Sunday 11 July 2010

Quilt Progess

One of my great big on-going projects is my Spider's Web Quilt. I originally thought that I would be giving this quilt away because it is made of fabrics that in no way co-ordinate with ANY decor in my home. This made me sad as I LOVE all the fabrics chosen for this quilt. They were all chosen at different times, from different locations because I liked them as individual fabrics. I love that they seem to work well together. As time has gone by, and I spend more time with it, I have found myself becoming more determined to keep this quilt, to the point of making up reasons for me to keep it.

The final argument with myself wound up with a decision to keep the quilt when it is complete - YAY!!! I have decided that I need an outdoors quilt. This Summer has been so good we have been spending a big chunk of time outside on the lawn. I have a couple of scabby picnic blankets but wouldn't a cheerful and pretty quilt make a much more stylish accent to our crispy fried lawn?? I thought so too! Plus as someone who loves to camp it will make a great addition to camping trips, for placing on top of ground sheets to sit on, and also to throw over us as the sun goes down. Now this decision has been made I have been thinking about how to finish off the quilt when it is pieced. Of course the first step is to finish piecing it.

I decided on the layout last week.

I put little labels on each of the blocks so that I can piece it in the correct order. I now have a neat stack of blocks to machine piece. They sit beside my sewing machine patiently waiting to be attached to one another.

They are so tempting sitting there in the kitchen. So tempting I have managed to get four of the twelve blocks formed.

I love that I can sit up at the sewing machine and sew up a block in around 15 minutes. I imagine it will get faster as I get better and more practiced at machine piecing. I feel that even though I am struggling with my pain levels at the moment I can at least get a little sewing done. When I am in more pain than usual I can't sew for very long, as it requires me to sit up on a hard bench (not ideal for me even with a cushion). I am unable to sew any large projects because that requires cutting out patterns, which can only be done on the floor. I am not up to that at the moment and though that really frustrates and saddens me, at least I can machine piece.

As I piece these blocks I have realised that my foundation pieces were NOT uniform in size. They don't really line up that well in several of the blocks. This is another reason why I want to keep this quilt, it is my first and not up to the standard I would like. Therefore it is a perfect outdoors quilt. I hope as I do more quilt making my cutting of blocks will become much more accurate. Another thing I have realised is because the pieces are joined on a bias, there is a certain degree of stretching in the fabric as it is sewn. I think a walking foot would have helped a lot with this quilt.

So onto my decisions for finishing this beauty off. I have decided that as I only have around a metre of the foundation fabric I will only be able to make fairly narrow sashing strips with it. I will then add a wider sash out of one of the chocolate and coloured fabrics I have used in the quilt and the back will be in another of these chocolate fabrics. I will bind with joined strips from the other fabrics used in the quilt. I am hoping that the dark backing will help hide any dirt from the garden. I think these choices will frame the bright front nicely too, like a pale mount and dark frame on a picture.

This project has really excited me and I can't wait to get to each new stage, but I am also enjoying each step as I proceed through it. I have yet to decide whether I will try and machine quilt it or whether I will hand quilt. I think that will be determined by my first attempts at machine quilting on my very basic sewing machine. When I finally get up the courage to give it a go I'll let you know how it went. Until then, I probably won't keep you updated with all the block piecing until the centre is all done and dusted. Just know I am sewing away, as and when I am able to sit up at the table for a little while.


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