Turns out I got a little obsessed after I cut out my latest quilt. The next day I pieced the whole thing. Ta da!
I’m not sure I’d recommend doing all this work in one go. By the end I was definitely getting slap dash, and so the finished result is a little, erm, relaxed in terms of how many corners are squared up. Oops.
This was the first time I tried using a quarter inch seam rather than three-eighths. Three-eighths is definitely easier, but the lady at Country Threads was faintly horrified when I suggested going back to a bigger seam allowance. Haha. Turns out, that gets problematic once you’re making more complex blocks as nothing adds up.
But, heck, if it’s just squares I say go with what works for you. My first attempt (using three-eighth seams) was definitely neater.
Anyhoo, I’m onto the quilting now, which is a very nice way to spend an evening in the winter, as sitting under the quilt all evening while you work on it gets seriously warm. I like hand-quilting, as it gives a more uneven, rumpled finish. And it also doesn’t flatten out the quilt the way machine quilting can do.
Lay your backing fabric (mine is a nice old white sheet) down, then your wadding (I use Bamboo Blend, which is really soft) and your quilt top in a sandwich. Your wadding and backing should be about 5cm/2ins wider all round than the top. Smooth the layers out and then safety pin them together.
Start pinning at the centre and work outwards, so you can smooth any wrinkles to the edge of the quilt where, poof! , they vanish. Curved safety pins make getting through all three layers easier. I used normal dressmakers pins on my first quilt, and spent every evening I worked on it stabbing myself accidentally, and picking up pins when I’d finished (and missing one every time).
I use a medium length embroidery needle (nice and sharp) and 4 strands of embroidery thread. I’ve seen 3 strands recommended by Jane Brocket, but 4 is easier, as you can double up two, and use a loop knot to start.
For this quilt I’m using a running stitch and quilting at the end of the squares, in a grid across the quilt, 2 squares apart. I’ve done all the horizontal lines, and once I’ve done the vertical ones I’ll be back to show you my stitching and talk bindings. Ttfn!