Friday, January 18, 2019

Finished - Low Volume Trip Around the World Quilt

Why work on just one queen size quilt when you can work on two at the same time?

Thanks so much for all the love here and on IG for the Modern Fans Quilt (post here and here).  Indeed I loved making that quilt (but then I can't remember the last quilt I didn't enjoy making) but all the new components of that project required focus.  Making this Trip Around the World quilt was like therapy.  Everything about it was lovely, calming and relaxing.  Even though it is the biggest quilt I've ever made (just a few inches larger than the Modern Fans) I was a little sad to have it finished.

The pattern is of course the tutorial by Quiltville.  This is the second quilt I've finished using that pattern (the first is here) so I was familiar with the technique.  Digging into my stash for low volume fabrics with a gray leaning created a colossal mess in the sewing room but was quite rewarding.  That is, until I realized that even with the fabric requirements of a queen size quilt I was barely making an impact on my low volume stash!  See my 2019 goal post for more on that challenge!

Calculating the number of blocks I would need for a queen, I cut over 400 strips of some of my favorite fabric.

Over a month or so I would sew up 10 blocks at a time and unpick the seams (see the tutorial as to why this is done) while relaxing at night watching TV.  And soon enough, there were 72 beautiful blocks.

Keeping with the therapeutic nature of this project, I just placed them on my design wall and didn't stress too much about the adjacencies of each block.  This picture is the layout in process with my not quite queen size design wall.

Table basting to save the back and knees!!
Ah then the quilting.  Over several days I quilted a leafy pattern completely covering the quilt.  The flowing, repetitive movement of the leaves was so enjoyable to quilt and it adds a lovely softness to all those little blocks.

Several hours of hand sewing the binding later, the quilt was finished.

At least I know the quilt went to a good home and I can visit it whenever I want! My son and daughter in law loved the quilt and we had fun photographing it on a gray Christmas Eve outside their lovely antique home.

Let's talk about the backing.  It's Charley Harper Birch organic Western Birds and the best part is that it was a wide backing piece that I had in my stash!  It takes a lot of hands to hold a queen size quilt up.

Those birds are almost sitting on the leaves in the quilting.

Sorry about all the pictures but I do love this quilt!! Although I had plans to finish three bed size quilts for my three sons for Christmas, I ran out of gas and gave one son an I.O.U. in the form of fabric selected for his quilt.  He knows I'm good for it!

Have a great day,

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Modern Fans Quilt Finish - Part Two

Photographing this quilt top was a challenge.  At 84" by 112" my usual quilt holder gets extra credit for effort.
Then it was time to baste.  Except for very small quilts, I have basted all my quilts on a table.  Maybe one of these days I'll get my act together and document my process on this blog.
I do all my own quilting, usually on my sit down Sweet Sixteen quilting machine.  However, I wanted to do straight line quilting on this one.  My second sewing machine was set up on the dining room table, a folding table added off to the left for support, attached my walking foot and I went to work.  One inch quilting lines, 84 of them, 112 inches long.  This took a few days and lots of patience but I am so pleased with the results.
As much as I have enjoyed creative pieced backings, there are occasions when wide (108") backings are the only way to go.
Miles of hand sewn binding later, we have a finished quilt!!  After I gifted it to my son on Christmas we were able to enlist he and his brother to hold the finished product for pictures.

I loved making this quilt and my son was appropriately thrilled to have this addition to his apartment in Chicago.
With all that pre-washing, there was very little shrinkage after washing.
Thank you Suzy for such a wonderful quilt pattern and all the support! I will definitely be making another, perhaps a bit smaller next time!

Have a great day,

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Modern Fans Quilt Finish - Part One

There are quilts that we work on and then there are QUILTS.  I've just finished and gifted two queen sized quilts that for different reasons are particularly special to me.  The first is a Modern Fans Quilt, pattern by the talented and entertaining SuzyQuilts.  Suzy hosted a quilt along for this pattern that helped keep me on track for a Christmas delivery of this quilt but also guided through some of the potentially trickier aspects (those curves!).

One of the firsts for me was pre-washing all the fabric.  I have never had a problem with fabric bleeding but with the dark navy and white colors selected for this quilt I didn't want to take any chance.  Yards and yards of fabrics were washed, ironed and starched (even some in the end I decided not to use).  I have to admit that the starched fabric was wonderful to work with.  
The cutting was a project in itself.  Lots of pieces, lots of curves.  A small rotary cutter made all the difference.  

Piecing the blocks and pressing them was my favorite part.  Sewing those curves was oddly relaxing. 

Another first was using Essex linen.  I wanted the texture of the linen but was concerned about fraying issues others have reported.  Throughout the quilt I used a smaller stitch length when sewing the linen.  I am optimistic that all will be well.

One of the supplies recommended by Suzy was a tailor's clapper presser.  I pride myself in not being a gadget person, but I had been recently frustrated with block wonkiness after pressing so I got one.  Look at these flat seams!!  Fantastic!!

After all the blocks (192 if you're interested) were assembled it was time to lay them all out.  I am so fortunate to have a large design wall in my sewing room but not big enough for this quilt!

Chain piecing saved the day. At this point, the weight of the quilt started to become apparent.  

And then there was a quilt top...continued in Part Two with the quilting and the finished quilt.
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