The Busy Bean

Peacock Park

I love this quilt. I just might be biased, but I do.

When I started looking at the finished top, it reminded me of an afternoon in a park, sitting on the grass watching the peacocks and elephants stroll by the river. What, you don’t have parks like that near your house? Neither do it. So I had to make it happen with the quilting.

Pebbles and streams. Twin sized quilt. That’s a lot of pebbles for Mr. Larabee to handle. See, Mr. Larabee is just a little Brother cs-6000i, with a mere 6″ of throat space. It’s not the easiest to maneuver big quilts in there. Doable, but not easy.

That’s how my biggest disaster happened. I pulled a little too hard, and broke my needle. Not too bad, just replace the needle and move on, right? I replaced the needle and discovered that I had thrown the timing off. I really wanted to have this quilt finished for my post yesterday. And I only paid $100 for the machine in the first place, so I didn’t want to fork out $125 to have someone fix the timing.

What’s a girl to do? Google it, of course. I looked it up and decided to try and fix it myself! A little scary, but since it wasn’t an expensive machine I figured I had nothing to lose. And it worked! It wasn’t easy, and Mr. Larabee still doesn’t sound quite healthy, but he was well enough to finish the quilt. I’m proud of him.

I marked three streams running diagonally across the quilt and quilted wavy lines along the basic path I’d marked. Then I filled in the rest with pebbles. I varied the size of the pebbles across the quilt. Some are less pebbles and more skipping stones. I planned this from the beginning, figuring that by the end I would be so tired of pebbles that they would all naturally bigger.

I discovered that it’s actually much easier to quilt small pebbles than it is to quilt the large skipping stones. More time consuming, but easier. By the end I had to really focus on making some larger because it was easier to get into the groove of same-size small pebbles.

I pulled a Riley Blake tuxedo stripe (from a Christmas collection actually) from my stash for the binding. I love stripey binding.

And here’s the back. I told Brad it’s for when we’re watching a movie in the dark and we don’t want the bright white quilt distracting us… we can just turn it over so it’s much more subtle.

There are a few more seams on the back than I would like. That was another of my frustrations. I cut the first pieces for bordering my tumbler patch wrong. So I had to add to them. Then I cut the sides and went to baste it… Yeah, I did funny math there too and realized that the back was 10″ too narrow. So I cut more fabric and added to it. You really can’t tell now that it’s done (unless you look closely) so it wasn’t a big deal. Just frustrating.

And the texture of snuggling up under all those pebbles now makes everything totally worth it. I know it changes with every quilt, but this is my favorite quilt I’ve made to date. I love the colors. I love the randomness. I love the binding. I love the (finished) quilting. I love those little peacocks and trees and elephant parades.

And I love that it’s a twin size, even though there isn’t a twin bed in our house. It finished up at 65″ x 98″ so it’s a long twin. But it’s perfect to cuddle around your shoulders and wrap it under your feet and enjoy a nice cool day at the park.

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17 Thoughts on “Peacock Park

  1. Gloria on June 11, 2012 at 11:13 am said:

    Very nice!

  2. It looks SO awesome, Colleen!!! I really love the improv-y feel of the piecing, and the FMQ is just amazing 🙂

  3. Colleen this turned out beautifully – love the back as much as the front and I have a “small” machine too, so I’m inspired by your amazing quilting!

  4. I love it! I agree with you that I love the colors, the piecing you did, the binding totally sets it off, and the quilting is fabulous! Great job.

  5. What a wonderful quilt. I love the extra touches the tree and elephant add.

  6. I LOVE it! It’s bright, cheery, and beautiful! 🙂

  7. Pingback: The Busy Bean · Using It

  8. I am so tired of seeing elephants and peacocks stroll around the parks in my neighborhood! ;). Great Job, Colleen! I love the randomness and the colors and the quilting, too! I especially love the story about the back. That is too often the story behind the backs of my quilt! I just never buy enough!

  9. Are Peacocks as messy as Canada Geese? Love the quilt, neat that you have 2 quilts in one!

  10. I really like this! The layout is so fun, and your quilting has such a great story! (Also, I wanted to mention that any time I break a needle while FMQ, it tears a hole in the back of my quilt! Maybe check your backing, just to be safe.)
    And I’ve definitely cut my backing too small before. More than once. I hate when that happens! Your piecing is not noticeable at all, though! 🙂

  11. I love all of the negative space! It really does look like a park. Very cool quilting too!

  12. WOW! Good luck!

  13. I love your quilt. Your quilting is so amazing. I have not yet mastered FMQ and every thing I do is still strait line.

  14. Karen Deskins on September 6, 2012 at 12:58 am said:

    Great accomplishment! I love your quilt. Your pebbles and stream design is so inspiring. Good luck!

  15. what a lovely quilt! The elephants and Palms and other extra touches really make it special!

  16. I just love how you put all the components together in such a fresh way. The quilting is super. Congrats on a wonderful finish.

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