Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Friday, December 18, 2009

Project 4 - Finishing the Triple Rail Quilt

Well, it's good and bad news...................

Popped into town yesterday and managed to pick up the fabrics I needed to finish the blocks.....Quilted Crow was sold out of the red (uh oh) but new stock was delivered while I was in the store (yay)!  Did a spot of shopping and paid a total 80 cents for 2.5 hours parking (so impressed with that - thank you Hobart).

The bad news..............

Yep, busted.  I had to revert to my old ones, which are not so great (any excuse will do).

So, finished all the blocks, layed out the design and set up to sew it all together, using Harriets foolproof chainstitch method.  (click on the pics for more detail).

Once the chain stitching is done - time to sew the rows together and the all-important butting the seams

Not too bad, but room for improvement.

Sometimes it works beautifully - and sometimes it just doesn't :(
In the end it all comes down to accuracy in cutting & seam allowances.  Practice and more practice and I should get it right - but for now, only a few of the butts are off, so am not complaining too much.

So, after a few dramas and an excuse to do some shopping in town...... another project is done.

All the way through this project, I was iffy about the fabrics.  Seeing it finished, I am now definite I don't like the combination.  The dark green really jars.  So even after doing a mock-up I got it wrong.  In hindsight, I think I should have stuck with my original plan, which was a pale green instead of the dark green.  I thought the darker fabric would have more oomph.  So it does, but not in a good way!  It's hard to see the pattern made by the third rail - the large print floral - as it's so overwhelmed by the stronger colours.

Maybe it's the design itself - I'm not particularly keen on it, a bit boring.  Anyway, onto other things.

Fabrics used were purchased from Spotlight, Eddy's Sewing Centre and The Quilted Crow.

That beautiful sewing machine in the picture is a Wertheim Griffin hand crank, made in Germany, probably in the late 1800's.  I intend to convert this machine into a treadle.  I have the cabinet and irons, in a very distressed condition, awaiting restoration.  The original Griffin which came with the cabinet is unrestorable, so the hand crank will replace it.  I've had a go at the cover - but lots of work yet to do.


  1. I think your quilt is lovely and very appealing. I like the colors and the design, and you should be very proud of it. Perhaps you will find that it grows on you. I too am going to work through Harriet's new book. I hope to become more skillful in my piecing. However, the fun of quilting is partly the challenge in changing hundreds of small pieces of fabric into a collage. Perfection is secondary to your own creativity. In fact failure is often more interesting than success! Also, too pretty is usually a bit boring. I really think your quilt is wonderful!

  2. Hello Lisa, and thank you for your encouragement. When you start the projects in Harriet's book, I really encourage you to document your progress - take pictures, make notes - hmmmm maybe blogging it would be easier :)

    For me, at this beginning stage I think striving for perfection is really important. When the basics are thoroughly learned (usually the hard way) they become second nature, making future, more complex designs easier to deal with.

    Please let me know when you get started with Quilter's Academy - I'd love to follow your progress.

  3. I admit that I am a really bad blogger due to time and inclination - but you make a good point. It would be fun to look back over the year and see my progress. I have been quilting several years, but wanted to try Harriet's book in order to acquire additional skill. The idea that by the end of the 6th book in her series, I can look at a quilt and then assemble without instructions, is very intriguing! I would like to be that person! I am continually amazed at the complexity of the quilting process. For me there is a paradox in the creation of a quilt. I want each piece to be perfectly done, but success should probably be measured differently. I find most people don't look for the imperfections, but for what you did right. Your quilt is lovely and already providing inspiration to others - like me!

  4. There is something ironic about finding a fabric you love - then cutting it up into little bits, only so you can put it back together again! I'm so glad someone likes my quilt :)

    Btw if you live in Australia, it would be cheaper to purchase the book overseas