Sunday, June 28, 2015

What I've Been Working on Lately

I've been working on finishing this quilt top. It's a little more traditional than my usual work, but there's nothing wrong with going old-school now and again. Several years ago, I cut most of my 1/4-yard cuts (fat quarters) of fabric into 5" squares when Pat Speth came to teach a class at our guild. I cut WAY more than I needed for that particular project, so a lot of those squares got put away. I ran across them again last fall and started sewing up a few 'hourglass' units while working on a different quilt, using them as 'leaders and enders' (google Bonnie Hunter for more information on that one). A week or two ago, the guild had an open-sew session at a local community center, and I used the time to sew the hourglass units into blocks.

We had a good time, and I got a lot done. Over the past week or so, I cut solid purple setting triangles and pieced the top together. I decided I needed to put more blocks in the middle border, so I sewed together strips of hourglass units. I got the last border sewn on yesterday, and I'm working on a plan for piecing the backing.

I've been pulling fabrics from my stash and pinning them up to figure out which ones will work. The focus fabric is a floral that my friend Patty brought back for me from England when she took a trip there. It's been waiting years for the right quilt, and I don't want to cut it up into itty bitty pieces, so it's going on the back in one large panel. I'm taking a little staycation tomorrow, so I'll have time to get the quilt back sewn together, and maybe even get the quilt basted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Patriotic Quilt from the Past

Dug this dinosaur out of the closet--I think I pieced this top around 2009, based on one of the "Nickel Quilt" patterns from a Pat Speth book made with 5" squares. I needed to fix the outer border and didn't feel like it so I put it under the ironing table for a few years.

I got the quilt basted and quilted over the past few days. I was curious about how long it takes me to machine quilt, so I timed myself (I free motion quilt on a Viking Megaquilter that is set in a table, not on a frame). I quilted it over the course of three days in three sessions, 37, 57, and 52 minutes long, for a total of 146 minutes, or 2.43 hours. This is a throw-sized quilt. Machine quilting takes a lot of focus, so it felt like it took a lot longer than it actually did.

I sewed the binding to the front of the quilt, but I haven't started hand-stitching it to the back. I have tried machine stitching both edges of the binding before and it always looks like crap, so I hand-stitch one edge. I actually don't mind hand-finishing it, it's relaxing. This one will be donated as a Quilt of Valor.