Tuesday, June 3, 2014


It's that time of year when my summer hobbies kick in and take over some of my rest of the year hobbies.  My big summer hobby is bicycling.  I try to ride 100 miles each week during the summer months.  I'll be riding my bike for the 10th year on Biking Across Kansas (BAK).  I've met many wonderful and dear friends through BAK and I feel very fortunate to have them in my life.
A picture of me riding down the road.  I have one of those "funny" recumbent bikes.

This is the 3rd edition I've made of this quilt.  This one happens to be for my friend, Don. I don't think he reads my blog so he's not going to get a spoiler here.  My friend, Julie, and I picked up Don on our second BAK back in 2004 at an old ranch and he's been with our group ever since.  Don puts up with a lot.  He works as a funeral director and sometimes, ok most of the time, we refer to him as the undertaker.  I made this quilt top several years ago and then never got around to quilting it.  Back then I had to quilt it on my domestic sewing machine and doing a third bicycle quilt on my regular machine seemed too daunting so I put it away.  Shame on me.  But now that I have my new Innova I was looking forward to quilting that bicycle quilt and doing some custom designs on it.
I knew before I started I wanted to practice making swirls and the fabric in this quilt lent itself to swirls quite well.  So I decided I wanted to put the swirls in the border.
Close up of my swirls.
A little blurry but what the swirls look like on the back of the quilt.

A photo take a little further out of my swirls and you can see the triangles I quilted in the yellow border to accent the triangles on the border of the fabric.
There are alternating blocks that make up the quilt.  This is the block that is just a fabric square. If you look close you can see I quilted a circle in the middle and added lines to look like bicycle spokes.  
If you look close you can see the bicycle wheel I quilted in the middle.
 After I made the wheels I decided I may need more quilting to hold the batting in place. To match the swirls on the front fabric I when around the wheel and added these curls.  You can't hardly see them in the picture above.  Using varigated thread on multi-colored fabric like that was nearly impossible to quilt as I couldn't see where the heck I was going! Luckily the curls like this are very forgiving and you can see on the back they turned out alright.  You just can see them on the front.  Lesson learned.
Around the wheel I did these curls that I love to quilt.  
This is the bicycle block.  It sets off center.  I didn't want to do much quilting on this block because I wanted the bicycle to be the point of focus.  I ended up doing echo lines 1/4 inch from each seam. Then on the bicycyle I traced the inside of the bicycle triangle and then added an additional rectangle around the bicycle to stabilize the batting.  I tried outlining the bicycle but I didn't like the way it turned out.  Maybe if I had microhandles it would have turned out better.  But I like the simplicity of this block keeping the focus on the bicycles that I embroidered on my domestic machine.
One of the 6 bicycle blocks on the quilt.
 Here's what the finished quilt looked like. 

I love this quilt pattern and have the material to make myself one if I ever get around to it.
 I put the binding on tonight and hope to get this baby finished by Friday to give to my friend Don when I see him.  I think he's going to like it!