Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Catching up on Quilting

I used to quilt or piece for hours at a time, but that was in a different life when we did not have a huge garden to work on (and I am LOVING working on the garden so much it really doesn't matter). I am now doing my piecing in snatched half hours here and there and that is OK, but different, and I'm still getting used to it. Whereas I used to be able to piece a large quilt top in a week, progress is now much slower but eventually, progress is made.

The St Louis Log Cabin top is now finished (82" x 82"). The plan was always to put a fairly narrow "stop border" in red around the blocks and then finish off with a Piano Keys border. Trouble is, when I auditioned that plan against the whole top it looked just wrong, and although I thought I had sufficient scraps to make a pieced border, I did not have nearly enough AND I was three-quarters of the way through piecing them when I realised I was running out of fabric.. .

There was much cogitating and the brains of all my clever quilting friends were thoroughly picked and the consensus was that the top is finished as it is, just needs quilting and binding in red. It would be easy to finish it quick with a panto but I have a hankering for cross-hatching and feathers. That will need a good block of time devoted to it, no idea when I will feel like doing that so the top will wait . . . patiently! And the change of plan means I have a lot of pieced sections waiting to be used and they've been muttering to me about becoming another Chinese Coins strippy.

The Moda Chocolat lap quilt top is finally finished (72" x 72"), this one has taken years. It started when a friend gave me a charm pack of 50 5" squares (one from each fabric in the range) as a present. I immediately bought some yardage from the same range but then we started on the relocation plan so it got packaged up with everything else. When we came to Bag End I needed a "no brainer" piecing project to get me back to the sewing machine. The blocks didn't take long and it was fun to play with different settings until I settled on this one.

Once again however, I wanted a red "stop border" and it took me months to find a Moda fabric which read as solid. I've never made a top before from just one range of fabric and didn't want to add something else. Got some ludicrously ambitious plans for quilting this, lots of feathers and flouncy bits, don't hold your breath . . . It has a pieced backing (75" x 85") of leftover yardage.

Apart from NOT buying fabric at present, one of my current Quilting Resolutions is to use all of my FQs. Never going to admit publicly how many I have, (although dearest J. in St Louis knows), but it is way, way too many and a frightening amount when converted into yardage. Many of them are very, very old and I don't particularly love them anymore so am going to make a lot of pieced backings. I love piecing quilt backs and this one came together during a very wet January week (70" x 80"). Trouble is, I tend to like them so much they are in great danger of becoming the quilt top . . .

There has been some messing around with Merlin. Most of it is practise, practise, practise. It has been nearly two years since I quilted seriously and regularly and I am very, very rusty. In some areas I need to go right back to basics. Sure I can turn out a pantograph without any trouble (I bl**dy hope so!) but freehand feathers are looking very much like a bad moult and ruler work is shaky. Given that I love feathers and ruler work most of all, guess I'd better get practising.


  1. There's something about stop borders isn't there? I've started liking the very narrow ones!
    I also love the antique look of pieced backings. I did one on a quilt for Himself's Aunty - she likes to use it either way up - an inadvertant reversible!

  2. I don't understand most of what you've just said, but the quilts look nice.

  3. Oh how nice it is to have time to quilt..... I would rather be doing that today than decorating .. (taking a break while first coat drys) that or yet more stone removals from in-progress new flower bed. Hey ho... I think the log cabin is finished too. I like borderless quilts anyway. Cindy Roth has some nice ideas for log cabin quilting. I'll check back next week when its all quilted and bound shall I (LOL)

  4. Hi Mrs Flum, haven't seen any lovely new 9-patches from you recently? Like your approach that I am adding an 'antique' look to the backs - sounds so much better than 'a messy collection of all the leftovers'!

  5. Morning Angela, I'm sorry, looking back on the post I can see how some of it would be unintelligible to a non-quilter. If you want, let me know which bits need "translating" and I'll do my best to explain things.

  6. Dear Tracey, brilliant to hear from you, thanks for stopping by. Please do check back next week - and the week after, and the week after that, har har! I too would like time to quilt, especially as I have another Log Cabin to piece (wink, wink).


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