Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quilting Chronicles Part 2

So here is an update on my quilt progress as promised. I've been working on it, when I get some free time. My first goal was to have all the hex pieces sewn together by my birthday. Happy to say that I achieved that goal, with a couple of days to spare. 
I did make a little change to my original quilt design, I switched out one of the fabrics. I decided that the fabric with the red and pink, although gorgeous, was just standing out too much for my taste. Sometimes you just don't know until you actually start sewing the pieces together. Luckily, I was not too far along, and was able to rip it out easily, using my handy dandy ripper. By the way, the ripper and I got to be really good friends during this process. ;) So I found two yellow fabrics that I loved and decided to incorporate them into the quilt design.
I think these patterns are more subtle, and complimented the other fabrics nicely. I am happy that I switched out the red for the yellow.
So once I got all the hex pieces sewn together then I had to cut and sew the border. This part was pretty straight forward, and pretty easy to do. I chose the blue damask fabric, it's one of my favorite patterns in the quilt. 
So now you have a pretty good idea of how the finished product will look. I'm really happy with all the fabric choices, and I think it will be a perfect addition to our guest room. 
After I finished all that, I then had to make a decision about what I was going to back the quilt in. My mom had a great suggestion. She suggested that I use a queen size flat sheet as the backing. I thought this was a wonderful idea, because it would save me money, and time. If I decided to back it in cut fabric, then I would have had to sew the fabric in pieces to match the size of the back of the quilt. Since I purchased a sheet set, I will be able to use the flat sheet for the back of the quilt, and the fitted sheet along with the pillow cases for the bed. I think this is a great tip!
Next I purchased a queen size quilter's batting. The batting is used to go in between your top quilt layer, and your bottom quilt layer. It's what gives your quilt weight and warmth. I found my batting already cut to size at Joann Fabrics. 
The next step is probably my least favorite part of this whole process, ironing. I know that it is necessary for a beautifully finished product, but I do not enjoy it. I had to iron the flat sheet too, geez.

A tip I learned about ironing your quilted pieces, is that you don't push the iron back and forth, you actually continually pick the iron up and put it down. 
Once everything was ironed, I had to layer all three pieces on top of one another. Then, I was ready to safety pin all three layers together. 
I securely pinned the safety pins along each of the four sides. I used 36 large safety pin to achieve this. The reason that you do this, is so that when you start hand sewing your three layers together, you won't have a big shift in the fabric alignment. 
There you have it, an update on my quilt. I am going to be hand sewing each hexagon. I think this process is going to take a while, but I do love the look of a hand sewn quilt. I will be starting the sewing in the center and then working my way out. Once I am finished I will be adding the quilt binding, which is going to be the polka dot fabric. 
Here are my tips I have learned so far, that I am passing on to you.
1. Always iron your material, it's tedious, but so worth it.
2. Keep your ripper close by, you will probably make a mistake or two, or three...
3. Go with your gut, if you don't love a fabric, then find something else. Better to change the design early on, then work hard on something and not love the end result.
4. If you are making a twin, queen, or king quilt, think about using a coordinating flat sheet as the back. I think it's a great option.
5. Don't be too hard on yourself, nothing hand made it perfect. 
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are having a wonderful summer!
Until next time,

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