The road ends, but the journey continues...

project4now status: finished

project4now quilt finished lbl 2016

project4now: whole-cloth quilted throw

The promised update on the results of my project4now experiment follows, but first a photo of the completed project is in order.
Now then, as a reminder, I decided to challenge myself by using different materials and assembly methods in this project. Those challenge-experiments are presented here with results noted in italics.

Initial challenges:

  • Wonky pre-printed block fabric as top (straight of grain is often distorted since pattern is not woven into the material) – this required studying the fabric before cutting into it to determine which section of the whole yardage was the least ‘wonky’ then layout/stitching proceeded with an eye for fudging printed straight lines into actual straight lines (hard to explain); luckily pattern was pretty close to straight of grain.
  • Cotton/Polyester batting (more like traditional low-loft batting) – this was a joy to machine quilt as it lies well under the needle (brand name: Fairfield Quilter’s 80/20).
  • Quilt-sized backing fabric (eliminates need for piecing) – color and design choices are limited, but I was able to match one of the colors in the quilt block design; this is a fantastic convenience that is worth the extra money (in this instance, I got it on sale with an additional coupon reduction!)
  • All materials NOT pre-washed (launder after completed to see how this method differs) – the biggest problem I noticed was that the two fabrics used in this project had different levels of sizing therefore the hand-feel of the completed quilt was not uniform; however, I like how it came out of the dryer all ‘cuddly and crinkly’ so I think I’ll continue to pre-wash my fabrics before starting a project, then wash the quilt again after it is completed.
  • Combination spray basting and hand basting – this is now my default method and I highly recommend it; the spray basting did not gunk up my needle during construction and left no undesirable stiffness in the completed quilt after washing (brand name: June Taylor).
  • Machine quilt using properly installed walking foot (!) – the most frustrating aspect to this was not the actual process of machine quilting, but managing the bulk of the quilt as it is being sewn; I do like this as a quilting option.

Additional challenges:

  • Adjust borders to accommodate finished size – only added side borders, leaving the binding of entire quilt to act as a frame around the top & bottom; I like how it turned out, but only in this application as a throw.
    narrow project4now label

    project4now label machine stitched on bottom right front border of quilt

  • Create label documentation using machine stitching of info directly onto quilt – again, I like how this turned out, but only in application as a throw; I would have used a larger font, but only one text size is available on my machine. 

project4now status: finished!


  1. Sarah

    This is a truly impressive piece of art, Laura! How very beautiful it must be to create something this lovely and useful! I have an aunt who also excels at making quilts and always admire her deeply for the patience it must need to accomplish this. I also like to sew but only small pieces: bags, cushions, clothing. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Your artistic appraisal means much to me! I love color – I cannot paint; therefore I quilt! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.

  2. Donna

    Your quilt is beautiful. I love the colors and the pre-printed fabric. That must take a lot of work. My mom was the one who did all the sewing, quilting and braided rug making. I was the one who painted. I could never do the work you did here. No talent with fabric at all.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Like I mentioned in Jane’s comment: I cannot paint; therefore I quilt! Also, your photos shout out ‘painting with a camara’!
      Thanks for stopping by, Donna.

  3. Lulu

    Laura, your finished quilt is beautiful! I love the funky, bold pattern and bright colors. Knowing absolutely nothing about quilting, reading all of your reflections on your creative process and different experimentations is like reading Russian. Or French, which I’m trying to learn (if all I have to say in Paris is, “I have a black cat,” then I’m all set.) But truly, it is a really beautiful quilt. You are quite talented!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Aha, so you have virgin ears when I tell you about quilters and our stashes!!??? HA! 😀
      Seriously, I’m thrilled you’re embarking of that new Paris adventure with relish. Diving right in and learning the lingo. You never know what might come of it!
      Michelle (middle daughter) has a Paris French Connection from way back. Fluent in the language, she did student exchange in HS – where we were blessed to return the hospitality to the student of her host family. Then, in College she spent a year in study abroad taking classes in French appropriate to her major at the time (international business) And since then she’s worked in and helped establish foreign exchange programs at various universities. At present she’s working on her doctorate in West African education reform….specifically to advance policy to teach in native languages. While French is a language that lingers from colonialism days, she studied a native language for use in the area and will be doing her research in West Africa over the summer.
      Phwew! TMI, but I figured you’d be interested.
      And, oh yes, thanks for the quilt kuddos, LuLu!

