Quilt Update

So I’ve been hardcore slacking on letting you all know how this bad boy has been coming along. I’m sorry! I’ve been making progress, but I’ve been pretty terrible at taking pictures of that progress. For that reason, this will be less of a “how-to” and more of a “here’s what I did,” with just a couple pictures thrown in.

When we last talked about this project, I had pieced together my squares and needed to create a border. Annnd that was where I hit my first snag.

I took measurements and did calculations and sat on yet another floor in a craft store (I tried to hard to be prepared, but it just didn’t work!!), but I somehow still didn’t get the right amount of fabric. I guess, technically, I did get enough–literally just enough to create my borders.

But my pieces would have had something like four seams each, and I hated how messy that was going to look. I knew I was going to have to put at least one seam in each, but four? No thanks.

So I improvised. When my grandma moved out of her house, I inherited a ton of her old craft supplies. She had about a yard of green fabric just a shade darker than what I had purchased. It was actually the inspiration for the color I ended up buying. I wanted to use it, but there wasn’t enough in the box. Silly me…now I was going to have to use it anyway, because I am far too lazy to go back to the store.

The final result ended up with the two long sides in my original green and the two short sides with the darker. Unless you’re looking for it, you can’t really tell, and I actually love the two greens next to one another.

Next step…basting!!

After pinning…there are 150 pins in that bad boy!

Oh also. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the upper right hand corner had a little bit of an…accident. When I was mitering my corners, my angle was a little off. I thought it could be fixed just by ironing it flat, but it was a lot more serious that I thought. I’d already cut off the excess fabric, so I just had to rip out my stitches and sew in a little extra square of fabric. Bust.

When making your quilt sandwich, you’re supposed to stretch your backing fabric as tight as possible and tape it down to the floor. Of course, in my little apartment I don’t have hard flooring big enough for that. So I just spread it out on the carpet and went with it. Things aren’t as tight as they really should be, but I’m pretty OK with that.

On to quilting!

This is where I made myself absolutely crazy before figuring out that apparently I’m kind of a dummy. I was practicing and practicing and practicing on a little baby sandwich to make sure I knew what I was doing before I took to my actual project. And it absolutely wasn’t working. Not one bit. I even gave up for the night before turning to the Internet for help the next day.

Turns out that even though a quilting foot doesn’t always make contact with the fabric, you actually have to put the foot down to engage the tension. Man did I feel real stupid once I figured out that was my only problem. And so I got to quilting!

My first quilted corner!

After reading about a zillion tutorials, I decided to go with just a free-form quilting on this project. I love the way it looks, and I figured it would be much more forgiving than any kind of structured pattern.

Now I’m a little more than 3/4 of the way done with the quilting. It’s a ton of work! It takes forever, but I’ve found that it’s by far my favorite part of this whole process. I’m even thinking about going back and quilting the blanket I made a few years ago! The next time I post on this, I should be completely done with the quilt. I can’t wait to see the finished product on my bed.

Here are a few tutorials that absolutely saved me as I was trying to figure out just how to make this work. These ladies rock!

http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2009/03/quilt-along-14-freemotion-quilting.html

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/03/free-motion-quilting.html

http://www.sewinspiredblog.com/2007/09/free-motion-machine-quilting-tutorial.html

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