It's that time again...yeh! It's the Blogger's Spring Quilt Festival!! I personally love the opportunity to peruse the many blogs out there and see everyone's work, not to mention gaining inspiration for future projects! (like I need more of those:)
My submission for the Blogger's Quilt Festival is my Drunk Love Quilt that I made for my stepson. I had been promising him this quilt for some time so I was happy to complete it this February. It's already well loved as he sleeps with it under his duvet every night!
This work was a combination of blocks from my virtual quilting bee, Pieced Together II, and my own. I can't thank the women enough because all of their blocks were wonderfully made! As you know, the Drunk Love Quilt pattern is a Denyse Schmidt (my fav!) design - some of the blocks are taken right from her pattern and some of the blocks (near the end of my block making:) were improvisationally made.
I really learned a lot in making this quilt. In an earlier post, I summarized my "lessons" or "things to consider," but I think they're worth repeating here. I hope you find them helpful.
Concentric Square Quilting
I started off with quilting these squares working from the centre of the block and outwards. My biggest mistake was in not rolling my quilt tightly enough while quilting and maneuvering it. I found I was stuffing the quilt through the arm of my machine and it was take an excessive amount of time to quilt each block with all the twisting and turning - especially working from inside the square and outwards. What I realized after struggling with over half of my blocks in this manner was that if you rolled your quilt tightly it was a lot easier to pass it through the arm of the machine. Duh! It seems obvious but I think it's worth repeating for those of us out there who have done the same thing!
Once I started rolling it more tightly, it became a lot easier to quilt the actual blocks. The second thing I changed was that I began to quilt from the outside of the block and worked my way inward. I preferred this method much more as it was easier to maneuver around the block at first and you could envision your overall concentric square quilting (hope that makes sense). I found I started to not quilt as densely and left the centre block (especially if it was a big square) unquilted so that the pop of colour was left untouched and you didn't see a bunch of white thread. Again, just a matter of personal taste, not necessarily a right or wrong thing.
I wished that when I began quilting it I had left some of the centre blocks untouched. Having said that there are some blocks that I think really look cool from the back - ones that were densely quilted.
I also think it's important to consider what effect you're wanting to achieve in terms of the concentric square quilting. I decided not to free motion the squares and used my walking foot so that I could achieve a more straight line effect. One is not better than the other - again just a question of personal taste. Since I decided on straight quilting lines, I wish on some of my initial blocks that I quilted parallel to the seam lines. When I look at some of the first blocks I quilted, my eyes are distracted by the quilting instead of some of the last blocks I quilted.
Wow, I must sound really picky:) Don't get me wrong! These are just some of the things I felt that next time I wanted to think about first before I tackle concentric square quilting again. (I do have another drunk love quilt in the making...)
Machine Binding Tips
My two "go to" tutorials for bindings are CrazyMomQuilts and RedPepperQuilts
Rita at RedPepperQuilts actually talks about not only bindings, but tackling machine bindings. I too am not a fan of sewing anything by hand. That's probably taboo of me to say (haha) since I know a lot of you enjoy the process of sitting down and hand sewing a binding. I admire you! I have tried both methods of: 1. First attaching the binding to the back and machine stitching the binding to the front and 2. Attaching the binding to the front, pin the back and stitching in the ditch in the front (which attaches the binding to the back-Rita at RedPepperQuilts' method). I thought I would try Rita's method for this quilt and I love the result! I used my Accuquilt Go Fabric Cutter to cut out the 2.5 inch strips (my favourite is 2 1/4 strips but heh, I have the cutter and it's nice and convenient). Once I had my binding strips attached using Amanda's methodI then pressed them in half and using a 1/4 inch seam, attached the strips to the FRONT of my quilt. Once I ironed this, I then pinned the back so that the fold of the strip just barely overlapped the sewing line that you had just sewn. As Rita suggests, I then stitched in the ditch along the binding on the front. Now, I have to say there were definitely some spots that I didn't always catch by stitching in the ditch so I had to go back and attach....but that was just a matter of paying attention to how I pinned it. I found that at first I was folding back the binding to much and then once I stitched in the ditch, the sewing line was almost in the middle of my binding and not at the outside edge. I ripped this out, made sure that I didn't over fold my binding to the back and voila, a much better result!
The corner were sometimes tricky but I know that once I'm able to practice a bit more, they will become easier. The trick to corners are to pin, pin, pin.
Piecing the Back
Can anyone say....make sure your back is big enough before you pin and quilt! Sure, I know this is quilting 101, but I ignored that little voice inside my head that said, I think it might be a little too small and proceeded anyway! Ah...those voices are there for a reason aren't they!! haha While I didn't do this before on any of my other quilts, I did on this one - and let me tell you what a pain in the you know what it was to correct. I won't bore you any longer with this story...enough said:) I'm happy to say that after all of that correcting, the end result is still really nice and you can't tell as I simply added a few extra seams here and there of the same fabric so it's pretty continuous! Lucky!!
So, there you have it. Thanks for visiting - hope you come back soon!