At last Saturday’s Beginners Course we reached the quilting stage of constructing our quilts. I demonstrated a few ideas for quilting using a walking foot eg. in-the-ditch, echoing, wavy lines… I’d had a think about how to quilt my version of the Dashing Stars quilt. In-the-ditch would work but I favoured stitching a quilting design over the patchwork to add ‘movement’, helping to take the eye roaming around the patchwork design. I considered a diagonal hatch across the quilt and considered curves, maybe echoing arcs or a swirl. Eventually I came up with stitching a large zig-zag down the centre of the quilt and then echoing the shape to either side.
Whaoo! I woke in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. I crept down to my sewing room and set about cutting out the shapes to make my first ever Dresden Plate. Crazy, I know but it was on my mind when I went to bed… I used the Darlenne Zimmerman Easy Dresden ruler that I bought two years ago and which, until last night, I’d never lifted from it’s packaging. (I should explain here that I do have a bit of a quilt ruler habit – my ruler collection continues to grow – read on to discover more!).
Last week I was so determined to finish the I-Spy Shadow quilt that I didn’t have time to properly share some of the ins and outs and ups and downs of making this quilt. I’m taking an hour to catch my breath and to properly acquaint you with this quilt that popped up as a ‘finish’ in my previous blog post.
I hope you can see from the photo why this quilt is a ‘shadow quilt’? The regular positioning of the light and dark background fabrics gives the impression that the feature fabric squares are floating above the quilt and casting shadows. The forty-two feature fabric squares are novelty prints with images that could be used in a game of I-Spy.
I completed the top with a week to spare to my deadline but then had a bit of a hiatus, waiting to purchase some backing fabric from a local shop and a longer wait for some Quilters Dream Poly wadding to be delivered by post. I tried to make good use of this waiting time by first making a label for the quilt; secondly (once I’d been shopping) piecing the backing and attaching the label; and also making the binding.
This is how I generally make and attach quilt labels:
I use a computer to compose the label wording and print this onto plain paper. I then make use of a lightbox or a window to trace the wording onto a piece of fabric. I use a Micron fine tipped permanent marker pen.
I usually make a border for the label using some left over fabrics from the quilt top. Then I press a quarter inch seam under all around the edge and pin the label into place onto the backing fabric. I use a machine stitch – zig-zag or blanket stitch usually – and applique the label to the fabric.
I find placing a piece of Stitch ‘n Tear on the wrong side of the backing, helps prevent the applique stitches bunching up the fabric. The Stitch ‘n Tear can be removed very easily once the applique stitching is complete.
The wadding arrived with three days to spare so I set-to immediately: Trimming the wadding to size and then pin basting the patchwork top, wadding and backing together. I decided to use my sewing machines walking foot to add a simple design of echoing arcs starting from the top left of the quilt. My thinking being that the arcs would be radiating out from the imaginary light source that was casting the shadows across the quilt. If you see what I mean?
I used a Drunkards Path template and a Chaco marker to draw an arc on the quilt and then used the metal stitch guide with the walking foot to keep the spacing between the arcs at 2 inches.
All was going well until the arcs reached the middle of the quilt. Then the quilt top started to pucker and puff away from the layers beneath it.
I took a deep breath, put the quilt back on the basting table, removed the remaining basting pins *SIGH*, re-positioned the layers, smoothing out the excess fabric and re-pinned *DOUBLE SIGH*. Tedious but worth the bother. When I resumed quilting the fabric lay much flatter and I’m happy with the final result.
I suspect the top layer puckered partly because I was quilting from one corner of the quilt right across to the other and partly because I was in a rush and didn’t position the basting pins as closely together as I would do usually. I can hear my Mum saying, ‘More haste, less speed!’
In that hiatus of waiting for backing and wadding I made a book pillow to accompany the quilt, using novelty prints and fabrics left over from making the patchwork.
