Crime Scene – Quilt Sandwich Assembly

Crime Scene – Quilt Sandwich Assembly

That’s what Quilt Sandwich day looks like at my house. A crime scene.  I reserve an entire day to do it, and sometimes, I run from the room screaming!  Usually, blood is spilled. If doctors wanted to get a true stress test measurement, they would have you make a quilt sandwich.

All the cute videos on YouTube will never accurately depict what really happens when assembling a quilt sandwich.

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This is not the biggest quilt I have done, but it is 75″ by 75″ and I have 12′ square of heavy plastic that I lay down to protect . . . um, what am I protecting? The floor from the quilt? Or the quilt from the floor. I don’t know, but it seems like the right thing to do. Oh yeah, I spray baste, which some say is a crime by itself, . . . and I pin. If I gotta wrestle this thing through the throat of a domestic machine, I need all the help I can get.

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Starting with Hubby getting out of the house. As soon as I roll the rug up over the bed, and lay down the plastic in the only remaining space, which happens to be in front of the door, he will have to come in. Like magic, or a cat, . . when you get up from your chair. Except, the cat knows something life changing is going to happen when I lay that plastic down, and  she is smart enough to disappear for the day.

So, here I will show you the horrors from within . . .

Here I have laid down the back, pretty side down, smoothed it flat, then the batting, smoothed it flat, took a break, then laid down the top, and smoothed it flat. Seems inoccent enough, but something may be lurking under the layers, like wrinkles!

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Then I get out my giant stick [cardboard tube], and pin the edge to it, keeping the pins at a flat  angle, because this  will be tightly wrapped  . . . . unlike myself.

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Now, I roll, keeping both sides straight and even, keeping the fabric ahead of the roll smooth before I get to it, so it can’t get away from me, and put a wrinkle in my plans.

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When that is done, I carefully lift the roll, and repeat with the batting.

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This is where I sometimes find a wrinkle hiding, and wipe beads of sweat, like someone who has narrowly escaped a tragic accident.

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After a coffee break to get the taste of copper out of my mouth,  I place the roll at the top, unroll about 18″ or so, then pull it back to spray the fabric, while commanding it to “Stay put” and smacking it down flat.  They say use the spray sparingly, but they aren’t paying for it. I am, so . . .

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Once the first 18″ are stuck down, I kneel on the batting behind the roll, and then spray, unroll, stroking every inch of it heavily, unroll, spray, repeat. Next is the top.

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Position, spray, unroll, more petting, unroll, spray, repeat.

I am pretty sure this is why quilters like the expensive quilting cotton right here. They know they will be petting it a lot!

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Then I pin in spots where I think I will not be sewing. Of course if I was thinking, I probably wouldn’t be doing this. Yes, I would. I’m stubborn that way.

About 1000 pins, and a couple of band aids later, I roll it acording to how I will sew,  . . .  I mean stuff . . . it through the throat of the beast. I am a ditch stitcher, so I will be sewing this in agony, I mean diagonally, because the blocks are all on point. Of course they are. Who do I think I am? Doing a quilt on point. As if!

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The corners do not have seems, so I mark them before I carry the body out to the sewing machine. It’s disappearing ink, so if I need a break, I have to take it before I make my mark! Yep, bathroom visit, several bobbins filled, more coffee, stitch settings correct after the bobbins, another bathroom break . . . . Out of my way, I’m going in!

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The next few scenes are just too horrific to show, . . .  my hands hurt, my legs are cramping, neck is stuck in an unnatural position, and I can’t see straight anymore, but I won!

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#QuiltSandwichAssembly #QuiltCrimeScene #PetThePrettyFabric #Iwon

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Love Knots

Love Knots

Quilting is a journey.

Sometimes a quilt represents the end of one, and sometimes the beginning. Every quilt I make, I do with the person I am making it for on my mind. Whether they know it or not, they took that journey with me. I learn things about them, as well as myself.  This quilt has a few names, but I like “Love Knot”
After finishing my Featherweight test quilt, made with what turned out to be a hideously ugly jelly roll, I decided to make my Mom a quilt for mother’s day. It was February, so I had plenty of time, and the wheels turned in my head of traveling the 800 miles to hand it to her on Mother’s Day! My Mother and I had turned a milestone about 10 years ago, and somehow this would be symbolic of my having moved on from the past, and into the  future. One where neither of us would see ourselves as a failure.

Such lofty goals.

I found a pattern I liked that magazine’s often send you for free to consider subscribing to them, called “Spice market”. It was a partial log cabin, lots of angles, so not too ‘girly’ or old fashioned, and I hadn’t done a log cabin yet. I had turquoise [not teal] and silver [not gray] in mind, but every time I went to the store, I couldn’t find the shades I had in my head. The tones were all muted or distorted from what I had in mind. I wanted bright and cheery, yet warm, and it had to match her decor, because this was to be a couch quilt. Big enough for Mom and her 2nd husband to snuggle under.

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More lofty goals.

I soak in a hot tub every evening and read books or, look at quilt books, and dream. Before I even had the fabric picked out, I saw a pattern in one book and ear marked it. Later, I saw the same pattern in a log cabin book, and ear marked that. Two books – one pattern – two different methods, and names, but I still liked it days later. It was the same block as in the free pattern, but the block orientation, and color placement was the key. The secondary pattern with the two main colors linking together is what put it over the top. I had to make this.

 

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hmmmmmmmm, changing your view, changes the outcome.

On one of my trips to the fabric store, I found a cheery print with turquoise, navy, silver and green, and tried to work other colors in. I never could find the right silver. Then I found the perfect backing, but it was in 2 pieces, and my coupon was for “one cut” We worked it out, and I ended up with a 2 yard piece and a 2.5 yard piece of a lovely batik in silvery blue with brown grape leaf motifs. Then I found a brown floral batik. [Mom’s new husband loves chocolate!] Still later I found a nice gray leaf print by Amy Butler. I now had both warm and cool colors, and was ready for a test block! Unfortunately, this pattern would need at least 10 test blocks to see if I liked it all together.

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There’s a learning curve in these log cabin blocks. Two books with two sets of instructions. The instructions I chose to follow had me sewing strip sets, sub cutting into square blocks, then sewing the two blocks together on the bias just like half square triangles, and I quickly learned that cutting the blocks from the strip sets had to be very consistent!

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When cutting blocks from strip sets, it is neccessary to line up the rulers lines to the seam lines. Every. Time.

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I picked up some Omnigrid Glow Line Tape on a whim awhile back, and applied the tape to my ruler, to help line up the squares as I cut them. I got better blocks after that.

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Just like pancakes, the first blocks will not be used!

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*except to pin on my wall to keep me oriented when assembling the good blocks.

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checking them out in my audition booth that I made

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and here we are . . . . I see a pattern emerging!

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Border, or no?

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Yes, a chocolate border it is!

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Finished!

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As it turned out, my Mom was going to visit my sister 2 states over, the week after Mothers Day, so, no, I didn’t take it to her, but I did hand it to her the first week of June, when she stopped by on her return trip home.

Home is where the heart is, and a piece of my heart now resides there.

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#Loftygoals #LogCabinQuilt #LoveKnots #MissionAccomplished