My second attempt at making a quilt (before I found Quilter's Academy) came to a dead halt once the blocks were finished. I had no idea how to assemble it. The design is a pleated log cabin made up of 24 x 10 inch blocks, which I modified by putting a 20 inch block in the centre. (Also note that I had no idea that log cabin fabrics are supposed to be one side dark, the other light. I just alternated).
Here it is layed out on the floor, unassembled.
I suddenly had the desire to assemble this top, now that I knew how to approach it, thanks to QA. Actually, I was just putting off doing the mock-ups - I wanted to sew!
Talk about a challenge! None of the blocks were to size, a couple of them distinctly crooked. It took me most of yesterday afternoon to figure out how to put them together. I trimmed, pressed and swore, but there is nothing I could do to match the seams, other than re-sew all the blocks.
I went ahead an assembled them as they were - crooked. I think the crookedness adds charm! The next step was to add a border or two, hoping they will help to make it a bit straighter.
I spent the best part of today, measuring, cutting and adding 2 borders, using QA for the instructions. It's also a practice run for when I start putting borders on my projects, which is not that far away.
Border detail - a 4 inch black border and a 2 inch pieced white one.
Now the Pleated Log Cabin is not meant to have any batting, as it's very thick from just the layers of fabric. Once you sew a folded strip onto another folded strip, which is already sewn to a foundation calico square, you end up with 5 thicknesses of fabric. The quilt is really quite heavy and stiff (not really one to cuddle up in) but the borders are one thin layer of cotton. Uh-oh.
I thought to put some batting just under the borders, but didn't have any to spare. Then I remembered a bunch of calico I had purchased on sale months ago - I bought all sorts and one of them was a very thick calico, the type you use for covering an ironing table. I used this to line the borders. I wish I'd thought of doing that before sewing the borders to the top! I needed to attach the calico to a really small seam, without catching in any of the border fabric. Tricky. I ended up basting them in, just in case.
Do you think I have enough pins?
The next step is to quilt it. The original plan was to simply stitch in the ditch, but as none of the seams match, this won't work. I also thought about a diagonal grid, but that will mess up the pleating. I've been practising simple feathers, from Harriet Hargrave's Heirloom Machine Quilting book, but these are not really appropriate for this design. Some stippling maybe. I'll think on it.
I made the black border wide, so I could play with free motion quilting.
I call this my vintage quilt, not because of the design, but because all the blocks were pieced on vintage sewing machines - including two treadles, a Featherweight and a Singer 201. The quilting will be done on the 201. Despite all it's crookedness and quirks, I'm very attached to this quilt and am looking forward to finally finishing it.
For now, I'll go do those mock-ups!