Here’s another long overdue post (since October), that was waiting for pictures that weren’t entirely blah. The lighting here is pretty poor as we have few overhead lights and the house is surrounded by trees. I depend on the sunniest of days to get any kind of picture at all. Some of these still aren’t great, but I don’t want this to wait any longer.
I used this quilt to irritate my baby. It was really very easy. I laid it out (well folded so that one side was available at a time) so that I could trim it. I did this in the dinning room within view of the baby who was playing about 5 feet away on the living room floor. She can’t crawl, but is quite the mobile roller. Unfortunately (or perhaps by Evil Mommy plan) she was oriented perpendicular to the necessary direction of travel. Fabric has to be in her top ten loves list, along with yarn, and she threw an absolute fit that she couldn’t get a taste of it. Oh my, screaming baby fury.
So why was it on the floor? I was trimming the batting and backing off so that I could cut the backing into strips and sew it back on. Yes, that probably sounds weird. It was Karma in action, since I was about to discover some unpleasant truths about my quilt and the binding. but I’ll get back to that. First, some notes on the quilting.
This is my first experience with a new long arm quilter. Please understand that while I will critique some of the features of the finished quilt I don’t think this project is a fair test of her quilting skills. If it were perfect and totally awesome sure, but a project this large offers a lot of challenges in addition to those you would encounter in any smaller quilting project. I’m very interested in seeing her work on something smaller. That said, for this quilt I explained the sea theme and I sent her a picture of the inspiration piece to show the type of quilting that had been done as a jumping off point. She did some curvy wave-like lines from one edge to the other. Perhaps because the set up for the long arm needed her to start in a corner like in the picture. A curved wave from the center of the bottom, would have accented this larger quilt a bit better, but it isn’t much different. I had thought and the picture had shown that the border would not be part of the curvy lines quilting. The picture seemed to show charm tacks which could have worked on this piece, but some swirls or some wavy lines that follow the border would have set it apart nicely too. The border on this was simply included in the larger wave pattern, so that was a little disappointing. I’ll be certain to communicate a bit better next time and to point out any variations.
She also did something that was a bit surprising to me. She quilted off the quilt top and onto the batting about 2 inches in most areas, but jutting out as far as 4 inches. It was probably some kind of K-turn for long arm quilting or something, but it was several overlapping loopy lines of quilting all around the quilt. I couldn’t bring my backing forward to bind my quilt unless I went through and hand picked out all of that stitching. Sure I have many spare unplanned hours this week, but I was hoping I would get to use some of them for sleeping.
Several inches of fabric remained outside that area and I could use those to bind with, thus the trimming and reattaching, but the irregular juts that went out further than the rest, really cut into my binding fabric. The fact that the batting even when cut up as close to those as I could get took some more space didn’t help. I couldn’t even cut a few nice long binding strips, say the one from each side that I needed. I had to cut a few from one short end, one from a long side and then bits from other areas and piece them and I lost enough fabric that I had to do a really narrow binding. Narrower than I have ever done before. I ended up with a three inch strip to make my binding from. Only there wasn’t going to be enough to make it around the quilt. So I had to cut my strips in half giving me a 1 1/2 inch strip to make my binding from. I did have some of that strip leftover when I was done and if I’d realized earlier that there were juts that wouldn’t let me cut 3″ strips from each side I probably could have done 2″ strips, but I didn’t and I was stuck with my 1 1/2 inch strips My binding strips once prepared were 3/4 of an inch wide, which felt very narrow indeed once they were sewn back on with a 1/4″ seam. The hand stitching portion of that really had my hands hurting, since I am not far from the carpal tunnel I had while pregnant with A. So my binding with only a quarter of an inch showing on the front doesn’t mirror my first 1″ border…
I love it. I am just super pleased with the way the very narrow binding looks against the outer border. Fortunate happenstance I guess. This time my husband loves his quilt. Each night after the kids are down he curls up in it with his computer on his lap. Win.
I shared the quilt pattern in this post, but made some changes during construction to accommodate the fabrics I found to work with (and a few small binding issues). More on that in another post.