As I told my good friend, Katrin, the other day, I think August is going to be be the month of me finishing up a few projects. Since I signed up for six or more SAL/BOM this year, I haven't had a lot of time to finish my other projects that were started earlier. I have put most of those projects aside to work on the ones that I am emotionally connected to.
One very dear project is a quilt that I am making for my niece, Nina. She picked out the fabric in a fabric store when I was visiting last fall. She is a very well-raised young lady with a great sense of color.
I had three fabrics to begin with and from those I think only about a 1/4 to 1/2 yard each. If this was going to be a bed quilt, I was going to have to bring in more fabric. I added the fresher green and black dotty fabric found around the outer edges and in the prairie (pinwheel) flower. Nina and her mom both like dots, so I think they will like the additions. Now it's finished! I really hope she likes the pattern I came up with.
There are lots of pinwheels in this quilt. I think there are 96 green sashing blocks and 24 pinwheels. I don't like sewing curved edges anymore after sewing OHO for Brigitte Heitland, so I came up with an easier way to make the flowers. I appliqued circles onto the white fabric and cut them twice. After all were cut, I regrouped them into four blocks and sewed them back together. It was a lot of work, but I think it saved some time. It also gives the quilt added thickness from the applique stabilizer underneath the flowers.
I used 80/20 cotton/poly batting and 100% cotton thread for the quilting with my Pfaff home sewing machine. I started with an echo quilting around the flowers and realized after 20 sections, the thread was all wrong on the back. I wanted to rip just the ones out that were really bad, but ended up ripping everything out. You should have seen me on the floor doing this. I think my husband thought I was crazy.
I rethought the quilting through. It was hard going around the curves and struggling with the size of this large quilt (with pillow tuck) for a single bed. I really liked it, but knew I had to get the quilting done. I decided to change the strategy and quilt through the sashing. It allowed me to continuously quilt without having to back stitch or pull thread through at start and stop. This definitely saved me time!! The quilting on the back was great...my tension was just right this time. The quilting might seem minimal, but this quilt is heavy without the safety pins.
For the binding, I decided to go with something a little different. I made 1/2 wide double fabric - single fold binding and frayed it in the back. I thought it was a little more interesting for a pre-teen and not so traditional. (It also saved a little time of not having to sew by hand to the back.) I hope it holds, because I did NOT sew around the edge twice as recommended.
And to make sure the back binding frayed nicely, I washed the quilt. I was so nervous, but the color catcher washing sheets worked! I put three in and they were full of black and green die when the cycle finished. I let the quilt air dry and threw it in the dryer for the last five minutes of drying. It worked!! I would definitely use this technique again for a youth or baby quilt.
Oh, another thing I forgot to mention. I just love the fabric I picked to match the front. It is from a German fabric company called Tante Ema. Take a look at their fresh fabric lines. It is 30 cm wider than standard American quilting fabrics too.
If you are interested in how I made the prairie (pinwheel) flowers, stayed tuned. There will be a tutorial coming out but probably on another one of my blogs. And if you want to see even more pictures of the quilt (that I almost hate to part with) check out my flickr gallery.
Thanks for dropping by!