Monday, 6 January 2014


Yep - beaten by a quilt. For the moment at least.

Back in October I added a barely-started quilt to my Finish Along list and I was really, really hoping to link it up this week as a finish for Quarter 4 2013. But this has turned into one of those quilts that just does not want to be finished. From the moment I picked it up, it has fought back, and today, I finally let it win - the battle but not the war....

In summer 2012  my LQS had Joy by Kate Spain for Moda in stock. I loved this fabric - still do. About the same time I was doing a class for the Pac Mania quilt (this was another Jelly Roll quilt I finished last February). In the same book, Jelly Roll Dreams by Pam and Nicky Lintott, was the perfect pattern for these big bold Kate Spain prints, so I bought a Jelly Roll, the sashing fabric, the border fabric and the binding fabric (plus a couple of fat quarters for good measure).

The construction method was very straightforward - join eight strips with long seams, cut, sash, piece. Easy.... I started piecing long strips before last Christmas. And quickly got bored. Remember - I hate long seams - and this quilt was nothing but long seams. But when the post-Christmas sale came and the Christmas fabric was on sale I bought three metres of it for backing (I didn't have the book with me when I made this purchase).

Fast forward to December 2013 and I thought that this would be a nice quick finish for Christmas. Because no one wants to be working on a Christmas quilt in January. I very quickly finished stitching together the Jelly Roll strips and pulled out the sashing fabric. No way on earth was there enough fabric. No way. Not in a million years. Ever. Two options: buy more of the same fabric or find the closest Kona match and add the pre-bought sashing to my stash. Bearing in mind it was 18 months since the fabric had been released and there was a good chance the fabric I had picked was one of the most popular in the range, the chance of finding some was slim. So imagine my surprise when a UK based (yes - UK - no sending off to the States) store had it in stock. 1.5metres purchased. But no way it would arrive before Christmas.

So come new year I pulled out the envelope that had arrived - perfect. Got cutting and piecing until I had an absolutely enormous quilt top. I've made quite a few Jelly Roll quilts now and with a single Jelly Roll you tend to get an average sized lap quilt - 50"-60" x 60"-70". So I was quite surprised when this one ended up 72" x 92"! Huge! The simplicity of the pattern means you lose very little to scraps or seam allowances. The pictures are of the quilt laid out on my generous three seater sofa! And all of that meant that my three metres of pre-purchased backing were nowhere near enough.... but in my wisdom I had picked backing in the turquoise colour way - a less popular colour way! So my LQS still had some in stock, and in the post-Christmas sale.

Next up - wadding. Earlier this year I bought some wool wadding on a bit of a whim and I've been nervously avoiding it ever since. This quilt had been fairly quick to put together, will only be used for a month a year and if it all goes tits up then it won't be the end of the world. Right? Last night Linda and I tried to baste it. I'm a spray-basting girl. The quilt is of another persuasion. We used nearly a whole can of spray basting (more than double what I would normally use on a quilt this size) and it seemed to be holding together. Until I tried to quilt it this morning.

You can see a single line of quilting on the photos if you look carefully. It will be removed. Just like the quilting I did echoing the blocks. It looks awful.The quilt is simply too big and not well-enough basted to be machine quilted. I've quilted a 116" x 116" on my home machine and not had a problem, but this one......

So I've made some lunch and the quilt is sitting in disgrace in the living room. Next time I'm out and about I'm going to buy some safety pins and Linda and I are going to reinforce the spray basting (she doesn't know that yet). And then I am going to hand quilt. Just a simple line of running stitch in chunky perle thread in white round each of the stripey sections.

But of course that will take time. This will not be on my Finish Along goals for Q1, or Q2, and probably not Q3 either in 2014. But maybe maybe it can be ready for next Christmas...Oh - and I won't be playing with wool wadding again either!


Diane-crewe said...

some times you just have to sit back and ... SWEAR very loud and long ... and then try again xx good luck x

Twinkle Toes said...

Have you tried ironing it?? I was reading on a blog somewhere yesterday (no idea where I was having a blogfest!) Someone else had a similar issue, ironed it and it helped the spray adhesive to adhere so it could actually do it's job..... Might be worth a try and quicker than pinning! (or may help hold it together to pin it at least!

Mindful quilter said...

I can feel your pain, but you are not beaten, a battle was lost but you have come too far to let it defeat you, good luck!

Linda Craigs said...

Well I know now!! X