The Shamrock Quilt

Fitting that I have a Shamrock quilt to show you, and it’s March, huh?

This is the second quilt started by my Aunt Dorothy that my cousin had me finish and quilt for her. I don’t have a picture of it full out, because My Cowboy was unavailable to help me with that part, so here’s half of it, and you can get the general idea. It’s an Irish Chain pattern with shamrocks appliqued in the open blocks.

Well, it turned out to be a challenge, as I figured it might when I first saw it.

It’s pieced from double knit. Hand pieced from double knit.

Not only is it hand pieced from double knit, there’s also hand applique done with double knit, and she had begun making the borders out of some old drapes.

The drapery material was silky and crawly and raveled really badly. Very hard to work with. But I wanted to complete the quilt as it appeared she meant for it to be . . .

So the first thing I had to do was make the border pieces to fit from the drapes, then attach those pieces to the stretchy middle of the entire quilt. Quite a job, but I managed to get that done. There were also a few spots that needed to be repaired where seams weren’t caught or had come loose.

After that, all I had left to do was worry about how I was going to quilt it. It was very thick, especially at the intersections of all the seams, and there were lots of those.

I also didn’t want it to stretch while I was quilting it, but the worst issue ended up being that it tended to bunch up in the thick spots because the hopping foot of my machine couldn’t hop high enough to keep from “pushing” the fabric in front of it in places, even though I was trying to avoid those intersections at all costs.

The only saving thing about that was that it did it evenly over the entire quilt top, so the bunching is uniform, and it ended up not looking too bad. Sorta looks like a biscuit quilt!

Here’s the back. I outlined each appliqued shamrock, then echoed it big, then just did an all-over medium-sized meander in the rest of it. I started out trying to do something a bit more custom, but it just wasn’t working, so I ripped it out and went with the more simple choice.

The finished quilt is actually quite fluffy and very soft, so I think it’ll make a good cuddly quilt in spite of its odd construction. And I’m once again glad to have helped finish something that my aunt had started and just never got to complete.

But I also hope that I never again have to quilt a quilt made from double knit!

Published in: on March 3, 2012 at 7:21 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s really pretty so all of your effort was worthwhile!

  2. Shelly, that looks like it was quite the challenge and you handled it nicely, sure turned out pretty! Very nicely done! I never was a fan of double knits for sewing. Give me cottons any day! 🙂

  3. It looks wonderful! You did a great job working with all those varied fabrics. One thing about the double-knit, it will wear like iron and last forever.

  4. That’s really neat. You did a great job tackling all those problems. I love that it’s an Irish chain, done in green, and with shamrocks all over it!

  5. You did a beautiful job. I’d wager that we’ll never see a double-knit quilt bordered with drapery fabric that looks this nice!

    I’ll bet it’s very warm, too.

  6. I remember double-knit quilts. Fortunately, I’ve never had to do anything more than look at a few. (Polyester double knit literally gives me a rash!)
    I’m wondering if it’s possible that it was intended to be a 4-H quilt since shamrocks have only 3 leaves. In any case, I can’t even imagine how many hours of work went into creating something like this by hand. It’s nice that your quilting shows up so well.

  7. Purty!

  8. Im looking for one like this to buy.Know where I can get one?

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