Two weeks ago, we picked out angels for our church Giving Tree. It’s part of our family Christmas tradition to pick out a child from the tree similar in age and gender to each of our kiddos. This year, we found an especially good fit- a little girl asking for a quilt or bedspread! I couldn’t leave that one on the tree! So I came home and got to work.
I had some leftover layer cake squares (the line is Amelia) from the Korean alphabet quilt, and bought some Kona white for the remaining squares and sashing.
The quilt came together beautifully. I tried some new things with this quilt. I used basting spray to hold it together instead of pinning or thread basting. Thanks to my friend Elizabeth, we succeeded in basting the quilt. (Spray basting outside on a windy day is MUCH easier with a good friend to lend extra hands!!)
I took inspiration from the playful flowers in the fabric and quilted huge flowers in pink, purple, chartreuse and orange threads randomly over the quilt.
This was the most fun I’ve had free-motion quilting in a long time. The huge scale of the design hid my wobbly stitiching even on the bright white fabric, and I was done with the quilting in less than four hours. So far, so good. . . .
I also tried sewing the binding onto the quilt before trimming all the layers of the quilt to the same size. I will NOT be doing that again. I didn’t find that it sewed onto the quilt any straighter or better than trimming all the layers first. And, this method enabled me to seriously mess up the quilt. I laid the quilt out after sewing the front of the binding on by machine. Then I blissfully went around the whole thing with a rotary cutter and ruler, trimming all the layers to match the binding. Easy peasy. In some areas, I trimmed off a tiny edge of the purple binding, and thought nothing of it until I went to hand sew the backing down. Each corner should have looked like this:
That tiny bit of cut-off purple ruined the corner. So frustrating! My husband and I brainstormed ideas to fix it. I could have removed the binding at the corners and spliced new binding onto it. With less than 36 hours before the quilt had to be turned in, though, I didn’t think that would work. I handstitched the binding to the back of the quilt, making the cut corners match as best I could.
Then I took a purple circle of the binding fabric, cut it in half, and sewed together the radius of the half circles to make two quarter circles.
Finally, I blindstitched my little corner pieces all the way around the front and back of the quilt, and removed the basting. So the corners now looked like this:
Here’s a shot of the finished quilt with the fab turquoise fabric on the back:
I’m happy to report that after all the binding drama, the quilt washed and dried perfectly, and came out wonderfully soft and crinkly. (This was a concern, as I didn’t prewash any of the fabric, and was a mite worried that the white would end up a little blue.) I think I might try spray basting again one of these days.
For now, though, it’s back to the workshop to finish up teacher gifts. I hope your holiday stitching is progressing without goof-ups like mine!