Sunday, 23 June 2013

Cheryl's Quilt - Putting it all Together Again

Finally got around to continuing on Cheryl's quilt. If you missed the story around this please click HERE.

Well, I literally undid most of the quilt. The issue started with the finished quilt top, i.e. it was not squared off properly. Once I had removed all the borders and done an initial squaring off, I looked at it again. Got a bit nervous re cutting as this is not my quilt and I had visions of completely messing it up. When I looked at it again I realised that I was not going to get it straight unless I undid the centre seam as this was somewhat crooked....so, undid this too and sewed it back together again and that did the trick. The quilt top was as square as I was going to get it.

After that I re-attached the purple/reddish border ...no problems here other than that some of the fabric had frayed as I had washed the strips (and starched the hell out of them). If you have followed this you would notice that I got rid of a narrow  inner pink border. I did ask Cheryl re this and she did not mind, but I just could not face dealing with a narrow, frayed strip of material. Anyway, also fixed Cheryl's method of sewing strips together...instead of a vertical seam, I was able to attach the strips with a 45 degree seam and was able to place it in a way that I got rid of one of those tiny holes that were present. Very pleased with myself at this point.

 
Now the next border (pieced strips of fabric) was very tricky...in sewing them together Cheryl must not have looked at the straightness of the strips after sewing them together. When ironed out, I realised that they were bowed and had a good 1/4inch variance in them. So out came the cutter again...this felt quite brutal but I trimmed them by 1/4 inch to straighten them out and this worked fine.

As I was on a roll, I also re-attached the outer green borders. Similar issue with accuracy so I also trimmed these by 1/4 inch. Also noticed that Cheryl left the selvage in one of the border strips (they were cut on the lengthwise grain). For any new quilter out there...selvage edges always get removed, even when sewing little pieces together as they have a different density to the rest of the fabric and hence can pull the fabric in and possibly create some ripples. I trimmed some of this off but given that it runs the entire length of the border I am left with half of the selvage edge on the binding side.

As Cheryl had some fabric left over, I was able to replace the one strip with the major hole in the outer green border with a new strip. Was very happy with that as I did not have a clue on how to fix that hole.

So I am at the basting stage ...only need to attend to some holes in the backing fabric.


Before
After - with inner border removed
















In terms of quilting I am not sure what best to do with this. You can see that the quilt top is bowing out a bit in the middle which is further enhanced by the lengthwise cut borders (I cut my borders on the crosswise grain...I think it just has that added give in the borders). Given that the matching of the intersections is a bit out on most of the seams I am not sure whether I can quilt this in-the-ditch (of course you can, but that would involve major hassle with constantly breaking thread). In order to do any motif quilting, I would have to do some stitching-in-the ditch first to stabilise the quilt. Hmm...one could be radical and quilt-in-the-ditch freehand...that could work but not sure I want to do that. Will wait with decision around this until after the basting. The basting should give me a good idea on how the quilt feels and behaves...that should give me some clues. If it appears that stitching-in-the ditch might be too troublesome, I will do an overall design (stipple?) on the quilt.

Also need to find some binding fabric. Cheryl had cut the binding strips also on the lengthwise grain and that created additional problems with this quilt. I am going to get just matching solid green material and replace this.

Anyway, that's where I am up to....linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch

Until next time

Karin

Sunday, 16 June 2013

WIP: Colour Adventure Finished

Well, here is the completed quilt.

In retrospect I think that I should have done the feather border in purple and then in-lined with the light thread...I think that may have looked a bit better. But, never mind, I am happy with it how it is and quite amazed that I was able to produce this without major marking.


Yesterday I made brief mention of the binding and how I had tried something different...the reason for this was that for a while now I wanted to look at that as my mitres were not turning out the way they should. Acceptable overall, but it bit too rounded and always a bit wonky. Usually I use a double binding starting width of 2.5". I attach it to the edge of the quilt top but leave some excess batting and backing in place. When sewn on, I then trim the excess away to fill the binding. This produces a binding width of about 3/8 - 1/2".