So that’s the story of the I-Spy Shadow Quilt 🙂 It is listed in my ETSY shop along with the book pillow and I hope to publish the pattern very soon….
Linking with Connie at Free Motion by the River for the last Linky Tuesday – Connie has been hosting this friendly link-up since 2012!
PS. I’ve just come home from a meeting of Roundabout Quilters. In the show and tell slot one member shared her I-Spy quilt! 😀
Hey! Ho! It’s Sunday…. Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring and Share! 😀 Well! It has been a busy week…. I hope you have found time over this weekend to do a bit of sewing? Bring your project along to this virtual sewing group and share some of the conversations and news doing the rounds in the Worldwide Quilting Community. You can use the comments box at the end of this post to join in the bringing and sharing 🙂
For me the past week has included some seriously focused stitching, some sewing-related challenges and a day out with favourite daughter (I have just the one daughter in case that last comment worried you!).
First, the seriously focused stitching. I was absolutely determined to finish the ‘I-Spy Shadow’ quilt, photograph it and list it on ETSY before Thursday. Sometimes deadlines make me freeze but thankfully this self-imposed one did the trick and the quilt is finished and teamed up with a book pillow.
This is the third I-Spy Shadow quilt I have made. I am still writing the pattern…
Secondly, the sewing-related challenges. Humm! Machine applique! Troublesome, steep learning curve etc, etc! But some how or other I managed to get to grips with three methods and share them with some patient learners at Purple Stitches Quilt Club on Saturday afternoon.
We also made a Bear’s Paw block – much more in my comfort zone.
And finally, the day out with lovely daughter. We both journeyed by train to Salisbury in Wiltshire. The day dawned very foggy and the clouds did not lift until the afternoon but we carried through our plan to walk from the Railway Station to the ancient hill fort of Old Sarum. The walk took us along a river valley and it wasn’t until we reached the pretty thatched cottages of Stratford sub Castle that we were actually able to see the steep sides of the hill of Old Sarum through the fog.
We followed the track up the hill and walked along the ridge of the lower side of the earthworks until we could gain access to the open grassy area at the top of the hill. Very impressive on so many levels. The earthwork ditch (‘ditch’ doesn’t in any way convey the size of the excavations!) that surrounds the upper levels of the hill was originally dug by Iron Age fort builders around 500BC making the ‘ditch’ 2500 years old!
None of my photos do justice to the depth and ‘steepness’ of the man-made defensive ditch that surrounds Old Sarum. I took the photo below of one of the notice boards so you can see the scale of the site.
The Romans and the Saxons refashioned the Fort in their turn before William the Conqueror in around 1090 topped out the centre of the hill with one of his customary castles. The ruins of the castle and the footings of the original Cathedral are on view and accessible to visitors but really its walking around the inner and outer rims of those ancient earthworks that gives an understanding of the scale of Old Sarum.
Back to the sewing room… My projects for this weekend involve: finishing the blocks from this months Quilt Club. In March we will make the final two blocks and then it will be time to add sashing and enjoy our sampler-style quilt tops; getting back to constructing blocks ready for next Saturdays Beginners Class; and making some more of the scrappy Trip Around the World blocks. The latter project had to go on the back burner this past week – I contented myself with playing with sets of strips on my design wall 🙂
It’s been encouraging to see so many Trip Around the World blocks being posted on Instagram – look up #scrappytripalong2019 to find them.
I’m afraid in all the busyness I have not been able to keep up with reading blog posts (my email in-box is bursting!) so very few links to share today 🙁 I will ‘get back on it’ this week 🙂 If you’ve read any posts that would be of interest do post the links in the comments box. Thank you!
Carole shares her painstaking efforts to restore a badly damaged heirloom quilt. Amazing work!
Jen Schaffer’s Monthly Colour Challenge is a great way to move out of a colour comfort zone and try working with colours inspired by a different flowers each month. The list of colours is available now but the block instructions are published monthly.
Linking with Whims and Fancies for the monthly Wandering Camera link up 🙂