zaterdag 12 maart 2016

The Splendid Sampler™ 8 - Friends Around the Square

Today I finished two blocks of The Splendid Sampler™ : the eighth block, Friends Around the Square, and the Bonus Block. They both sewed up very smoothly, I'm getting the hang of starching, pressing and trimming every step of the way, and it's doing wonders for my accuracy.

Two blocks finished!

I've become good friends with my rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat.

Beautiful trimmings.

Bonus Block.
Friends Around the Square.

I made the two block with a white background. I've decided that I will try to make half the blocks with a solid color, and the other half with a white background. I will then sash the white ones in color, and the colored ones in white, with a finished sashing of 1 and 1/2 inches wide. That will make the sashed blocks 9 inches squared (6 + 1,5 + 1,5 = 9), or 9 and 1/2 inches including seam allowance. So my finished quilt will be 90 inches squared (10 by 10 blocks) or 1,28 meters, which is the perfect size for our bed!

Friends Around the Square, using Birds and Berries and Chantilly fabric, by Lauren and Jessi Jung.

Bonus Block, with Birds and Berries in plum, and a Kaffe Fassett print in pink.

I'm thinking of hand-quilting, because my machine quilting skills are virtually non-existent, and having it done professionally will easily cost 500 euros. The idea of quilting the whole thing by hand is a bit daunting, so I thought of doing a quilt as you go method. I did some research into that and I don't like the pieced back that gives, so I came up with another plan. I will get the backing fabric and batting and baste that. I will then mark where the finished rows of blocks need to go with a basting thread. When I've joined the first twenty blocks into the first two rows, I will baste the top row into place, and can start quilting on those first ten blocks. Then, when the next 10 blocks have been joined into the third row, I sew that to the second row. This will be the hard part, because I'll have the bulk of the batting plus backing to deal with. I might even have to ask my husband to help maneuver the big mass of quilt while I do this. I can then baste and quilt the second row, and so on and so forth. The downside is I won't be able to square the quilt top, but if I'm perfectly honest, I've never done that anyway. I just slap the sandwich together and don't give too much about a quilt edges that's a bit wobbly and crooked. It's something I admire in other peoples work, but I haven't gotten round to acquiring the skill myself. Anyway, I'm thinking that if I mark out the position of the rows beforehand, that the end result shouldn't be too crooked. I'll post pictures of the process as it unfolds.

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