders. For the top and bottom, I pieced together borders with the left over vintage fabric.
I added vintage buttons to the center of each pinwheel, then I sandwiched it, and prepared to free-motion-quilt using my Elna 680. It does a pretty good job, but I’m the one who struggles to keep my stitches even. Despite the imperfections, I had fun using different colors of thread and coming up with the quilting designs. I always use bobbin thread that matches my quilt back so it blends in nicely.
I’m really happy that I was able to finish what I had started over 20 years ago! It needed to wait until I had better quilting tools and more experience. I’m a person who likes to finish what they start and this quilt is certainly proof of that!
I’ve entered it in the local Redwood Empire Fair…… I’m hoping for a ribbon. 🙂