Monday, April 3, 2017

Borders and Chicken Wire

When we last saw the Farm Girl Vintage quilt, I had completed the top and had decisions to make about a border.

I didn't have enough fabric to do a pieced transition section but I wasn't satisfied with how the blue and brown fabrics looked next to each other.

I tried a flange of the (more) solid brown in between and it was enough of a separation/definition that I liked it. I didn't think I would have enough, but I did some quick calculations and realized I only needed 8" by WOF, and I definitely had that.

What I didn't have was enough of the border to go the full length! I bought two yards (72") and the longer size was 75". While working on how to solve that, I decided to add some square in square blocks at the corners. I thought the brown fabric was going to be dark blue but it didn't look as good in real life as it did in my head. The one pictured above matches the flange, but I used several browns over the four corners.

I knew I had a big chunk of yellow gingham which I thought would be perfect for the backing. Turns out it was enough for half of the back. I thought I had enough yellow fabrics to make up the difference, but I didn't.

I ended up pulling out all the fabrics leftover from the quilt that I didn't think I would enjoy using in another quilt. I cut squares and rectangles as the fabric allowed and pieced it together into a back. It took a lot longer than I was hoping, but I did manage to get it done in time to be able to take it all to the long arm store this past week! I had a couple days off and I was really hoping it would work out.

When I showed up at the store, they didn't have any record of my call to reserve the time. Also, almost everyone was gone to a show so I wouldn't have much support or help if I needed it. I was irritated, but it all turned out. The machine was available and I manged to load the quilt all by myself!
Another thing I did myself was make the pantograph pattern. I was going to do up some hexagons in Word to look like chicken wire and then thought...I bet there's already something on the interweb. And sure enough there was! So I played with the scale and when I had it the size I wanted, I printed multiple copies, taped them together and boom! I had my own pantograph paper to follow!
Here's some of the paper on the table and above it you can see the pattern on the back of the quilt.

Things were going well, but after a couple passes, when I went to check out the front of the quilt, I saw that the flange was sewn down in all different directions!
I should have basted it in place. :( I debated how (not whether) to take it out and fix it, and decided I didn't have time to take out the whole row at the store. So I picked out the stitches that went over the flange, basted the flange in place and then sewed another pass across the same row. My "accuracy" is such that I didn't double the stitching very much. This meant when I got the quilt home, I could pick out the row that was sewn first. It was more comfortable doing it on my couch and I wasn't paying $15 an hour to do it!

After some time, I had the whole quilt quilted! Here it is fresh off of the machine:
While I'm quilting, I can't really let my thoughts drift because I have to concentrate on the pattern I'm doing. But I couldn't help seeing the price tag of the machine I was using (about $18K) and later I started to think about how many rental hours it would take me to cover the cost of the machine. A lot! And in the meantime, the store can store the machine and take care of maintenance for me. :) I think it's a pretty sweet deal.

And now I've had a few days to think about the binding and I think I have settled on a plan after not having enough fabric to do what I first wanted. The challenge is to have it done before I go home for Easter so my sister and I can do a big "reveal" to each other!!

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