Posts Tagged ‘red and black quilt’

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.  🙂

Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »


Well, I almost finished it on time.  It’s basted (you can see the safety pins) and partially quilted.  I showed it to Pumpkin this morning after she opened her other gifts, and she is so pleased with it!  (You can’t see her smile behind the quilt, but she has very happy eyes!)  I have promised to work on nothing else after the holidays until it’s done.  It should only take a day or so.  I should have started earlier, of course.  Like, in July!  😉

So, all’s well that ends well.  The pressure is off, no one is angry with me for not finishing the quilt on time, and we’re all together and having fun.

Merry Christmas!  Happy Sewing!

Read Full Post »

I’ve finished piecing the 30 red and black blocks.  They are laid out on the floor, and I’ve been moving them around for over an hour trying to find the right combination.  The only problem is that every time I move one block, I have to move three others as well.  I’m tired now, so I think this arrangement will do nicely.   The placement is supposed to be random anyway.  I have 36 hours to finish this quilt before Pumpkin gets here on Christmas Eve.  Zoom, zoom!  I do love a challenge!  🙂

Happy sewing!30-blocks-finished

Read Full Post »

I’ve decided to make my older daughter’s Red and Black quilt larger than the original pattern(note: link updated 30-8-2011)  My version will require a total of 30 blocks, arranged 5 blocks across by 6 blocks down.  I’m not going to put borders on it, only binding, so the finished size should be 80″ x 96″, which I hope will be a nice size for a double bed.  I’m also going to make 4 coordinating pillowcases to match it, using my favourite pillowcase pattern from the QOV project.

So far, I have finished 15 blocks.  The other block pieces are assembled and ready to be sewn together, and I have cut all the pieces for the pillowcases.  I have 14 days to finish Pumpkin’s gift before Christmas, and I am feeling optimistic that I might get it done in time (knock on wood).  😉

Here are some sample layouts.  I haven’t decided yet how I will put all the blocks together, but I couldn’t resist playing around with them this afternoon.

Happy Sewing!




Read Full Post »

Now that the pillowcases are finished, I’m back at work on my older daughter’s Christmas quilt.  Here are the first four completed blocks.  I’m starting to really like this red-black-white combination.  My husband paid me a nice compliment.  He said this quilt is going to look “striking”.  A little encouragement goes a long way!  🙂


Read Full Post »

Now, this is how my UFO problems always begin.   I haven’t finished my Grandmother’s Flower Garden yet, but it’s less than six weeks until the holidays, and I have promised my teenage daughter that she can have a new quilt for a Christmas present.  So….the GFG will be put aside again in favour of a new and younger rival.  But not abandoned.  I’ll be back!  I promise.

Teenage daughter has chosen red and black as her colour theme.  Not my favourite colours, a bit dark and dramatic for me, so I wanted a pattern that would go together quickly, look modern and young and cool, but still be a nice quilt that will stand the test of time.

I found the perfect pattern at one of my favourite blogs.  The pattern is called Stash Buster Quilt, and here is the link to the tutorial:


(note: link updated 30-8-2011)

I’ve started cutting the fabrics and laying the pieces out on the kitchen table to audition them for the final cut (excuse the pun).  I use sticky notes to identify the different size pieces.


Components for Quilt Blocks

Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to a fabric stash.  For someone who isn’t keen on red and black together, I seem to have a very good collection of fabrics in this colourway.  I’ll be able to make this quilt top totally from stash and still have enough left over for backing and binding.


Black Palette


Red Palette

I’ll have to be really sly (and tidy!) and put everything away when I finish for the day because I don’t want my daughter to see it until it’s finished.  (She doesn’t know yet that I have a blog.)  She knows that she has a quilt coming, and she knows the colour scheme.  The “little” surprise will be the pattern — and the BIG surprise will be if it’s actually finished and under the tree in time for Christmas!  Bless her heart, she’s lived with me for a very long time.   😉

Happy Sewing today!

Read Full Post »