I managed to keep up with the weekly schedule and finished each and every task on time, which left me with a beautiful quilt to celebrate the Fourth of July!
I took a leap of faith and did the free-motion quilting and have to agree with all those who posted to the forums that the inconsistent stitch size and mess ups really aren’t all that noticeable after the whole thing is done and washed. I’m super pleased with the results and it was really fun to sew so haphazardly.
Trimming it all up was fun and very satisfying to see it so close to being done. It also left me with plenty of scrap batting and backing fabric to complete a much smaller quilting project that I’m planning for July. It was tempting to just use the backing fabric to bind the quilt and not do the extra work of making my own binding out of separate fabric. That’s what I’ve done with the past two quilts that I’ve done with decent enough results. But, I stuck to the plan and the directions of the Quilt Along and chose a plain navy blue fabric, cut it into strips, pieced it back together to make one super long strip, ironed, and began sewing it on.
And the final kicker was hand-sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt. I looked for a way to do it by machine since that would obviously be much faster and easier, but in the end, I sucked it up and blind-stitched the whole darn thing. It took HOURS, most of Thursday evening and all day Friday. I managed to finish it with enough time to wash and dry it before bedtime and really take in the fruit of my labors.
So the quilt is done! DONE! I have a few small sewing repair projects ahead of me this week, hemming a pair of pants, and sewing on many lost buttons, but I’m already searching out my next quilt project. I have a small project in the works from the scraps of this quilt, but I’m ready and anxious to make quilt that I plan on keeping for us. Izzy will need one for her toddler bed for the up coming winter and maybe another one for a super big girl twin bed in the coming year or two. A few doll quilts would be good too for her to play with. Alex’s bed doesn’t have a quilt on it and he might appreciate one come Christmas time. We could use a few throw-quilts for the back of the couch and the end of our bed and maybe a new picnic quilt or two. And the quilts that I would love to make and give to friends. Oh yeah, I’m totally getting into this quilting thing!
I thought I was officially one week behind when I didn’t get a chance at all last week to baste the quilt together. I looked for opportunities for the kids to be occupied in their own play long enough for me to ensure a clean and swept kitchen floor to spread out, tape, and pin the three layers of the quilt together. It takes 1-2 hours from start to finish. The opportunity never came, so I made the best of things by knitting in the small snippets of time that were blessed upon me.
Well, I finally got the chance this afternoon, shortly after lunch and seized it! Everything is ironed, pinned, and awaiting quilting. And then I discovered that two weeks have been allotted for this phase of the quilt along and I’m not behind after all! Yay!
So, now I get to focus solely on quilting this week. I was thinking that I would try free-motion quilting. It seems like fun and it’s yet another aspect of sewing that I’ve never attempted. The picture is my practice effort and I’m not too sure about purposefully doing that to the quilt at this point in time. That seems a bit scary. I’m going to give myself a few more practice sessions, put in a new needle, and try it with the good thread and see what it looks like before making any final decisions. The discussion groups say it’s all about practice and that you’ll hardly notice the harsher edges after the quilt has been washed and fluffed.
I finished sewing the quilt blocks together and I’m left with this beautiful quilt top! I’m really so happy with it!
Just like Dana instructed on her blog, I used the pressed seams to help guide the piecing together and produced mostly perfect corners where each block meets. Wow, who knew the simple act of ironing a seam can do so much!?
I just realized that this quilt will likely be finished before the Fourth of July and with it’s colors, it’s going to be awfully hard to not spread out such a festive quilt to cuddle up with those I love to watch fireworks. Must remember that this is a Christmas present and repeat it over and over to myself.
I finally got the living picked up and swept so I was comfortable with working on the floor. I even got the children to play in the playroom for a bit while I attempted to layout the pieces of the quilt… well, until I got caught anyway.
Izzy could not contain her excitement when she saw all the quilt blocks on the floor and absolutely had to run in circles on it for at least 15-20 minutes while carrying her doll. She was too cute and I saw no harm in letting her have her fun.
I wasn’t convinced of my fabric and color choices until I saw the the top pieced together yesterday. I’m really happy with how it’s coming together. I don’t think that there’s too much of any one color and it seems fairly balanced.
Now comes the fun part of sewing the blocks together. I’m working on that today.
It took me 5 days to get all the sewing, ironing, and cutting done, but I now have 39 quilt squares ready to be pieced together this week. The kids have been showing more of an interest in the variety of things in the sewing room, so I’m only able to steal away 5-10 minutes here and there and rarely get a big chunk of time to do any project start to finish.
Another week has been added to the quilt along, so now I’m looking at the first week of July to have the quilt completed. I’m a wee bit grateful for that after working so hard last week on it. I was looking forward to having a few presents ready for Christmas gift giving under my belt by the end of June, but really, what is one more week!?
Now I need to decide if I want the quilt to be 6 squares by 6 squares or do I cut another strip out of extra fabric that I have to create 3 more squares to make it 6 x 7? I need to decide before I piece it together and start sewing. I think I’ll do a little experimenting today to see what I like and go from there.
I got all of my fabric cut this week and it couldn’t have been easier, just 2-1/2 inch strips.
This was the first time that I cut my own fabric for a quilt. I bought my material pre-cut and followed their directions for putting it together, so I’ve already done two things that I haven’t done before, the other picking out 12 different fabrics to make one quilt.
Looking forward to week 3 when I get to sew!
In my effort to be ready for Christmas before the arrival of our little one in October, I decided to join the Old Red Barn Quilt Along. It should be fun and educational. I’ve never done a quilt completely start to finish and I know that I’ve skipped steps with the two quilts that I have created. In theory, I’ll have others cheering me on and have a forum to ask questions in case I get stuck and I’ll have a complete quilt come the end of June!
My paternal grandparents have been hinting that they would like a quilt for the past three years since I gifted the first one to my maternal grandparents. With grandpa on dialysis, he’s almost always cold and low on energy, so I decided that there is no better time than now to create a quilt for them.
I picked out the fabric at the big fabric store not far from here and I’m using some recently handed-down fabric as well. I’m going for a country fourth-of July feel and I hope that I succeeded with my fabric choices. I think that these will work well in their house, no matter where they decide use it.
Oh, and did I mention, that there will be a weekly give-away associated with the quilt along? Yet another bonus to sewing a quilt now!