Here it is up on the design wall waiting to be sewn together and side triangles added
Many people don't like to use white in their quilts, they prefer cream as white can be a bit stark. I like cream too, it tends to muddy up the surrounding colours a little and tone it all down, perfect if that's the effect you're after. I like to use white as I find it gives a freshness and brings out the surrounding colours with a bright and crisp look.
Having said that, this top is nice, but a little, well - boring. When l first looked at the design I wanted to add something to it, a bit more interest - important as I've chosen rather uninteresting fabrics! Traditionally, those blank white spaces are perfect for showing off beautiful quilting. Hmmm - maybe one day, but not this day.
Instead I opted for applique - selecting a simple bird, designed by Michele Hill (which I took from a magazine - hope that's ok copyright police?)
Two birds are better than one!
ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED
Even though this top has no new techniques to learn, I still managed to make a technical failure. The white fabric I had so much trouble with, continued to cause problems. It frayed terribly, it wouldn't press properly and it was tricky to cut and handle under the needle as it was so slippery.
I got suspicious and did a burn test on it and yes - it contains polyester! The red damask was clearly labelled on the bolt as 100% cotton. It sewed and pressed beautifully. The white damask was displayed next to it and I assumed it too, was 100% cotton. I don't remember if I read the bolt label on the white or not, but it should not have been selling amongst the quilters cottons. Naughty Spotlight.
Anyway, I found out why quilters use cotton and not polyester or polyester blends for quiltmaking! The main issue for me was the pressing. The stuff would ripple, bend and stretch. I ended up with curved strips and wavy seamlines. Having struggled through making the blocks, I decided to live with it, so this quilt is not going to be winning any awards for precision!
Harriet Hargrave has written a brilliant book about the fabrics we use for making quilts called "From Fibre to Fabric". This book tells us everything we need to know about working with cotton and every serious quilter should read it! Here's what Harriet has to say about polyester blends (abridged) ..
'Polyester will not press flat because of the permanent press finish - it has a tendency to lift. Polyester is more transparent than cotton causing seam allowances to shadow through. Piling is a problem after quilts have been washed a few times and bearding can be a problem when polyester batting and fabrics are sandwiched together.'
As this quilt has lots of white, it's going to require lots of washing and piling is not a good look! Oh dear. I think perhaps this one will be put away, or just displayed and not used. A shame to put so much work into a quilt which in the end won't get used. It will make good quilting practice though!