I’ve finally started quilting the quilt for which I made this backing. Originally I had planned some simple lines, spaced quite far apart. I changed my mind though after buying a new sewing machine! Several weeks ago, I brought my sewing machine in for a repair job and since I was already in the shop I took the opportunity to test some fancy sewing machines as well. I decided to buy the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400. It offers a lot more harp space, 28 versus 16.5 cm on my Janome 3160. It also has the walking foot option included and this works soooooo much better than the walking foot on the 3160. The stitches are much more even, things move much smoother (possibly also because of the extra harp space). Anyway, this much more enjoyable walking foot quilting experience made me decide to try a much denser quilting pattern for a change. The lines so far are only ½ and 1 inch apart.
I do wonder whether it would have been better to use a more neutral thread for this denser quilting pattern. I picked the thread when I still had a lot less lines planned and perhaps I should have reconsidered this choice as well because it does stand out quite a bit.
I think we probably all have some fabrics in our stash that we’re reluctant to cut into because we want to save it for something special. Several years ago I bought two fat quarter bundles with Kaffe Fassett’s shot cottons and so far I’ve only enjoyed looking at them. That is going to change though! I bought some additional yardage in the eucalyptus colourway and am now in the process of deciding which of the fat quarters to combine it with.
The quilt this fabric will turn into is bound to bring me even more pleasure than the stacks of bundled up fabrics so it’s stupid not to use it.
For my Cherrywood quilt I auditioned several background colours using Photoshop and decided on dark blue. I’ve now attached the fabric on all sides and I’m pretty happy with the result. It still needs some squaring up and I’m debating how much I am going to chop off the bottom. It currently measures about 130×230 cm. I know people make much larger quilts than this but to me this feels ginormous and I’m somewhat dreading the quilting stage…. Perhaps if I use a really thin and lightweight batting it will still be enjoyable?
Curious what this top looked like without the border?
During the Dutch modern quilt guild gettogether that I went to on Sunday we worked on our contribution for the Quiltcon 2019 Charity Quilt Challenge. Everyone has to stick to a certain colour palette and a design theme. This year’s theme is small piecing with elements that are smaller than 1′. We are going to make 690 (yes, you read that correct, 690!) 3” finished blocks. Whoah.
On Sunday we finished close to 110 blocks and everyone took home some fabric to make some more. Members that didn’t attend on Sunday will be send fabric if they also want to contribute.
This is what our design wall looked like on Sunday afternoon.
This morning I cut into the fabrics I had taken home and added a couple of my own that I hope are a well enough match to the colour palette. I managed to complete 10 blocks before I ran out of fabric. On Sunday I completed a dozen or so as well, so if 34 other members also complete 20 blocks we’re good.
The blocks I made today.
I am now much happier with this quilt backing than I was last week. The changes that I made are not huge but I think they make a difference. I cut some fabric from the left side and sewed that to the top. Last time I had a partial improv border at the bottom that is now less high and I also added it to the left side. I am going to look at it for a couple more days but I’m fairly certain that this is what I’ll end up using for the quilt. Next up: basting, auditioning of threads and picking a quilting design!
I finished piecing and there is no denying that the top is now lopsided. If this was a traditional sampler quilt this would be quite an issue. The beauty of improv, however, is that this is absolutely fine. Just add something to the sides to square it up and you’re good. So, what to add to the sides? I am now leaning towards ordering some Cherrywood yardage in a dark blue like indigo, but also still wondering whether a lighter colour would work better.
Curious what this project looked like in week 17 and week 16?
Last week’s 2-coloured units were stacked in layers of 4 and I made another angled cut. The two sides were mixed and matched to make 4 new units with different colour combinations. I put them on my design wall and started shuffling. I did want the colours to be somewhat evenly distributed across the quilt, but I also wanted some bleeding to occur so that from a distance you can’t immediately tell that the quilt is made from rectangular units. I have started assembly of the top by sewing 4 of the units together to make larger rectangles.
I didn’t use a ruler this time. Quite liberating.
I am already thinking about the back. Somehow I am pulled towards recycled denim, but deterred because of the weight it will add to the quilt sandwich which may prove quilting a bit more challenging than I prefer.
If you want to have a look at how this project evolved from last week click here.