June 21, 2011

Feather and star quilt - 6 years in the making

Yesterday marked a grand finale for me. I've been working on a king size quilt - hand quilted over the last years and now it is finally done.

I was inspired by a pieced baby quilt that I saw in an old Better Home and Gardens quilt book. I used Marsha McCloskey's Block Party to come up with the dimensions I would need to scale it up and how to incorporate appropriately sized borders. I ended up with a quilt that is 120+ inches by 120+ inches. The borders really made the quilt humongous.

Why such a large quilt? I don't know - partly because someone is known as a blanket thief and I figured a large quilt would still leave me some.

The quilt was hand quilted because I started this when I was flat broke, unemployed, bored, and a bit depressed. I spent the last bit of money one month to buy the fat quarters that started the whole thing. I added in fabric from stash. Later, I saved up to buy the batting and backing. There was no money to pay someone to quilt this as much as I was ready to hand it over. A spool of thread costs less than $2. That's how it had to go. Over the years, things have improved and life is better in many, many ways. I can look at this quilt and remember all that has happened during it's making.

 There are so many things I learned by making this quilt:

  • Precision and accuracy is essential in cutting and sewing. Small inaccuracies result in problems at the end and it's much harder to "make it work"
  • Umm, plaid flannel fabrics bleed when washed.
  • Buy all of your base cloth fabric at the same time so that you don't have color variations, even with white. We call variations "charm" now.
  • You can pre-wash all your fabrics or not. If you don't and wash it later, your quilt will take on a vintage look as it shrinks up and gains some texture.
  • Color catcher sheets (several) are worth their weight in gold when you wash your quilt with bated breath hoping the fabrics don't bleed. (Luckily those sheets caught most of the dye!).
  • Mistakes will be made, but we learn from them.

1 comment:

  1. It is beautiful and will be around for many years. I love the ones I've made even if not perfect.