Sunday 8 November 2020

Quilting Projects with Christmas Deadlines

As I pointed out in My Quilting Journey, I have been interested in quilting for a long time. And that interest was encouraged by quilt patterns posted in women's magazines. There were the Puff Quilt and the Meow-y Christmas Quilt that I mentioned in that post. And then there was this one. 

I glued this picture to one side of a sheet of typing paper and the instructions on the other side. Held up to the light, I can see through to see that it was from a Family Circle magazine from 1977. And I've kept that pattern through marriage, divorce, childrearing, short and long distance moves and other life events. A few years ago, I bought the fabric to finally make it. But too many other projects got in the way.

Maybe a month or so ago, my daughter asked me to make her a queen-sized quilt with a wool batting. She asked for a queen because she didn't realize that I make my bed-sized quilts with a generous overhang. So, she'll be happy with a double, as that's her bed size. She said that she's always cold, so I offered to do a double batting. This will be a first for me, both in using wool and in using two batts. 

Then I had to determine a pattern. I shared several ideas with her and we finally settled on this one. She doesn't want the colours too bright or loud so that it can fit in any decor. And so she was happy with the fabric I had already purchased. 

I don't know if fusible web even existed when this pattern was published, and the instructions were for needle turn appliqué, but there was no way I was doing that. So Heat N Bond Lite was put to use. 

I haven't traced all 80 maple leaves yet and I'm getting close to the end of the part roll of Heat N Bond that I had. I will likely have to buy another one. Unless I find the other part roll I have somewhere in my stash. 
The first block is fused. I was able to find 3 colours in my stash of Aurifil that will work with some of these fabrics, but I had to order 3 more to get some to match the rest of the fabric. 
The background is a white-on-white print. 
I also need to order the wool batting. I'm on the fence as to whether I will order a full roll or just what I need. It's not like I plan on using wool batting a lot. I primarily use 80/20. But by the metre, it's $26, and I probably need about 3 metres, so $78, plus shipping. The best price I can find for a whole roll is $350 plus $79.80 shipping for a total of $429.80, which works out to $18.77 per metre. A substantial savings, but can I really fit a whole roll into my budget? Decisions, decisions...
Another decision I made was to redo Block 3 of Moda Stitch Pink to make it a 12" block without the extra strips of background fabric, and I'm much happier with the result. This is the old block. 
And this is the new one.
And I did the same with block 11, a 9-patch. 
And block 15, which is a 7-patch (98 pieces of fabric in this block). 
In addition, I made block 14 using HSTs for the border instead of fiddling with bias edges on the triangles. 
I actually tried it with the triangles, but my bias edges stretched and I ended up with a mess. That's why I resorted to the HST units.
So, I'm done half of the blocks now. 
If I had to do this quilt over again, I wouldn't. I enjoy learning new blocks, but 30 of them in one quilt is rather excessive, in my opinion. With a different block each time, you can't use any "assembly line" techniques like you can when you're making multiples of the same block. You also waste fabric because you're chopping out a bit this size and then a bit that size, not whole strips of the same width. I suppose if I was using scraps instead of yardage, it would be more economical. So, I'm finding it's getting rather tedious, especially when I keep modifying blocks. Which is another thing: with the vast array of blocks available, why would the designer choose some blocks that don't easily fit a 12" size? Also, I don't really like the look of the blocks all smooshed together. I think the layout would be much more attractive with some sashing between the blocks, giving more definition to the individual blocks. Being all different blocks, they don't flow together, so I feel that they should be separated. 
Because I was getting tired of this one, I decided to start the Maple Leaf quilt. It has twenty blocks total and I've got 15 blocks remaining in the Stitch Pink quilt. So, I figure I will alternate: one block of the Maple Leaf quilt and then one block of the Stitch Pink quilt. And hopefully, have them both finished by Christmas. 

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