I started this quilt at my last quilt retreat earlier this year. While visiting my son and grandchildren last month, I had about a week to work on it some more. The pictures were taken with my iPad, so they aren’t great quality. I’ll be taking more with my camera when I’m finished so you can see what it really looks like.
In my opinion, this is a non traditional quilt. I’m using the Batting Budding rulers from Prairie Sky Quilting. You cut out the backing fabric and the batting, using the rulers. The backing ruler has a square opening in the center for batting placement (centered in the wrong side of the backing fabric). Then you just sew your scraps onto the batting and through the backing, being careful not to sew off of the batting onto the backing piece, piecing and quilting in one step. After squaring up the fabric on the batting piece, you then finish the edge. To do that, you fold the backing fabric toward the edge of the batting and then fold it one more time, so that it covers the batting/fabric edge. At that point, you sew it down. If I’d made this on my Viking instead of my Singer Feather Weight, I would have used a zigzag stitch to make the fabric edges flat. Since I did use the Feather Weight, I could only straight stitch. There is about a quarter-inch of fabric loose on every front seam. I’m concerned it will wear badly. We’ll see. I may have to go back and zigzag it all. Because of this edge technique, I plan to add a traditional binding. Otherwise the back of the quilt will wear like the worn out binding I showed you in this post. Being the back of the quilt, that would be almost impossible to repair. I haven’t quite decided if I’ll finish it the way the pattern calls for and then add the binding on top of that or if I’ll cut off the backing fabric to make it flush with the top, as it would be on a traditionally pieced quilt before binding.
You may have noticed the white squares of paper pinned onto the blocks (top photo shows them well). They show the row and placement within the row for each block. I had very little room to lay out the design of this quilt at my son’s house. I ended up having to do it on top of the coffee table. I could only lay out 18 blocks at a time. There are 90 blocks total. So, mistakes were bound to happen. Only one block is not turned incorrectly. Hurray for that! It didn’t bother me enough to rip out all of those seems to fix it. Now, all I have left is to join the two pieces in these photos. Then I’ll bind it and be all done. It may be a while before I work on this one again though, probably my next quilt retreat in November. I do have a couple of tips in case you want to make one like this.
- You must prewash your backing fabric! That way you can be absolutely certain your backing pieces are cut out on the straight of grain. I didn’t prewash my backing fabrics and I’ve had some bias edges I hadn’t counted on. It’s been a bugger at times!
- If you don’t have enough of one fabric to use for the backing, use similarly colored ones that coordinate with each other. Remember that your “backing” will show on the front. Don’t pick something that will be too jarring when placed next to all of those strip pieces.
More on this when I finish.