January 2, 2011
Fields and Furrows
I finished these two identical quilt tops. Maybe they will stop nagging me. Yes...two. Not my style, if you read my blog alot, but I hold out for retiring in a log cabin in rural America somewhere. I made them for a BOM club last year. That seems to be more my style than finishing a quilt in a few weeks. I get too burnt out.
I got intimidated by the borders and procrastinated. This is my usual MO for not knowing how to do something or being frustrated. I actually finished them New Year's Eve Day. Is that too late to say I finished a 2010 goal?
My favorites are the bears and Andrew loves the fish.
The blocks are 14 inch square and somehow I lost a 1/2 inch, but it didn't bother me so much since that's OK with a repetitive block. You just have to be consistent in your mistake. I measured and cut the borders before sewing them on, knowing that was my only hope in squaring the top up. It came out fine. Lots of pins helped and my skills have improved over the last year too.
It measures 78.5 inches square. The block setting is called Fields and Furrows. I am not sure how to machine quilt the two of these. I think I'll break down and get someone to professionally quilt this. Even with super lightweight batting, these are heavy quilts! Ahh, better for me in my future log cabin...
I bought some great backing fabric at half price this summer, cough, 10 yards. That will be the last time I buy that much of the same fabric. Have any of you actually bought a bolt of something? I'm in quilty awe if you have.
Things I have learned while working with flannel:
1. Use a new sharp needle to get through the thicker layers.
2. Precut the strip lengths and if anything flannel stretches, use a walking foot.
3. Put the stretchy fabric on the bottom for the feed dogs to push if you don't have a walking foot.
4. Clean out your machine constantly with your brush. My machine, after the borders were put on, was a mess. I had major layer of lint, from the flannel, under the stitch plate. You might even need to pull out the bobbin case and get out the lint from underneath it. I also oiled it, per my machine's care instructions. My machine sounded 100% better.
5. Starch your flannel fabrics before cutting. I didn't do this, but I believe I used a walking foot throughout the entire process to compensate for different weights of flannel. I used a Moda fabric, Northern Flights by Holly Taylor, for the border and it was didn't stretch at all. I will starch like crazy if I machine quilt this. The woven flannels are very stretchy.
6. Flannel sticks together so only a few pins are needed, mostly at the end of what you are sewing to have the edges line up.
7. Make sure you press, not iron. If you slide the iron across the fabric you will have a distorted mess. (Been there done that.)
8. Hmm... do you have some advice?
I'll share the other girlish quilt that I finished for myself! Ok... It has changed ownership. Oh well. Since it's in use... I'll show the rest of it tomorrow.