I finished cutting all 64 pieces yesterday. I didn’t have enough of the right blue or green so I went with red and yellow. White fabric looked very off when set next to the print. Instead I decided to use a creamy muslin.
The print was originally a set of curtains I’ve had since I was an infant, making them over 30 years old. By today’s standards they’d be considered vintage or antique. I didn’t want to donate them, so instead I opted to give them new life.
For me these colors are rather boring, but I know someone, somewhere, will love this.
I was squealing so much when I saw the corners meeting properly. I’ve been trying to get this down for awhile now, and nothing was working. After looking through the quilting books my mother gave me I decided to change my pressing technique. IT WORKED!
Seams are commonly pressed in one direction for one row, and the opposite direction for the other row. I know that works great for a lot of people, and it’s the most commonly used technique, but it wasn’t working for me. Splitting and pressing the seams works much better for me. I’ve been far more successful at bringing corners together. Only a small number were a little off, but only by about 1/8″ inch and only noticeable if you look for them.
Here’s a closeup of what I’m talking about. The red is pressed towards the red, muslin pressed towards muslin, and print pressed against print. It was more difficult pressing the seams, but worth the extra work. I also had to keep an eye on the side of the fabric touching the machine when sewing the rows together. That makes things take a little longer, but I work quickly and it wasn’t a big deal for me.
The sewing and pressing took a total of three hours. Not bad for a beginner!
The pattern is as follows:
Cut 64 6″x6″ squares of at least two colors, so 32 of one color and 32 of the other. That’s roughly half a yard of each fabric. In my case it was half a yard of the print, a fat quarter of red, and a fat quarter of yellow.
Sewing the rows together in eight squares x eight squares. REMEMBER TO PRESS YOUR SEAMS!!! After sewing a row go press your seams. After sewing a row to another go press the seam. It can be tedious but it is absolutely necessary.
I use a 1/4″ foot, which is really a time saver. Every quilter should have one. Nearly every pattern calls for a 1/4″ seam allowance unless otherwise stated.
This weekend I’ll be purchasing the three Bs: batting, backing, and binding fabric.
I don’t purchase bias for the binding. Instead I purchase a fabric I like and cut it into strips. Sometimes jelly rolls have just what you’re looking for and it’s already cut for you. Make sure you have enough to go all around your quilt. The way I do it is I add the length of all the sides together and then add an additional 18 inches. It’s better to have too much than not enough. There’s other methods for figuring out what you need, but this works well enough for me.
For this quilt it’s 40″ on all sides. I’ll purchase just a yard and a half of fabric, cut it into strips, sew the strips together, and voila! I have my binding. Plus there’s the extra fabric for a future project!
Seeing as I got all the corners nice and neat I’ll be using the stitch-in-ditch quilting method with my machine. I really want to play with the decorative seams on my machine, and this may be just the right opportunity to do that. I’ll likely use a blue or a green thread to bring more visual interest to this.