I completed this quilt top several years ago, but somehow did not get around to quilting it.
The top is from one of the Kaffe books, I forget which one, as I didn’t purchase it. The layout is so simple, no instructions were required. Kaffe’s original design was not so strict about value placement – I prefer a more disciplined approach where there is little complexity.
I used a cotton wadding that claims to need no pins or gluing. Instead the heat of the iron, without steam, creates a bond that holds the layers together. To ease the bonding for repositioning, use the iron on steam.
It is a very large (for me) quilt and it barely fitted on my design wall. I sandwiched the quilt backing, wadding and top on the wall and then ironed it. The process worked pretty well. I did pin the edges at about 6″ intervals, and put a few more, perhaps a dozen, in the sashing near the centre of the quilt.
The quilting started from the centre, then I worked my way around the centre, square by square. When that was complete, I stitched in the sashing. I’m trusting it will all hold together, as it was only near the end that I realised the consequences of no quilt stitching crossing a seam.
The no-pinning wading worked pretty well, with only a small amount of ease needed at the edge blocks. The top required repositioning further out. That’s why we cut the backing and wadding larger than the top! The steam iron resolved the issue without trouble.
At last it is finished.
The backing was a pink floral that complemented the front and cleverly disguised my stitching glitches.
The choice of quilting feathers was very deliberate. They are so forgiving. The blank area of the loops allows for give-and-take with the fabric so that pleating on either the front or the back is rare. Also, I was able to complete a small section before moving on, which meant the quilt was not travelling very far as I stitched. This is an important consideration given the size of the quilt.
I really liked that the quilting is overwhelmed by the strong colours and designs of the Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs fabrics. I was guided by my quilting buddy Sheila Pye, who advised “aim for excellence, not perfection“. Such a great philosophy. It is too disappointing if one is not satisfied with less than perfect. My quilting is still a long way from ‘excellent’, but I am striving for it. The bold fabrics performed the task of disguising my quilting mis-stitching.
Meanwhile, I have completed this large quilt, improved my feather quilting, and created a gift for a dear friend. What’s not to love about that?