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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One project almost done, one not quite started

I am feeling excited over my quilting. One project is almost done. I'm doing the hand sewing on my bed scarf and I'll be able to use it before the week is out.

This photo is just a mock up of how it will look. When this photo was taken back in may, the blocks were finished, the white sashing and first border were on, but the second border had not even been cut.

I learned a lot making this project. Looking back it is amazing just how much I did learn.

I made the blocks with a ruler I bought at the Lancaster AQS quilt show. This is one of those rulers where you make the unit a bit bigger and cut it down. This should have made the points perfect. That might work with other rulers but it did not work perfectly with this one. And I discovered I hated all of the finicky "squaring up" I had to do. I've spent the last 8 months learning precise piecing instead. And I like that much more. Still, that is a complicated star block and I don't know if I would have even tried it without the ruler.

I basted this project with pins. It is probably the last project I will do that way. All of the newer ones have been spray based. The setup I have in the garage has been big enough for the smaller projects. I'm not sure if a bigger one would work out there or not. But it was almost impossible for me to baste this one with pins because I can't stand up long enough to work on a project this large. It is the size of a bed quilt in one direction and the size of a 12 inch block with borders in the other.

This project sat for a long time while I developed the machine quilting skills to work on something I was going to be looking at close up for a long time. It is almost certainly the last project where I will be using a walking foot to stitch in the ditch with invisible thread. I hated the way invisible thread, with a bobbin thread in the bobbin, looked on the quilt. If I was working on this project now I'd probably free motion quilt in the ditch around the star and quilt something inside it.

Even the binding was a learning experience. I had watched a bunch of YouTube videos and found one that I thought would work. Marci Baker from Alicia's Attic has a method that worked for me on the first try. I also bought her laminated lesson on the method. And it turned out I needed the drawing on that lesson. On the other hand after doing mitered corners on bindings perfectly over and over again over the last year, this time I got them totally messed up and had to pull out the stitching and restitch. The result isn't a mitered corner, but it will just have to do. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the binding right now.

The new project is going to be hexagons. I've looked at a lot of projects out there and mostly I don't want to do a Grandmother's Flower Garden. But I might end up with a version of that in the end. I've seen about three, very different, takes on hexagons that are not typical, but which are interesting.

I did English paper piecing back in the late 1980s when I lived in New Jersey. I made a small pink and blue tumbling blocks quilt. When I was working on it I did not realize I was making a small baby quilt. There was no baby on the horizon. I made it up, machine quilted it, and put it away. My grandson was born about 15 years later and was wrapped in the quilt during the very cold winter that was his first winter at home. He was so tiny that a smaller than usual baby quilt was just right.

Take care all.


  1. I love your bed runner, the colors are so refreshing. You have done a wonderful job putting it together.

  2. Stella -- this is beautiful! I can't wait to see the completed project!
    And congrats on teaching yourself these skills, piecing, quilting, binding. Great determination!


  3. Your bed runner is beautiful and have fun with your new project! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  4. It looks great! I don't care much for the invisible thread either.