Yippee, my red and black project is finished and ready to be delivered to its new owner! This has been a great learning experience. Now I know that I cannot do 10,000 things in three days, no matter how optimistic I feel. And I have also realised how much I do NOT know about quilting (yet!). 😉
We were out of town from Boxing Day (Dec. 26) until the New Year, so I didn’t get back to work on the quilt until January 2. Then I discovered that I had made some really terrible mistakes in my machine quilting, and all my stitching had to be unpicked.
This is the largest quilt I have ever made, and the safety pin basting just wasn’t adequate. The layers had shifted, and there were big wrinkles in the backing. What to do, what to do….
One of my Stashbuster sisters posted a link to Sharon Schamber’s You Tube video tutorial on hand basting. I wondered if I had the time to learn a new technique to save this quilt. The legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
So I decided to go for it, bought some architrave boards (door facings) from the home improvement shop, put the two extra leaves in the dining table, and set to work. It only took me a little while to get the hang of this technique, and I had the whole quilt *securely* basted and ready for quilting in less than two hours. This method worked so well for me that I plan to do all my quilts this way in the future.
I kept several needles pre-threaded for basting each round, and this made the work go quickly. Stopping to re-thread needles also gave me a chance to rest my hand, as I have a bit of arthritis and hand stitching can be difficult sometimes.
I haven’t learned yet how to do fancy machine quilting (although it’s on my list for 2009), so I used one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to outline each seam. My sewing machine is a Janome 6500P, and the stitch I used is Mode 2 Quilt, Stitch No. 50. It’s sort of like a stretched out zigzag with bar tacks, and I was pleased with the way its geometric pattern suits the quilt design.
I like the way the back looks, too.
I cut 2.5 inch strips from my scraps and joined them together to make the binding.
I laid the finished quilt out on a bed to photograph it. This bed is a UK King size (USA Queen size), so the quilt will be just the right size for a standard double bed.
Then all I had to do was make the pillowcases (from Mary Johnson’s pattern), and the quilt label, which is framed with red scraps and has the information handwritten with permanent marking pen.
The pattern I used for this quilt can be found here:
(note: link updated 30-8-11)
I added more blocks to make it double-bed size (30 blocks, set 5×6).
The backing fabric was bought especially for this quilt because I had nothing suitable at home, but everything else came from my stash — all the fabric for the top, the piecing thread and quilting thread (YLI Select), and the batting (Soft & Bright needled polyester batting from the Warm & Natural company).
And now it’s all done. It’s really, really finished. 🙂