Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vol 2 - Project 8 - Five Patch Chain - Assembly

The top is now completed and ready for quilting.  First all the birds had to be appliqued -
I like to use a small blanket stitch 1.5 x 1.5 - small enough to go around those tiny curves on the feet

Sewing the rows together was tricky, due to ongoing pressing problems with the polyester fabric.  Lots of distortion in the seams and edges.........
Ewww - quilter's nightmare!
Really frustrating when you take so much care with accurate cutting and sewing, only to get this sort of result after pressing.

The  oops ................

Three little Dickie birds sitting on a quilt .... one is ready to fly away home!

For the backing, I wanted to use the red cotton, but didn't have enough of the fabric left.  Back to Spotlight for some more - sold out!  There were still bolts of the cream and white - so a white backing it will have to be.  Carefully checking the bolts, I found lots of them were unlabelled but there was a mix of cottons and polyester.

I picked out a likely suspect and asked a staff member to scan it as there was no info on the bolt except for a bar code.  It was cotton!  The staff member pointed out that it was easy to tell which was which, the polyester was shinier - but given the mess and poor lighting in the store, not to mention the long queue at the counter just to ask a simple question, it's really a matter of pot luck. A 'fabric expert' could probably tell which was which, but as a relatively new sew-ist I wasn't that confident.  Really, labels on the bolts would be nice!!!

The fabric is 220 cm wide (that's around 87" to you non-metric folk) and I bought extra so I could put a white border around the edges - enough to help square out the wonky quilt and to give the top a nice finish.  I like to use wide fabrics for borders if I can get it - no joins!

First task was to get the grain straight............ check it out!
Almost 11.5" lost from each side after tearing

I lost so much fabric getting the grain straight, there wasn't enough left for the borders.  Grrrrr!!  A pity, cause once I folded the backing around the edges, the white looked quite good.  I'll have to settle for white binding instead.

The fabric also was dotted with little spots and dots, the blue ones were mostly around the edges, so I can work around them, I'm hoping the dark ones will wash out.  This really isn't good enough for fabric which costs $20 per metre.
I've used a 60/40 wool/polyester batting - it's got a medium loft and I want to see how this works with applique.  I'm hoping the extra loft will help the birds pop up.  I'm planning to do quite a bit of quilting on this - and I'm even going to practice free-form FMQ.  Being confined to small blocks I think will help a bit. 

The Bird wall hanging is currently in the process of being quilted and I've done a combination of echo and free-form.  I have a tendency to get lost and backed into a corner and the 'headband' design I'm using keeps turning into teardrops as I try to fit the quilting into the available space.  LOL.  Still it's nice to climb out of the stencil box!

I have a few things to finish up before moving onto the next project from QA - finish the quilting and bind the bird wall hanging - bind the 'Cobweb Cottage Girls' quilt, finish quilting Krakatoa, bind it and send it to my daughter-in-law (who actually likes it)!!, and of course ditch-stitch, quilt and finish this red & white quilt. Whew - a bit of a list, but what an excellent way to spend spare time!

1 comment:

  1. Your experiences at the store in question are the main reasons I avoid purchasing fabric for quilting there as much as possible- even dressmaking is dodgy- the inability of staff to cut straight or measure accurately is intensely irritating, let alone the high rate of flawed or damaged stock on sale... you have shown perseverance in the face of much adversity with working with that poly content fibre. I agree, labels would be nice. Can I add how pretty the design is though? Those little birdies are really sweet and the crisp white and red is always a pleasing combination.