More photos of the quilt

Now coming out the other side of the quilt madness which was last week and the week before. Lots of late nights and baby’s nap times frantically finishing off. What a relief to have it finished. I handed it over to my niece, Esmé, and my brother’s promised me a photo of her using it for a teddy bear’s picnic. Watch this space.

Here’s some pictures I took of it on Saturday morning before it went off to its new home. And after it survived its first wash in the washing machine.

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The day that I thought would never come.

After starting the quilt in January 2013, I’ve finished it. Finally!

I’ve watched more TV today – whilst slip-stitching the back binding – than I have in weeks. So there’s a perk. The skin on one of my fingers cracked under the pressure last night, leaving specks of blood on the quilt. Having tried a plaster today which worked for all of two seconds, I brought out the big guns.

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Before I would allow myself to pick up the quilt, I had some other craft to attend to. Remember those baby shoes I made? Well today I met said baby. But first, the shoes needed ribbon adding. Having not read the instructions all the way to the end, I realised that I could’ve added the ribbon when sewing the shoes, tucked into the seam. Never mind. Then I saw mention of adding ribbon using buttonholes. I was tempted. Might it be neater than my handsewing? So I dug out my sewing machine’s instruction manual and gave it a go. So much simpler than I thought. So I’ve learnt a new skill!

First buttonhole.

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Second one was better.

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It was at this point that I realised that the buttonholes should’ve been vertical, not horizontal. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Here’s what they look like with ribbon.

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All wrapped and ready for baby Bethany.

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Back to the quilt. Hours of slip-stitching later, the binding was done. Next all I needed to do was to trim the loose threads on the backing from the quilting. I then noticed one of the stars wasn’t quite complete, so back under the sewing machine it went.

Here’s the finished (!!!!) article.

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However, it may not look like that anymore. I’ve done a crazy thing and put it in the washing machine. On a delicate wash with hand wash, but still, I’m staying up anxiously awaiting the outcome. The cycle has finished and it looks in tact, so I’ve put it on a slow spin as it’s saturated. Think it will be travelling with us in a damp state tomorrow … Eeek. Why’ve I washed it? Well, where I’d marked on the stars, etc., for quilting and then tried to wash the pen off, the blue has run in places. Also, some mysterious black marks appeared when I was quilting. I think it could be the spraybaste gumming up the machine. I couldn’t bear to hand over a ‘dirty’ quilt, so, as usual, impatience has got the better of me. Before thinking too long about it, it went in the wash. Please please please, let it survive.

UPDATE: It appears to have survived.

Will this ever end/What a bind

Throwing in the towel for the night. I’ve slip-stitched less than a quarter of the binding and it’s taken hours. Will resume tomorrow when the light’s better and hopefully I’ll speed up.

This afternoon, during nap time (when else?), I attached the binding to my quilt and mitred the corners as I went.

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After that, I had to do a lot of unpicking where you could see the seam I’d done round the edge when trying to see if the quilt was square before trimming it.

Tonight, I’ve begun slip-stitching the binding to the backing. Not as quick as I thought it’d be.

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I’ve forgone the gym in the hope I’d finish tonight but no such luck. Tomorrow is d-day then, which is a shame as I was hoping to wash it before the weekend – which is when I’m hoping to hand it over.

Here’s how it’s looking.

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The end is in sight

I was hoping to be all done today, but haven’t achieved that. Maybe tomorrow.

I started by using a damp cloth to remove the fabric marker pen. Then I ironed the quilt. This was during little man’s morning nap time.

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During afternoon nap time, which was longer than expected, I made the binding. After several false starts with different lengths, I worked out that I needed to cut out six inch strips so that they’d end up 5.5″, like the blocks.

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Picking up tonight, I’ve sewn the strips together.

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I’ve then trimmed off the excess wadding and backing. I did this with scissors first, then the rotary cutter.

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I’m not sure it’s as square as it could be. I confirmed this by stitching a 1/4″ seam round the edge of there quilt. Which I should’ve done before trimming. Oops.

I was about to attach the binding, when I got in a pickle. I’ve made single binding but was reading instructions for double binding. So, I’ve packed up for the night. Fresh eyes tomorrow. I’ve got two fairly free days so hopefully I’ll finish it in time.

And so to bind

Finished quilting the stars, took a lot longer than I thought. Thread kept breaking on me. Anyway, here it is.

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A bit crumpled after being rammed under the sewing machine. I’m looking forward to washing the fabric marker off.

Off to bed now, leaving the scary bit (for me) – the binding – til tomorrow.

Quilting has begun

As time is of the essence I cheated/took a shortcut and instead of basting my quilt using the special pins which arrived last week, I opted for spraymount instead.

I did as instructed in The Quilter’s Bible and sprayed the wadding in two halves. First to attach it to the backing.

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And then the same again to attach the quilt top.

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Easy peasy, although a bit sticky.

After some deliberation, I decided to start quilting by outlining my squares using the ‘stitch in a ditch’ method. I’m still not sure if that’s what was done on the quilt I’m copying; the instructions don’t say and I change my mind each time I look at the picture of the finished quilt.

Anyway, stitch in a ditch. This is where the stitching is supposed to sit in the seam so you can’t see it, but still producing the quilted effect. Hmmm. I think I’ve mostly straddled the ditch, occasionally dipping in to it.

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Tonight, I’ve quilted the inside border, which I’d marked up with fabric marker, making the lines really easy to follow.

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Impatient as I am, I wanted to carry on and do all the stars too, but I’m flagging so decided to leave them til tomorrow. Couldn’t resist sneaking one in though.

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Although it looks like I’m working in the dark, I’m not. Perhaps the lighting in our conservatory isn’t strong enough though.

Pretty pleased with how far I’ve got today. Hoping to finish the quilting tomorrow, then it’s the dreaded binding. I have a horrible feeling I don’t have enough fabric leftover to make my scrappy binding. Then what to do?

Mission impossible?

I’m on a big push now to try and get this cot quilt finished by Saturday. Thought if I wrote about it on here, that should motivate me.

Tonight, I’ve cut out the wadding and backing. Somehow, I managed to cut the wadding too short in length, but, fortunately, I bought enough for two quilts so I cut another bit to size.

The wadding has now ended up larger than the backing. I think I’ve also made a major rookie error. I read that the backing and wadding should be 3-4 inches bigger than the quilt top. So I measured the quilt and added 4 inches on to each measurement. In hindsight, I think that should’ve been 8 inches. Sad face. So not sure I’ll have enough of either now. But I’ll soldier on tomorrow and being the basting. Then quilt and hope for the best!

Here’s the backing with quilt top on top.

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Here’s the backing on the wadding, to show that the wadding is bigger, width wise.

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And here’s all three.

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I realise that they aren’t in the right order. Hopefully I haven’t made a right hash of it before I’ve even begun. Maybe 9pm isn’t the time to start doing these things.