Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeling Good About My Quilt

I've finished cutting out and re-piecing all of my quilt squares.  All 90 of them!

It feels really good to be at this place.  It has been a lot of work but I've really enjoyed doing it.  In fact, I had to ban myself from it in order to get other things done around here.  All I've wanted to do is work on my quilt.

If you recall, what I did was top stitch 4", 6", and 8" concentric circles onto a 9" square of fabric.  90 of them. I had to cut out the back fabric with each step.  I sewed the 8" circle onto the square, then cut out the unnecessary portion of the square on the back.  Next I sewed the 6" circle onto the 8" circle, and likewise, cut out the unnecessary portion of the 8" circle.  The same with the 4" circle.  This is so that later on I don't have to quilt through four layers of fabric on top of batting and a backing fabric.  That's just way too much thickness.

When I got all my squares done, I had to cut them all in quarters. Now we're talking 360.  Then I mixed them all up and sewed them randomly back together into 90 squares.

Of course, seeing how I'm learning as I go...and I usually learn something very important only by NOT doing it and having to backtrack or finagle some sort of solution.... I had a number of setbacks.  Like, the pattern didn't tell me how much to trim away from the back fabric each time I added a new circle.  I didn't trim enough.  When I realized this, I then had to go back and trim each circle (3x90=270) again.  Only most of them were already sewn together. Fun.  And imperfect.  When I get to quilting around those seams, there's going to be too many layers of fabric because I couldn't re-trim the sewn ones enough to remove the unwanted bit of fabric along the stitching.  *Sigh* Live and learn.

Another DOH! lesson learned  is that I didn't  wash my fabric before I started all this.  After I got all my squares and circles cut out, I thought - Uh Oh! What if they all shrink.  If I sew them together now and they shrink later, maybe my seams will rip.  So...I washed all my pieces.  And they all shrunk differently.  So when I sewed all my newly cut quarter pieces together, they came out all uneven.  *Sigh*  Live and learn.

That meant I had to even them all up, reducing them to the smallest one I had.  I am so happy to say that I got that all done this morning.  It feels really good to have that done. When I can get back to it after some time away I will be able to start right in to sewing them together into strips of 9 squares.  I'll have 10 strips making my quilt top 9 squares wide and 10 squares long (plus borders) to fit a Queen sized bed.

The finished quilt will be wild and random.  I'm excited to see it.  There will be places where same fabrics will be right next to each other and sometimes not.  Very random.  The key is to not worry about it too much.  Just grab another piece and sew it onto the last.  I, of course, cannot permit myself to be that literally random.  I do a little bit of rejecting and re-selecting along the way but not much. 

I wanted to post a photo of the quilt in the pattern book to give you an idea of how it comes together but Blogger rejected the photo.  I've never had that happen before.  Sorry.  I'll try to get it posted another time.


  1. Looks beautiful! Hey, do you wash your fabric before you cut your pieces out? I would think there wouldn't be the shrinking problem...

  2. Hi Angie, I didn't think there would be much shrinkage either, but with some fabrics there was. That was the problem, only some of them shrunk a bunch while others didn't at all. I used all batiks, some where heavier than others. Since this is my first real quilt, I don't really know what I "do"; but I may start. It sure would mean a lot of ironing though! :(

  3. Hi Judi,
    All very technical to me. Looking good so far though.