Wednesday, January 31, 2018

You Really Thought I Stopped Sewing?

I was teaching a class the other day and one of the students said, “All you talk about now on your blog are books you are reading. Have you stopped sewing?”


I had three goals this month sewing-wise. I wanted to finish my goddaughter Destiny’s quilt, finish the Squares Plus quilt that I’m making as a gift for my friend Rhonda and get a start on my newest machine quilting ruler class quilt called Continuum.

Destiny’s quilt is 104”x117” – in a word, humongous! I told her that I would try to get all the quilting done and the binding sewn on to the front (the handwork’s on her!) by the time she moved from San Diego to join her husband, who is in med school in Las Cruces NM. She drove off into the sunrise on Saturday, January 27, and I put the quilt into her arms Friday afternoon the 26th – hours to spare, right?

I really love the fabric that Destiny ordered from Spoonflower. She and Nick love computer games and the fabrics she chose reflect this. So now they are living in Las Cruces where it can get pretty cool at night, so they’ll be happy to have the quilt on their bed.

I thought the piecing on this quilt would be quick and easy, not really thinking about all those itty bitty plus signs that meant a lot of 1-1/2’ squares! Small is not my favorite scale, but I love the way it turned out. Finished the quilting early in the month then worked on Destiny’s quilt, then back to Rhonda’s and finished the hand stitching on the binding a couple of days ago. I’ll see her in San Antonio in a couple of weeks and will be able to give it to her then. I don’t think she reads this, so it may even be a surprise!

Both of those quilts have bamboo batting and are so nice and soft and cuddly!

I knew I wouldn’t get the Continuum quilt finished, but I hoped to get enough of a start so that I could let Nuttall's in Salt Lake City know about fabric requirements for the Continuum class I’m teaching there in May. You aren’t looking at a black and white photo here: The quilt was originally made by Leonie West, the genius behind the Westalee ruler line, in shades of grey which is stunning to look at but difficult to figure out fabrics when you see it in a photo. Although I am beginning to learn that “seeing” in grey scale is a good thing and I’ve started taking photos of my quilts in black and white before making final decisions on block arrangements.

For a two day class, I’ve scaled down the quilt so that we are stitching 14 blocks that make a 48-1/2”  wide x 41-1/2” long quilt that is stitched out block by block and then assembled using a quilt as you go method that Leonie calls “Sashlee”. This was my planning sketch to get the math all down before I started cutting.

In my version, there are five fabrics in the quilt – dark, medium dark, medium, medium light and light. I chose dark magenta, dark pink, medium pink (which is also my backing fabric for all the pieces), grey with a small white polka dot and a white on white print as my five. Yesterday I cut all the backing and batting pieces and paired them up.

Today I cut all the top fabric pieces, matched them up with their batting/backing partners and labeled them with Alphabitties, the cute little 1” square plastic alphanumeric markers that I clip onto blocks, rows, etc. – whatever needs organizing before sewing. So now I can grab each top/batting/backing set and start doing the ruler quilting. Getting this quilt done is my first goal for February.

I’ve done a bunch of ruler quilting and teach it many times each year but I have never made a quilt with the quilt-as-you-go method. Have you? What do you think of it?

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