Monday, October 10, 2016

My Ernie Journey

My friend, Mary Etherington, owner of Country Threads, Garner, IA, a wonderful quilt shop which is now closed and who blogs under Country Threads Chicken Scratch made this wonderful quilt using a Denyse Schmitz jelly roll plus some extra strips.  We called it the Ernie Quilt because of the backing fabric that I gave her which I purchased from Ikea and has orange cat heads which reminded me of her orange tabby Ernie Joe Mauer.  You can see Mary's quilt  and the instructions on how to make this quilt here:

The Original Ernie Quilt

Mary also made another Ernie quilting using strips from men dress shirts and it's beautiful; you can see it here:

The Second Ernie Quilt

What I like about these quilts is the versatility of this pattern, you can use any size strips and the blocks can be any size you want.  You're not tied down to using a jelly roll especially when you have a die-cutter and can die-cut your own 2.5" strips.  Also, I like that Mary off-set the blocks which really makes her quilts interesting and unique.

Well, I had to make a Ernie quilt too-- mine was made with a combination of a Jen Kingwell's Behind the Scenes jelly roll and yardage of her Little Lollies fabric line which determined the size of my blocks, 4" x 8" (finished).  My quilt is 56" x 72", 14 blocks across and 9 blocks down and I did not offset the blocks which wanted to but didn't look right to me, I'm thinking my prints weren't bold enough.  Even though I had yardage of the Ernie fabric I did not back my quilt with it because I had yardage of Jen Kingwell's Gardenvale fabric which I accidentally purchased.  The story behind this purchase was I made a Gypsy Wife quilt and bought this fabric for the backing forgetting that I did not make this quilt with any Gardenvale fabric in it--so this was a very good opportunity to make up for my whoops.

My journey with this quilt was in the machine quilting, a three-day journey.  I originally wanted to do straight-line quilting horizontally but my Juki 2010Q would not co-operate so I had to remove 10 lines of stitching.  When this happens, I tend to spend some time on the Internet looking at Long Arm Quilting Machines and Frames but reality sets in and I go back to quilting.  I decided to switch to doing vertical straight lines and after doing the first line in the ditch, 72 inches long, I wanted to change it to 1/2" from the seam line--so another round with the seam ripper.  I love my Juki 2010Q and only have a problem when it comes to straight-line quilting that is less than 1" apart; my quilt lines were approximately 3/4" done organically which means I couldn't see the lines I made with the hera marker very well.  For this quilt, I tried spray basting for the first time and pin baste in certain spots but still was experiencing shifting which leads to tucks but not so much as previous quilts.  I really was expecting that I would not like the quilting but in the end it turned out okay.  As well as the look of straight-line quilting, I love the feel of it.  I was happy to find in my stash a 1/2 yard piece of a micro-stripe black and white made by Windham Fabrics for the binding which was so nice to hand sew since it was a lighter weight.

So I'm ready to make another Ernie Quilt, a.k.a., Ernie II using some wonderful colors of twill and dyed homespun and cottons; this time I will back it with the Ernie fabric.  My blocks will also be larger, 8"x 12" (finished).

This pattern is so addicting, I know two of my quilting friends who plan or have already made Ernie Quilts when they saw Mary's quilt.  My friend, Carol, who is known never to follow a pattern completely, made one and here is her interpretation.  What's so funny about this is I want to make one like this now since I have a beautiful Jinny Beyer fabric and greens which Carol has given me over the past few years.  Carol thought I threw her under the bus when I showed Mary her quilt so as a form of punishment she bought me three yards of Lotta Jansdotter fabric which could be called Ernie, Jr. fabric.

I guess this means there will be an Ernie III quilt.

1 comment :

  1. Love ALL the Ernie quilts! Who knew that first quilt or that wonderful IKEA fabric would create such a plethora of quilts! Thanks, Rose!!