Monday, August 10, 2009

Look Ma, No WIPs!

wall

Just Kidding. Here’s the pile I moved off of the design wall and onto the sewing table:

wall_stack

so that I could use the design wall to put up the blocks for a pieced quilt:

blocks

Ok, they’re not really “blocks” so much as big chunks. But I’ve been feeling guilty about not using this fabric that I bought last year at the Houston show:

fabric

I knew that if I didn’t use it, my sweetie would probably bring it up at this year’s show (which is creeping up fast!) when I try to convince her that I NEED new fabric!

A couple of years ago, I promised my sweetie I would make a queen-sized quilt for our bed; we promptly went to the quilt shop and bought the fabric, which has been sitting in a drawer ever since. Truthfully, I’m scared I’ll mess it up because I’m just not that good at traditional, pieced quilts. I try SO hard to be careful when cutting the fabric, sewing the 1/4” seams, then pressing them. Something always seems a little wonky, though.

Plus, I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to a lot of quilt pattern instructions. I puzzle over them and, when I finally figure out the first few steps, I feel like a kindergartener with a gold star on her paper. Then I realize I could have made an art quilt, 3 postcards, and an ATC in the time it took me to figure out the quilt instructions.

So, wanting to practice my quilting skills before I tackled the queen-sized bed quilt, I decided to start with a very simple pattern—just the big chunks of fabric stitched into columns, then the columns stitched together to make the quilt top. Here’s the completed top:

5yd_top

This is a double-sized quilt, which makes it the largest quilt I’ve tackled to date. It will be interesting to see how well I machine-quilt it, but I figure I’ll get a sense of what it will be like to tackle that queen-sized quilt!

To test the “test” quilt even further, I decided that last week’s 6x6” journal square (#24) should be a small, pieced quilt-lette using the same fabric:

zWeek24

The border on this square is actually the backing fabric for the large quilt, and the polka-dot binding isn’t related to the actual quilt at all—it just looked like fun, so I threw it on. I’m a little worried about the backing fabric; it seemed to stretch a lot when I sewed it into this square, so I’m anxious about how it will behave when I try to quilt the large quilt.

I'm torn about how to quilt the quilt. I go back and forth between free-motion quilting, and straight-line stitching on a diagonal. I do like to free-motion quilt, so I'll probably end up doing that (as soon as I work up the nerve!).

The queen-sized quilt pattern I'm going to use is much more involved, and uses strips of sewn-together wedges, which are cut out using a template--yet another thing to be nervous about!

2 comments:

Shinersoft said...
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margaret said...

This is the kind of quilt that gets used, and used, and used....