Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bars and Stripes...Finished!

This quilt is finished and now at work keeping me warm at night on my bed!

Many times I have made a throw quilt by quilting a pieced top onto polar fleece. It is so easy and I love the fuzzy-on-one-side, cool-and-smooth-on-the-other-side nature of these quilts. I had never tried it with a full sized bed quilt before, though, so I used a microfleece blanket (thinner than polar fleece) from my local BiMart in Washougal. This worked out well indeed.

Basting was easy--I just used safety pins. Quilting was easy--just straight lines along the bar panels. Plus the quilt "sandwich's" minimal bulk allowed me to work this very large quilt through my Juki with no wrestling matches.

Maybe I should call this an Open Faced Quilt Sandwich!

Anyway, as to the finishing...wait til you see how quick that was.
All in all, as Borat would say, this was a "Great Success!"

First though, have a look at Bars and Stripes' predecessors....

This was actually my second ever crazy quilt, made in 1999. It is all cotton (I didn't have anything but in those days) with cotton batting and backing, and you can still see the influence of all the strip piecing I was doing then in these blocks. I free-motion spiral-quilted it for a neighbor's daughter, who was going off to college.
The bars are actually made of blocks.

This quilt also alternates bars of plain fabric with crazy pieced ones. This time some of the CQ bars are composed of blocks, and others are long pieced bars on a foundation.
This one, made of all silk, was quilted in the ditch between the blocks and along the bars, but not around the individual pieces. My sister-in-law has it.

For my quilt, I wanted to keep the quilting minimal, but have it show just a little bit. Plus I wanted to experiment with using #8 perle silk as my quilting thread.

As long as I went slowly, my Juki could handle the heavy thread just fine. I used a size 110 Jeans needle, a free machine foot, and the feed dogs UP.

One of those recessed sewing machine tables would have been nice, but we make do!
In this picture you can see I switched machines to apply that lace (using a zigzag, which my Juki doesn't have). I had put the quilt on the bed and decided that a little more lace needed to be on there.
Quilts don't live their lives on design walls, after all. Seeing it in situ showed me what adjustments I needed to make.

Even though I love my Bias Tape Maker from Simplicity, I still didn't feel like making a traditional binding for this large quilt, which is somewhere between a Queen and a King in size.
Then the very forgiving nature of the microfleece gave me an idea.....

It doesn't fray.
Plus, there was no exposed batting edge that needed covering--so no binding was required at all. I just had to cover the edge of the quilt top, really. So I sewed on rick rack! This attached the two layers to each other around the perimeter of the quilt as well.

First I zigzagged down the center of the rick rack with a narrow clear thread.
Then I made a second line of stitching, this time using just the straight stitch on my machine, to secure the tops of the V's in the rickrack to the quilt top.
It was the easiest "binding" I ever made, and I love the way it looks on the bed.

It is just so cozy, draped over a down comforter.
I still need to make some pillows, including the crumb-pieced one from earlier this fall.

But right now I want to get back to Meg's Home Portrait....


Vicki W said...

It turned out great!

Raphaela said...


Debra Dixon said...

Ya done good!

Susan Elliott said...

Thank you for walking me through the process. I think this type of quilt might be in the range of possibility for little ole looks great, it's functional...what more could I want or need?

Suztats said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the colours you've used.

Rian said...

Another front-line winner!!!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

My great grandmother used to make "down comforts" (comforters) with real goose down. I was an adult and in my own home before I realized that "comfort" meant much more than just keeping me warm at night. Just touching it at night brought back safety and good memories. You've made a beautiful thing!

FredaB said...

Allie this turned out beautiful. The rick rack edge is so perfect and who would have thought of it.



Summerset said...

Well done! Very smart choices, considering this will be a functional pieces rather than just a decorative piece.

Barbara C said...

That's a very slick edging trick. I'm going to have to try that some time.

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Quiltgal said...

Very pretty and looks so warm. I put my pre-order in at Amazon for your new book.
I can hardly wait!

Jean said...

The quilt did turn out great! I'm loving the colors! O.K. I'm passing this along to you in case you decide to do another non-conventional finish... it makes it finish faster and does turn everything inside. Different, but helpful. Place your quilt top on top of the quilt back fabrics good to good sides, then lay whatever batting your going to use on top of that; (now this part is up to you; you can either baste the batting to the side seam areas or just pin most of the outter area's leaving a somewhat large opening to turn the quilt.) I generally find that if I use lots of pins and then use a roller foot on my machine I can stitch the entire quilt at one time. After trimming excess batting ect, out of the seam allowances and turning I can either machine quilt or tie the quilt. Of course, if you are going to either machine quilt or have someone else do a super fancy job of machine quilting you probably can't do it this way. But since I tend to do a bunch of tieing this works wornderfully.
I'm catching up on my reading blogs... Hope that your Christmas was wonderful!