Saturday, June 25, 2011

One Big Quilt and No Quilt Frame :(

This is definitely the largest quilt I've made, it is for a full/queen bed and due to it's size I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to make the quilt sandwich.  I really wanted to make the sandwich like I have for others, by preparing it on a flat surface and basting with tons of curved safety pins.  Since I don't have a large enough floor space or surface that I could use the safety pin method on, I looked into a few other options.
Option 1: Spray Basting- This method uses an aerosol adhesive which is quick and fast but also dirty.  I'd have to be very careful where I would do this process as it leaves residue on surrounding surfaces and you need to complete this in a properly ventilated space.  I didn't like the idea of introducing a substance like that in my home, so this method is out for me.

Option 2: Use a quilting frame which creates the quilt sandwich as you go along.  This sounds like a great option for someday, but I didn't want to make the financial investment on something I hadn't seen in person.  Not to mention, I didn't want to wait to get the frame, I was ready to quilt now!

Option 3: Head to the local quilt shop and use the classroom space to complete the process I'm most used to.

I chose option 3 and headed to the LQS where I pushed six tables together to get a surface area big enough for me to build the quilt sandwich.
 It took about an hour and a half to finish making the quilt sandwich, but good thing I was at the quilt shop, I ended up buying another two packages of the safety pins.
 Here's my favorite tool for working with the curved safety pins, a spoon with a V notch in the tip, this helps to close all of those safety pins without bruising your fingers.
 So, once I was done making the quilt sandwich, I ran into a few more challenges.  First, see the cute little guy below?  This is our cat, Buster, and he definitely lives up to his name, don't let the cuteness fool you.
 Buster LOVES to pull safety pins out of my quilts, here are some action shots to prove it.  He's very quick and actually does get the pins out, I have no idea how he does it.  The good thing is he doesn't ruin the fabric, that's just how skilled he is.

 The next challenge was doing the actual quilting.  I decided to use a walking foot and just do straight stitch quilting to follow the geometric shapes, but this quilt is so big it's a pain when the fabric is all bunched up under the short arm of my machine.  I really like my sewing machine, but this makes me envy some of the longer arms I've seen other people use. 
Another problem might be my dislike of the whole machine quilting process, I've been looking into hand quilting and planned to try it on a future project, but I may just scrap the quilting I've started on the Rain or Shine quilt.  The jury is still out on that one.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rain or Shine - The backing is done!

Remember this quilt from a few posts back?

Well I finally finished the back.  For this full/queen size quilt I didn't want to go out and buy more fabric when I had a ton of coordinating fabric in my stash so gathered a bunch of pieces I already had.  Some were fabrics used for the top of the quilt and others were fun pieces I just wasn't sure what I was going to do with.

I started by cutting pieces down the WOF in half and added a 6-7 inch panel as the needed width was more than two times the standard width of fabric (44-45")

Next, I laid out the pieces to decide what order I wanted them to be.

It didn't take long and the backing was complete.  I actually like this so much I plan to use it as the top of the quilt every now and then, it really could be it's own quilt top.

Here's the quilt top and backing all folded up together.....

Bonus pic, this is my brother, he was helping me take a picture of the completed backing.  He really didn't want his picture taken, but I took this one anyway ;)

Top and backing complete, check!  Next onto the adventures of quilting.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekends are Wonderful :)

My goal for the weekend was to finish the front panel for the extension table bag I'm making, and I finished more than I planned.  I was able to finish the panel and make a quilt sandwich so it is all ready to quilt.

But tonight is the Bachelorette, so I must go, this will be the first episode I can catch without viewing a re-run online.

Happy Monday!