Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Piecing the Quilt Top
As you know, this Blue and Cream quilt top is pretty big, about 100 inches (254 cm) square, and to make piecing it really hard, it's put together on the diagonal. I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought a set of square rulers which have turned out to be extremely useful. Notice above that the six inch (15 cm) block is just a bit larger than the ruler. To make matters worse, it's not quite even all around the block.
Trimming it to size (including the seam allowance) squares up the block, making it much easier to accurately piece the blocks together. It is so easy to stretch the fabric out of shape with all the bias seams, no matter how well starched the fabric is or how slowly you sew.
I found some little sandpaper dots to affix to the wrong side of the ruler. This keep the ruler from slipping over the fabric, which is particularly easy to do when you are holding the ruler down over a seam. The edges always seem to slip.
All of the smaller blocks were sewn together to make 12 inch (30.5 cm) blocks for each row.
This might seem pretty picky, but to sew the rows together, I pinned the blocks at the seams so they would match, them evenly spaced pins along each block. Then I steamed the pinned blocks to help shrink out any excess fabric. It seemed to take forever, but the results were worth it. All the blocks are pretty well matched. I only found one tiny pleat in the whole quilt, and I was able to rip out several inches and ease the seam back into place. Also notice that the fabric is double pinned. This helps tremendously to keep the fabric together while transporting such large pieces to the machine. Once you train yourself to do it it really doesn't take much time, and it is so worth the effort.
Here is part of the finished quilt top. I don't have anywhere that I can hang this so you can see the whole thing. It's just too darn big. Over the next week or so I'll find some backing material and send it out for quilting. By the way, can you see the mistakes? They are staying in!
What to do next? I still have an awful lot of cut fabric left over! I have three of the large stars, one Rising Star (that's the swirly block), a few small stars, and hundreds of half square triangles for flying geese blocks. I also have enough of the Rising Star partial blocks (all sewn wrong, of course) to make a lap quilt. I'll be slowly sewing them together, as the goal is to rid myself of all cut fabric, then see what I can make with what I have. I'll definitely have enough for a couple of lap quilts or maybe a full size. It's a good thing I love the blue and cream combination.