Piecing and Sewing

This is what I started and finished yesterday.  Thankfully the cutting was relatively easy seeing as I used fat quarters for most of this (I love pre-cut fabrics).  As you can see, Cacoa is being remarkably helpful.  I gave up the fight of having her on my cutting table and put a pair of fleece pants for her to sleep on while occupying space I could use.

This is what I finished today.  I still need to purchase fabric for the outer border, but the inner border and binding are the same fabric/color.  I’m going with a not-quite-busy print for the outer border.  Hopefully Joe won’t mind a trip to the fabric store tomorrow.  I’ll take this with me so I can figure out what fabric to buy.  I want the outer border and backing to be the same print just because that sounds like a neat idea.

I’m waiting on Joanna to send me her favorite Bible verses so I can hand-quilt them onto this.  To get the letters right I’ll be printing them onto tracing paper and pinning the paper in place.  Because this will be done on my quilting frame it will be a LOT easier to do.  I’ll hand-quilt through the paper to keep everything even and neat.  Currently I’m debating on whether or not to use a metallic thread.  It’ll make it a lot easier to see the quilting, that’s for sure.  Hmmm…decision decisions.

The fabric for the border and backing will need to be washed, and that won’t get done until Friday (we use a laundromat).  Why wash first?  Shrinkage and color bleeding.  Cotton tends to shrink by about 3%.  That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but put it this way: 3 inches of 100 inches will disappear due to the fabric shrinking.  It makes a HUGE difference.  If I don’t wash it before I sew it on here it will be disastrous.  The fabric will shrink, pucker, and possibly tear, which is exactly what I DON’T want.  Plus, colors bleed.  Washing it first gets that extra dye out so it doesn’t get all over the finished quilt.  I still use a color catcher when I wash finished quilts for the first time just in case anything was missed.

Oh, yes, you must wash a quilt as soon as you finish quilting it.  The fabric and batting will fluff up, resulting in the design you quilted through the layers really showing up.  You get to see the full beauty of your work that way.

After I finish this quilt I’ll start work on a commission as soon as I receive 50% up-front payment.  I don’t want to make this thing only to have the person decide, hey, I changed my mind.  That would result in me having spent time and money on something without receiving anything for my work.  It’s one thing to make quilts for the sake of making them, but totally different when it’s for someone who is commissioning you for the work.

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