For this quilt I tried to sew on the binding with a 3/8"of a seam, however the mistake I made initially was that I did not trim the excess away beforehand. Once it was on, I then tried to trim the excess away which became a bit of a nightmare as it produced an overstuffed binding...anyway, took it all off and started again...

There is certainly a lot of info on the net re attaching binding but also quite some variation as to how to sew the binding on and what width to use (and to cut). I ended up at About. com. Quilting with Janet Wickell, and used the following formula to work out the width of the doublefold binding strip to cut:

(2 times the finished binding width + Seam allowance) X 2

Now I wanted my binding to be 3/8", hence the formula read (2x3/8 +1/4)x2 which meant that I had to cut the strip 2" wide. I trimmed (and re-straightened) my quilt top and proceeded to attach the binding as per usual. The binding fitted absolutely perfectly and folding it over to the back was a dream...it covered my sewing line perfectly and was the same width as the front (for a change). Also changed how I sewed the binding to the back of the quilt...Usually I hold the binding with the quilt facing away from me, this time I had the quilt in my lap sewing the binding in place from the top with the quilt in front of me. This made the forming of the mitre much easier. My mitres turned out great!

Interesting...I had read somewhere before that it is better to sew the binding in place with the excess batting and backing in place to avoid wavy borders, hence that is how I had done it for years. Doing it this way with the excess batting and backing removed in line with the edge of the quilt did not produce any problems in terms of waviness for me and the end finish looked much better.

Dropping by at Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch

Karin


 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

WIP: Colour Adventure Finished

I am a bit busy at the moment with various things, home and workwise, hence have not posted that much lately. Planning for a trip away in July, so am making a concentrated effort to get some things done.

This quilt is finally finished, except for the binding which I am currently attaching. Also a bit of a saga as I tried to do the binding a little bit differently this time (trying to be super neat...well that backfired big time. Had to take the whole binding off and re-straighten my quilt. Lesson learnt: stick with what you know/let go of that damned perfectionism!)

Here are some close ups of the quilting

Use of taupe thread over several colours - worked brilliantly!

Centre design - a bit more loft would have been good

Surrounding swirl design

Border designs and In-lining of the second border

Corner Treatment


The back looks great
Well, this certainly has been an adventure and a half...I must say I have learned heaps from this, first and foremost...Patience! This was not a quick piece for me and I struggled at times with my own impatience to get it finished. I had a very definite view in my head about how I wanted this to look and struggled to let go of some ideas that just would not have worked.

Overall, I am really happy with this and proud of my little achievement here but also a bit disappointed...unfortunately, the batting (bamboo) I used created bearding like there was no tomorrow and this was a real distraction while quilting but also impacts on the overall quality of the quilt obviously. Definitely will not be using that batting again.

I think I might be doing a Whole Cloth quilt next....just feathers ...that would keep me happy.

Linking up to Leah Day's FMQ Friday.


Karin

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cheryl's quilt - update

 
Feel like the quilt whisperer...did a bit more work on Cheryl's quilt. For those of you who missed my earlier posts, her quilt was a bit messed up in terms of its quilting, so I undid it all with the intention of re-quilting it.
 
 
As you can see I have taken all the borders off. The problem that I encountered was that the borders (4 of them) were just not sitting right. Initially I only took off two of them but quickly realised that the original issue is with the quilt top itself...just not straight, hence every consecutive border produced a larger discrepancy leading to very wavy borders and a quilt top that was bulging out.
 
I dislike pin-basting at the best of times and just could not face the struggle to put it back together again with those issues. Next task is to straighten it out...
 
I think this is going to be a bit of a long process, however, once I have straightened it out as best as I can we are on our way (I hope). Thinking I might just have to stipple it...
 
 

Karin

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

WIP Colour Adventure: In-Lining

Have not posted for a while...still going on my Colour Adventure quilt doing some in-lining of the plumes. Not a fast process

The thread could have been a bit thicker and maybe the colour choice is a bit wrong...never mind, I know it's there and I like it. In retrospect, I think I could have stitched out the feather in purple first, that might have been better. I finished two sides...

Karin