Finally! I have been itching to show off this quilt for the last week and a half since I finished it, but because it was an un-wedding present for two of our closest friends I was worried that to parade it online would spoil the surprise. In any case, here it is – and almost queen-sized quilt made from two layer cakes (pre-cut fabric squares of 10-inches apiece) reconstituted into triangles and then sewn into a diamond pattern. Fabric is Curio by Basic Grey for Moda with Bella Solids “Natural” shade.
I feel like I really turned a corner on quilting with this project. While my actual quilting technique still lacks, I am pleased with the overall tidiness of this quilt, the precision of the piecing, and the strength of the binding. Because it was intended as a gift (which I decided to do at the last minute with only three weeks to spare) I took a lot of care with the small details – something I admit I am bad about when I do work for myself. Of course it takes almost no time to put the extra attention in as you work, and does it ever make a difference to the finished project!
Some of the things I think helped with my success on this piece include:
- Deadline – working with a deadline meant I didn’t wander away mid-quilting and forget my stitch settings or pacing. I also didn’t return to it after months only to rush through the end to “get it done.”
- Pinning – I was taught that quilters never pin, but because I wanted to ensure my corners met to make perfect diamonds, I decided to pin at the crucial junctions as I went. It worked. For the first time ever I have a piece that meets up close-to perfectly.
- Keeping it tidy – I read a tip about snipping threads as I went, and so tried it on this project. Definitely a practice to keep as I didn’t end up with errant threads quilted into the body or poking up through the top. This gave the finished project a much more professional look.
- Binding the quilt backwards – binding is one of my least favourite things, particularly the hand stitching at the end. Fortunately I found this instructable for backwards binding which allows for machine finishing – and I am hooked on this method forever!
- Getting help – quilting is a physical task, particularly in the design and layout stages when you are moving around blocks of fabric and then creating the quilt “sandwich”. For once I asked B. to help me, give me his opinion on block placement, and lay fabric out. It made my task so much easier, and I had someone to talk my choices over with too!
This quilt fits the top of a queen-sized bed but actually would tuck into the sides on a double – it’s about 80 x 80 inches. I think this is a good size for a gift as a full queen-sized quilt is really too large to use for anything other than a bed, while something of these dimensions is still usable on a couch or a guest bed.
I still have about 20 squares from this collection left over that I plan to turn into a lap quilt this summer as well. Very pleased with how this one turned out!