18 February 2011

Quilt for Chloe: The big finish

     Seven weeks ago I was trying to narrow down a fabric line for my first quilt.  Yesterday I was feverishly trying to finish hand-sewing the binding and burying knots before the big reveal in quilting class.  Kind of hard to do with a 16 month old wondering around looking for trouble.  Keeping one eye on a precocious toddler and the other on needle and thread resulted in quite a few pinpricks and cuss words (thank goodness the little one isn't talking yet). 
     But she's done, and here she is in all her glory (please ignore the pile of ashes in the fireplace.  I was too lazy to dispose of them before lining up my shots): 

quilt front

quilt front with back exposed

      So glad I stumbled upon this quilt shop over the Christmas holidays.  The Beginning Quilting class was a welcome escape from homemaking duties for three hours every Thursday night.  Below are close-ups of my handiwork.

sashing and backing fabric detail
scrappy binding detail

     And now back to my regular homemaking duties while I plot the next quilt.

16 February 2011


binding with a twist

This happened not one, not two, but three times.   Then a different mistake altogether.  Then back to the twisted binding.  The sixth time was the charm.  The binding is straight, but a touch long, which resulted in this:

raw edge side

flip side


Snip snip

     This promises to be the quilt that almost wasn't.  So much un-sewing going on at the kitchen table.  I'm working on binding the Bliss quilt, and apparently I'm no good at following directions.  Also, found out you shouldn't switch machines in the middle of a project, especially one you haven't used before.  I decided to use the Singer 301 to sew the binding to the quilt.  Cursing and seam ripping ensued.

     After making peace with the fact that the binding will be slightly wonky because I haven't mastered driving the 301, I made a mistake late last night while trying to join the binding.  Measure twice, cut once means nothing if you don't cut where you're supposed to cut.  Enter seam ripper and new binding strip -luckily this is a scrappy binding, so it wasn't too too painful.  A couple of sew-unsew episodes later (it's hard to sew binding strips together with one strip attached to the quilt), and I'm all set to join the binding.  Here's hoping it comes out right this time!
     On a positive note, the mitered corners are coming out wonderfully.

     After the binding is joined and the quilt sandwich trimmed, I'll move on to folding over and hand-sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.  This should be interesting- we'll see how well I listened in class last week.

07 February 2011

First Quilt: home stretch

     It's been a few weeks since I posted pics of the Moda Bliss quilt blocks that I completed in my beginning quilting class.  All twelve blocks were finished and a quilt top was made (after much agonizing over the arrangement of the blocks):

      Last week's class was devoted to assembling our quilt sandwiches and learning how to "stitch-in-the-ditch."  We were given the option of quilting along the sashing lines, or go the more labor intensive route and quilt each block separately.  Guess which route I chose.  Yep, I'll be burying twelve knots instead of two.  Sigh.

Stitching in the ditch

     So nice to be in the final stages of making my first quilt.  And so glad I bought the Singer 301, a machine that's great for quilters because of the long bed.  As you can see, this quilt, which is only 39" by 51", isn't a problem to quilt on my machine.  But a larger quilt would cause some issues since the clearance to the right of the needle is only about 5 3/4" wide.  The 301 can accomodate 7" to the right of the needle.  Plus, I have the longbed, which extends out 6 inches.  I hope to use it for my next quilt- just waiting for the walking foot I ordered to come in.

Work area
     My work area- the pillows on the chair and books under the foot pedal are there because I'm too short petite to quilt comfortably without them.