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.