Thursday, 26 January 2012

Finished: Chasing Chevrons Quilt Top

Today I finished the Chasing Chevrons Quilt Top from That Girl That Quilt.

I struggled to get a good photo of it as it is dark and my quilt-holder-upper is not home from work yet. I'll try again at the weekend, but I'm too excited to wait till then to share it!

I have been working on this since last weekend when all of a sudden, the end came into sight! On Tuesday night I finished the last of the Chevrons, cut the plain squares and decided on a layout. The final piecing went together very quickly and I'm so pleased with how accurate my seams are.

Although quite a straightforward pattern, I learnt a lot from this design:

1. It was the first project I started on my new machine where seams and seam allowances mattered, so I've learnt the spot on my machine for a perfect quarter of an inch (doesn't mean I hit it every time - sometimes I miss it)

2. A new way of making four HSTs at once. Although the technique results in bias edges, I was careful with them and they didn't distort at all, so this is definitely a technique I will be using in the future. Also, the idea of cutting the starting squares bigger and then trimming down the HST blocks. Although this can get a tad tedious when you're making lots, the accuracy is 100% better and I will definitely be doing this for every quilt from now on - I'm already putting this into practice on my Swoon blocks and the difference is amazing.

3. Pressing: Up till now the distinction between ironing and pressing has been a bit blurry. But with the bias edges I was really careful on this one. And it really makes a difference....

4. Spray starch. I've tried it. I made my own from this recipe. I'm not a convert. It did make the fabric less likely to distort, but it also gunked up my iron and ironing board cover too much for it to be practical. I have to iron my work clothes on the same ironing board with the same iron the next morning. If I have fiddly projects in the future then maybe I'll come back to it. But at least I can say I've tried it.

5. Pressing seams open. I'm normally a to the side kind of girl, but I tried the open seams on this one. I still managed to make my seams match, which is why I've avoided it in the past. All of the chevron blocks have the seams pressed open and it gives really sharp points and reduces bulk. WHen I came to putting all the blocks together I returned to my "to the side" approach - it is quicker. But I have started pressing all of my HST blocks with an open seam and that is working really well - I think I'll combine the two!

The best thing about this project was that it was perfect for using some fabrics I bought in Sidmouth in the Summer. Although they come from different lines I think they have worked well together. I only hat fat eights and fat sixteenths except in one fabric, so it wouldn't have been enough for most projects - now I have a quilt made from all of them and some background full of memories.

Thank you That Girl That Quilt for helping me improve my piecing skills and designing such a great quilt!

Now I need some advice. I have enough of the fabric left to make a border - I was thinking 5"x2.5" rectangles of the coloured fabrics stitched all round the edges (the seams would match up with the seams in the quilt), and then bind with the background fabric (I think I have enough left). But does it need a border? Should I just make a scrappy binding (another thing I've never done before)?

How should I quilt it? I'm going to get the bamboo blend wadding because it's just so beautifully soft and snuggly.... Do I.... Learn some free motion quilting and have this as my first attempt? Wavy line quilting like I did on my Christmas quilt? Straight line quilting echoing the seams? All suggestions very gratefully received.

1 comment:

Brandie said...

I think it would look good without the boarder and use a scrappy binding