quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

FO: The First “Tall Tales”

It’s been a while since the last blog post, but at least I have a few finished objects and WIPs to share, now that I’m back! 

You may recall that I wanted to finish one of the “Tall Tales” (foundation paper pieced book quilt blocks) for part of a young relative’s Christmas gift.  Despite taking a long break after the tension issues on the quilting machine, I did manage to meet that goal.  

Here it is one more time on the quilting frame.  

I found two or three places where I’d neglected to the “stitch in the ditch” on one of the book spine seams.  Those weren’t too bad to add afterwards.  Then when the whole thing was off the frame, I took a good look at the back and found that there really wasn’t much at all that had such poor (loopy) tension on the back that I felt it had to be ripped and restitched.  The repair went very quickly.  The worry was much worse than the reality.  (No matter how many times this has been demonstrated for me in my life, I never learn…)

(Also: Notice all the little test swatches on the sides of the quilt top.  After the tension issues, I went back to a practice I’ve seen recommended before of testing your tension each time you advance the quilt on the frame or change the bobbin. I’d stopped doing that after each advance, because it does take a little extra time.  However, it’s worth it if it helps you avoid even a few hiccups on the actual quilt.)

Back to the quilt! 

The pattern is “Tall Tales” by Kate Basti.  (Read more about it in this blog post.)

The backing is lavender flannel, because I have a lot of flannel in the stash. The batting is 100% cotton, and the binding is a print of white anchors on a pink background– something I had in sufficient quantity to make the binding and which also seemed to “go” with the variety of fabrics in the top well enough to not stand out too much. For quilting, I used 100% polyester (Connecting Threads EssentialPRO) in “Sweet Pink”.  (I don’t see that color listed on their site at the moment.  Not sure if it’s been discontinued or just out of stock.  The color selection looked much more limited than it was when I bought thread there 2 or 3 years ago.  I wonder if this is a result of Covid-19 or if they’ve decided to carry fewer colors.  They sell thread from other companies, too, now, so maybe it’s related to that…)

The quilting is pretty simple.  I outlined/SITD each seam in each “book”.  (SITD wasn’t always in the ditch, but close enough to make the point. 😅)  Then I meandered over the background.  The meandering started off on a slightly different (smaller) scale than it ended, as I noticed when I took the quilt off the frame.  (Taking a long break during the quilting probably doesn’t help maintain a consistent scale or spacing!)  I don’t think it’s a big enough shift to be a problem, but it’s something I’ll try to pay more attention to next time. 

So there it is!  My last quilt finished in 2020! 

This quilt was made for my niece, Clarabel, and I think it was well-received, which is always nice. 😉 (It wasn’t her entire Christmas gift. Whenever possible, I try to make my handmade / homemade gifts a “bonus” gift, because we’re fortunate enough to have that as an option.  Besides, it’s usually as much a gift for me as for the person I give it to, because I get to enjoy the making.)

Another quilt is already on the frame, but that’s a subject for the next blog post. 


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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