Friday, 31 January 2014
Finished hand stitching the binding on to my Bright Charm Star quilt. After agonising about the tiny orange stripe (orange not really my colour) but finding all the aquas I had looked a bit dull, I am really pleased with the finished result. Not so bright that it distracts from the stars, but jolly enough to fit with the rest of the brightness. It just shows how you can't always know in advance what is right as a finish, and how auditioning fabrics can open your eyes (certainly mine) to great new possibilities. The stripe is by Marisa and Creative Thursday for Andover Fabrics.
I had hoped also to have finished stitching the binding on my Washington Log Cabin Quilt (blogged about here) but it is a monster - 90" x 108", and I am only about half way round. My friend Susie returned the quilt to me last Friday after doing a wonderful job longarm quilting feathers and ribbons all over in a dark cream thread.
I am thrilled with it, and I found I had just enough of the navy blue plain fabric used for the centre squares to bind. I cut the strips 2 1/4" wide for a straight doublefold binding: this is my preferred width for most quilts, though for small ones like the Bright Charm Star I find 2" is more in proportion to the size of the quilt.
This week I also machine quilted another small quilt, Oakshott Boxes, which I made as a sample for a partial piecing class. Now that it's quilted you can't actually see the seam lines (!) but they are there: look at the striped fabric square in the middle of the photo and you will see that all the strips are the same length, which doesn't happen with the Log Cabin technique of building around a central square. Not that it matters in most cases perhaps, but sometimes it is nice to know how to achieve a particular effect. I will try and post a tutorial about this soon in case any of you are interested.
The quilt is backed and bound with more Oakshott shot cotton. I have to say that despite the fairly thin feel of the fabric it pieced and pressed like a dream and the shot effect is lovely. Because of this I used two different variegated threads (both Gutermann 30 wt) on the front and back, and I straight line quilted with the walking foot for speed and simplicity. By the time I had finished the hand stitching it was too dark to take photographs, so here are some not-quite-finished photos.
Hurray for January being finished at last and for finishes generally! We have had 8" of rain in Surrey this month (average for Jan here is 2") and there is more to come this weekend. There are people in Somerset who have been flooded since Christmas: this is the wettest winter for almost a century after the driest summer for almost a century. And poor North America suffering such prolonged ultra-low temperatures. Let's all hope for an improvement and a return to good old average soon.
Meanwhile, enjoy your quilting, whatever you are working on.