      • Lulu

        Hi Laura! I was looking through old comment notices in my inbox, and I don’t know how I missed this one! I’m sorry for the very belated reply. I am so impressed (and trying not to be envious) that your daughter is fluent in French! I studied Spanish and Latin in high school and college, but was never anywhere near fluent. My gifts do not include a knack for languages. You must be so proud of your daughter! I love experiencing different cultures, but to have language skills would take it to a whole new level. It sounds like she is making the world a better place! It reminds me of the quote from Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” Thank you for sharing this – it wasn’t TMI at all. In fact, it piqued my curiosity to go out and experience as much of the world as I can.

        • laura bruno lilly

          How timely, as you’re rapidly approaching your departure date to France…and not to worry about the ‘losing track of comments’ thing…I have problems, too especially as WP does not offer the ‘like’ button on my site for each comment (being has its disadvantages) and I know visitors to my site often don’t know I’ve responded etc…
          Can’t wait for your adventures to begin!

  4. Jane Chesebrough

    Like the colours and how the star pattern block repeats itself.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I, too, like the color palette of the fabric. As in nature (as your photos attest) such color combinations are a joy to work with…I love color! Ma was an artist; but I cannot paint. Therefore I quilt! 😉

  5. Linda W.

    That looks incredibly hard to do. (Can you tell I’ve never quilted?) It turned out beautiful! The colors are wonderful together. Are you glad you challenged yourself?

    • laura bruno lilly

      I do enjoy a good challenge! 🙂
      As for the degree of difficulty of this particular project – it looks harder than it actually was! I’m sure you have a few crochet patterns that are a whiz to turn out and look like they required unusual stitches to design, etc. I usually spend more time on the actual piecing of the quilt top more than the finish work of attaching the three layers together. Because I used that incredibly gorgeous pre-printed fabric, I was able to try new things without fear of ruining all the work that goes into piecing.
      You’re so talented at crochet, you should try your hand at quilting. Rumor has it: Kitty wants a quilt!

  6. Marvia

    Glad to see you are still quilting. I like the colors, and it turned out great. I have been doing smaller projects myself. One thing that I have been working on is quilted grocery bags. They make great gifts and don’t take much time. Great for using scraps as well. Hope you had a great Christmas, and that the New year will be filled with many new and challenging things. Love, Marvia

    • laura bruno lilly

      Good to hear from you, Marvia..I figured you’d be quilting up a storm on some project or other! If I remember correctly, you flew through sewing quilts for all your kids, spouses, and grandkids at breakneck speed and ran out of ‘excuses’ to make more.
      Keep on stitchin’.
      Take care – love to all.

  7. Lisa

    Looks terrific Laura ! As always you motivate me to get going on my projects.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks Lisa, it’s the fastest one I’ve ever sewn…I mean I still have Michelle’s quilt that we did as a Mother/Daughter quilt project during her high school years to finish the borders etc…or is that just TMI???!!!!HA!
      Lisa, even though I can’t wait to see your daughter’s wedding quilt, I know it will be done in due time. Enjoy the process.

  8. Anna Scott Graham

    I like how descriptive you are here. And I love that label stitched right into the quilt! Well, and I sure admire the quilt itself, hee hee. I keep saying to myself, ‘Try different batting’, so maybe I’ll give a 80/20 blend a go.
    And I think I’ve already mentioned how spray basting could become a focus in my quilting life, ha!
    Well done on this experiment, with a terrific throw in the process.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank-you kindly, Anna. I figured those who enjoy the craft would appreciate the details of the experiment and hopefully inspire to try some of the ideas. Looks like you’ve got a few stewing for your next quilt!

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