Modern Quilt AlongSeptember 21, 2006 at 2:28 am | Posted in Quilting | 10 Comments
When I joined Kim’s Modern Quilt Along a few months ago, I’d planned on making a quilt from the Once Upon a Time pattern for our nephew. With three baby quilts to make (yes our friends are a fertile lot), I decided that quilt might make a better Christmas present now!
Today I finished the first of those three quilts, this one for month-old Lauren Alice. I used the Plain Spoken pattern from The Modern Quilt Workshop: Patterns, Techniques, and Designs From the FunQuilts Studio by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, the good folks over at Fun Quilts in Oak Park. The instructions for the quilt were very well written and easy-to-follow. I was surprised at how little fabric I needed for the top.
The colors were selected to coordinate with a rug in the nursery from Lauren’s Grandma and Grandpa.The quilt’s intended to be made up in solid fabrics, but I thought prints were a little more practical, babies being the little stain-making machines that they are. I think at a distance, most of them “read” solid anyway, except for that…is it a “foulard?” The cadet blue menswear print.
Here’s a shot of my lovely Harvest Gold linoleum in the kitchen, oh, and the blocks being laid out. I think I rushed thru the layout step, but you learn something with every project, right?
Here are the rows all sewn together. I really dig ironing the seams open, as recommended by the book’s authors. It makes for a much flatter top, and much easier seam matching. Look at all the fabric I have left on the right side of the sofa! I told you I didn’t use much!
Completed top. Hm. At this scale, I definitely see some blocks I would have rearranged. All in all, I like the about-half-improvisational piecing. My “random” layouts have always stressed me out so much! I chose not to mark the quilt, since I planned to use the width my sewing machine foot to estimate 1/4 inch quilting along the wider rectangles.
Here’s the backing fabric.
Okay, for you non-quilters out there, next you put the backing face down, then smooth batting (cotton-y padding stuff) over it, then place the quilt top face up on top of the whole sandwich. I do my layering on the floor and attach the backing to the floor with masking tape to make sure it stays flat while you pile on the other pieces.
Next, so the layers don’t shift and make wrinkles while you’re sewing them together, you have to baste the whole thing with a needle and thread…or! safety pins. I have this tool that helps with the pins.
After I completed the quilting…I found I wasn’t done after all. The quilting along the outside of the wide rectangles wasn’t quite enough for me, so I marked lines dividing the wide rectangles in two (not fun on a squishy quilt; much better to do this before it’s layered, much less sewn). I quilted on either side of these lines. Much better!
I love to bind quilts. As I work through the earlier stages of cutting, piecing, layering, basting, and quilting, the final product still seems so elusive, no matter how close I am to completion. Attaching that little strip along the edges makes the sad little floppy thing suddely become a quilt, in my eyes. “Oh hey! I made a quilt!” I finished binding it on the train this afternoon, then ran downstairs when I got home to wash and dry it. I love love love crinkly, wrinkly cotton quilts.
How many times can I use the word “quilt” (or a form of it) in a single post? Apparently, at least 22.