Before I get to this week’s story, I have a correction to last week’s post. In it I had a link to the Magna-dots I use for blade changing. The link was incorrect. Click here for Cynthia’s site.
And now for this week’s “topic of the week”!
It’s wedding time again! This time we celebrated the marriage of a niece on Mike’s side of the family, and I wanted to do what I traditionally do ~ make Rachel and Cory a snuggle quilt. I wasn’t sure what they would like so I dug through my UFO bins once again and found a top I’d made from two jelly rolls: one with warm colors and the other with cool. I’ve always loved the pattern and colors of this quilt top.
I decided the quilt needed to be longer, and not quite so wide, so I took off two strips, evened off the top and bottom and sewed the extra strips in place. I didn’t take a photo at that time, but through the magic of Photoshop, this is what it was supposed to look like:
I then took this top to my last retreat, along with a cute paw print fabric (they love dogs and cats).
I stitched the borders on and put it back in my bag to be layered and quilted at home. Prior to the wedding I took it out and decided to photograph it before layering it. This was a humbling experience.
This is not a bad photo of a quilt top. This is a photo of a bad quilt top. I added the borders without actually squaring up the top! I should know better ~ right? The right side of the top is over 1″ shorter than the left. I’ve said it before “when I think I’m hot stuff, the Lord humbles me”.
So why am I showing it to you? Because I found a fix that worked. I think the original problem was caused by all the strips being cut on the bias. This could work to my advantage because blocking a quilt top works best when there are a lot of biases. It was worth a try. This is something I’ve done in the past and I hope the review is helpful.
There was carpeting in the studio at my other house, but in this house I had to hike upstairs to the spare bedroom. I laid out old towels, and grabbed some old quilting pins (saved for this type of project) and a few large rulers.
The quilt was smoothed out on the towels and misted with water to dampen. Starting in one corner I laid my largest square ruler 1/4″ in from the edges. I then “piggybacked” 2 long rulers against the edges of the square (the rulers are outlined in red and blue so they are easier to see).
Then I tugged and pinned the top into the carpet and pad, along the edges of the rulers.
Because the cotton fibers were damp they were easy to maneuver where I wanted them. I continued around the quilt top until it was square. Wow – It looked much better, and when I measured it I was pleased. This type of blocking can also be done on a design wall, if you have one you can pin into that’s big enough.
I let it dry overnight and when the pins came out ~ it stayed right where I wanted it. If it hadn’t stayed put, I would have re-dampened, re-pinned, and then gently pressed over the entire quilt with a damp press cloth and a hot iron, to encourage it a bit more firmly 😊.
So it was time to layer the quilt sandwich for quilting. I chose a soft, gray minky™ for the back and a thin 80/20 batt (I like the results better when I combine a thin batt with a minky™ back). Some of you may remember that I often say “quilting the quilt should be as much fun as making the top”, so I asked myself “what quilting design would be fun today?” And as usual I answered “spirals”. I decided to use orange thread and quilt in the warm colored stripes.
Isn’t minky™ gorgeous on the back?
I turned the gray backing to the front as a binding and it was done!
The wedding was lovely,
and I can’t wait to get a photo of the happy couple with their new quilt! Stay tuned!
And here’s my Autumn photo of the week: