Finished Quilt – Earning Your Cross

I’m so excited to share with you my biggest quilt finish to date!  This quilt finished at a full-sized 80″ by 88″ and I sewed and quilting the entire thing on my little domestic machine!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

“Earning Your Cross”
Quilt Stats:
Size: 80″ x 88″
Pattern: Arithmetic by Jeni Baker
Type of Quilting: Straight line on my home machine
Date Finished: June 2014

This quilt took a lot longer than anticipated to finish but I’m so proud of the end result.  Some of you may remember from when I first posted about this quilt back in December that this quilt was a gift to my little brother to commemorate him achieving his dream job, earning his Ski Patrol cross and becoming a full-fledged member of the Ski Patrol at Snowbird resort in Utah!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Cross / Plus Quilt, straight line quilting

I love the fabrics I chose for this quilt!  The colors are just so bright and they really pop.  And I was really happy to see the the red still stands out within the quilt (since the Ski Patrol members are denoted by their red ski coats).  I also used a wide 108″ fabric for the backing for the first time and it was so nice to not have to piece anything together and have seams across the back of the quilt.

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

I quilted this quilt with both vertical and horizontal straight lines on either side of all of the seams.  I think it helps the crosses (pluses) to stand out.  And the stitching on the back looks really neat!  I used a red variegated thread so you can really see it against the gray backing!  This quilt was a lot of bulk to support and fit through my small domestic machine but I found that rolling the quilt in from either side allowed me to fit everything through more easily and I could adjust the two rolls as I moved along the quilt top.

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Cross / Plus Quilt, straight line quilting

I love the label I made for this quilt too!  I actually appliqued a miniature cross onto the label which is just a little something extra compared to what I’ve done previously.  And the bias striped binding was a great finishing touch!

Cross / Plus Quilt, label

I actually finished this quilt top back in February and started quilting it then too (note the date on my label above).  But after quilting 6 very wonky lines with uneven stitches and folds of my backing fabric caught in the quilting stitches, I was crying at my sewing machine about how I was ruining the quilt and my husband (rightfully!) told me I needed to step away from it for awhile and regroup.

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

I ended up staying away from it for longer than planned as I got caught up in other projects.  But once I figured out a better system for supporting the weight and bulk of the large quilt, the quilting became much easier and I was able to finish it without any further issues or tears!  That said, the quilting alone still took me at least 16 or 18 hours!  I did rip out 4 out of those 6 original lines of quilting and fixed them too!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

I finished this quilt late Friday night which was just in time because my husband and I were going up to Indiana for the weekend for a couple of family events.  My brother was going to be home from Utah too so I was actually able to surprise him with his (long-overdue) quilt in person!

Cross, Plus Quilt - Side by Side

I could tell he really liked it and he even ditched the hotel comforter to cuddle up underneath his new quilt instead!  I can’t wait for him to send me pictures of the quilt on his full-sized bed out in Utah!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Looks like a happy little brother to me!  (And a proud big sister behind the camera!)

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Cross / Plus Quilt Top Finished!

With the ice and snow expected to come through Atlanta this week (we haven’t actually seen much yet but it is supposed to get worse this afternoon and tonight), I got yesterday off work for another sewing day.  With all that dedicated sewing time (while watching the Olympics of course), I was able to finish the top of my cross / plus quilt for my brother.  I even managed to sneak in a photoshoot despite the dreary weather!

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I love the colors in this quilt!  The reds and blues are so bright and fun!

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I used glue basting to help ensure all of the seams lined up properly.  I must say that glue basting might be my new favorite sewing / quilting trick!  It is so much easier than pinning and works really well.

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I was a little worried that with only 3 colors the crosses / pluses wouldn’t stand out and be obvious enough but I love how it turned out!

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Now I just need this dreary weather to dry up so that I can get this top spray basting and get started on the quilting!

Snow Day = Quilting Day

So today in Atlanta is a Snowpocalypse! The entire city has completely shut down! Granted, I was born and raised in the North so the ~2 inches of snow that we got is absolutely no big deal to me.

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But since Atlanta (and really, most of the South) freaks out about snow, the university where my lab is located has closed campus and my boss has told me not to come into work.  The entire state has been declared under a state of emergency.  Guess that means I’ve got a sewing day!

I’ve been working on all the piecing for my cross/plus quilt for my brother so hopefully I can make a good dent into that today.

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My dog Khloe has really been enjoying playing in the snow so I’m sure I’ll be out there with her for a bit too!

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Anyone else in the South getting a snow day today?

Earning Your Ski Patrol Cross

I am so excited to share that my brother has officially earned his Ski Patrol cross and has become a full-fledged member of the Ski Patrol at Snowbird resort in Utah!

Ski Patrol 1

My brother moved out to Utah when he was 18 with the ultimate goal of joining Snowbird’s ski patrol.  He started out working the grill at Mid Gad (one of the restaurants halfway up the mountain) where he was skiing in and out of work each day.  He then shifted to working for facilities in their conference center where he was promoted to a supervisor.

Snowbird Ski Resort is located in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Last ski season, he joined the trail crew (which is a prerequisite to becoming a patrol member at his resort) and his goal was really in sight.  And now – just 3 years after moving out west – he’s got his dream job!

Ski Patrol 2

And to top it all off, he’s the second youngest patrol member they’ve ever had!  Can you tell I’m a proud big sister?

To commemorate his achievement, I wanted to make him a quilt.  I was planning to have it made before he earned his cross so I could send it to him right away but he was moved up from trail crew earlier than we were expecting so I’m having to change my plans a little bit.

As soon as I saw a pattern for a “plus” quilt, I knew I had to make it for my brother.  But for my purposes, it isn’t a “plus” quilt.  It’s a CROSS quilt!

I decided to use the Arithmetic pattern made by Jeni Baker (who blogs at In Color Order).  She also has a tutorial on her blog but it is only for a throw sized quilt and I wanted to make a full/double sized quilt that my brother could use on his bed.  It gets cold out in Salt Lake City!

Because ski patrol jackets are red with a white cross, I knew I wanted red and white to be the primary colors in my quilt.  But to make it a bit more interesting, I wanted to add a third color.  I decided to go with blue as it reminded me of ice crystals and felt winter-y which definitely fits with skiing!

Here are the fabrics I picked out for his quilt top:

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I’m planning to start cutting into these this weekend and hopefully I can get my brother his quilt sooner rather than later!