For our guild exhibition, we are allowed to show a maximum of four quilts. I always try to have four ready, as the number of quilts submitted has been declining a little. Visitors won’t want to come to the show without lots of quilts to see.
I often make a quilt for friends’ grandchildren as they approach the right age. I’m not sure what age that is, but about 18 months+ I believe. Sometimes it is a commission, and sometimes I thrust a quilt upon the unwary grandmother.
This is a non-commissioned quilt. The problem with commissions is that they are usually wanted at a certain time, and it usually doesn’t coincide with the exhibition requirements. This quilt will not be gifted until the exhibition is over.
A couple of years ago, I made a very small quilt (table-mat size) using Liberty of London Tana lawn selvedges, Liberty Grandiflora. See it here. It was very appealing and I decided then that I would have a go at a larger size.
I used a piece of low-loft wool wadding as a foundation, and used the stitch-and-flip method to piece.
The procedure was a little slower than I expected. Another glitch was that the centre of the quilt started to bulge the further out I quilted. I think it had to do with the fabric ‘walking’ a little as I sewed, turning the straight seams into slight curves. It was not such a great problem as I got to the outer edges. It could have been that I was paying more attention.
The bulge was quite pronounced. I think you can see it clearly in the third pic.
When it came to quilting, I decided to use another full sized wadding of wool, and I inserted an extra circle in the centre where the bulge sat. That meant three layers of wadding for the centre – out to about the blue ring.
I straight stitched quilting in a spiral starting from the centre. The spacing is not equal, but approximately 1/2″ – 3/4″ over all.
Trimming the sides into a rectangle was very difficult. Using my large square and longer straight rulers, I marked the cutting lines in soluble pen. Each time, three times in all, when I came to the fourth corner, it was either not 90° or not straight. I think it was because the quilting had gathered the fabric layers, and they stretched out when the ruler was laid on the quilt.
Eventually I pinned the quilt on my design wall and used a plumb bob to mark the vertical line at each side, ruled them with the pen and then trimmed. Then I rotated the quilt, lined it up at 90° to the bob and marked the vertical ends.
This method worked very satisfactorily. I should have done it from the beginning as the plumb bob was bought for exactly this purpose. Another benefit was being able to minimise the wastage.
A serendipity of examining the quilt in all directions was that I decided I liked the landscape view best.
Binding on and done!
I used a Liberty Tana lawn for the backing. The quilt has a lovely soft feel and drape.