Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Another busy week - WIP wednesday

I've learnt my lesson after last week's WIP Wednesday post. No more smug, sweeping assertions. After declaring how well the baby was sleeping in the evening she stopped doing so, of course, and so an evening of distracted, rushed basting resulted in this:

No a disaster, but irritating indeed, as there was about 6" overhang on the other side. I am quite capable of making slightly too small quilt backings but not on this occasion, I had just failed to centre it properly, been called away to the baby then hastily sprayed it down when I returned some time later. My Instagram chums suggested adding another strip to that side and just carrying on but I couldn't really justify that, what with the fast induced fabric shortage going on here (!) and the fact it was just spray basted. So I unpeeled it, centered it properly (ish) and smoothed it down again with a little extra spray for good luck.

This is destined to be hubby's quilt, so he was given the run of the Aurifil stash and asked to choose his thread and quilting style. He requested the 40wt grey 2600 with straight lines 1/4" to each side of each
seam line.

So I obliged.

And here came trip up from smug assertion number 2, that I never ever get puckers while quilting. This is the 4th large quilt I have quilted this year and I am finding the process a lot better than I used to, especially with the lovely 11" throat on my machine, but I just couldn't get in the groove with this one. I don't think I can blame the different thread (I usually quilt with 50wt) so maybe my basting or piecing is responsible but I got many puckers in the quilt top as I crossed seam lines. Only small ones, and I don't care enough to do anything about it. It'll wash up fine I'm sure. I liked the look of the 40wt, more stitch definition than usual, but I can't afford to double up my Aurifil collection with different weights so it may be a one off!

This quilt then needed a binding, again husband was given the choice of the stash (I am SO nice, I know). He chose this lovely Tsuru print, which he had actually suggested a while back as a binding for my Marcelle Medallion.

I ignored him then, and went with a dark blue solid instead, in part because he insisted it needed to be cut on the bias. And same again this time. Ugh. I have a bit of an unreasonable issue with cutting bias strips. But I agreed. Mainly because I felt it was time to deal with that issue, as I also had some bias strip cutting looming for my travel duffle. The handles call for bias strip trim, and I am going to attempt to bind my raw seams too rather than just zig zagging them (this bag is unlined and I have neither the inclination nor a big enough appropriate fabric cut to tackle making a lining).

When I have cut bias strips previously, for the piping on my Weekender and the trim on a Noodlehead Sidekick Tote I have used the continuous method and a fat quarter. Yes, that's right, I have made bias tape twice, ever. I told you I have issues.



This time I had half yards, and used the traditional method instead. Actually I started off on the continuous method, then changed my mind - all that wonky lining up and pinning just doesn't do it for me.So I cut all my strips from the parallelogram. I have a few extra seams, but I used the full half yard, and since I couldn't be bothered to calculate how much binding I would need that seemed the most sensible thing to do. 

He was right about that bias cut, wasn't he? 

I even tackled my last binding nemesis and joined the ends with a mitred seam when attaching it to the front of the Playground quilt. I always just cop out and do a straight join, but I was in a bias groove and so I followed Christina's excellent tutorial and it was a breeze. I totally recommend her advice for all stages of the quilt binding process. 

I then attached the trim to my Travel Duffle handles. Do not adjust your monitors, it is indeed BROWN. 

And whipped up some (crossgrain, thankfully) scrappy voile binding for my voile Sparkling Cider Quilt.

Which I then needed to set about basting. I've not had a great week for basting, remember, and I had a vague inkling the the voile was not going to be delighted with my spray basting technique. I have been sewing with voile a lot lately, with this quilt and then my Staple dress, and found it on the whole to be a joy. Plenty of starch, a little glue basting (all standard processes for me) and a 70/10 needle has all worked very well. Basting, less so. As predicted the spray baste didn't stick very well so I had to add my entire - and apparently inadequate - collection of safety pins. 

For the backing I used two large pieces of voile, an Anna Maria Horner print like that used on the front and also a Joel Dewberry print. Interestingly the latter took the spray baste much better.

Wasn't risking that backing being too small!
I was really quite concerned when I had finished basting. It wasn't adhered particularly well, was only scantily pinned and the fabric already looked puckered and not as smooth as I like. I'm not going to say too much about how the quilting has gone for fear of cursing myself again but now I've got some of my favourite wavy-but-straight lines down I feel happier that it is all stabilised and am going to try to get this quilting finished up soon.

Phew! I need to sew less, or at least try to write shorter blog posts. Thanks for taking the time to read through my week!

Linking up with Lee and WIP Wednesday.


  1. Thanks for sharing your basting adventures. It was very entertaining!

  2. Frustrating! Congratulations on all the binding

  3. I think I've only ever made on the bias binding twice too! Straight lines all the way (especially since I usually do facings, which means no corners)!

  4. I have only ever cut on the bias for button loops on Rose's Book Report Dress! I really think I'd end up in a terrible mess!
    Did you hide some precious stash before you let the hubby pick! I always worry they will suggest something I have no plans of chopping into!!

  5. There are several things you have mentioned here that made me smile, mainly that your husband wanted a quilt, that he actually had some creative input into it and that you went with it! These are all alien things to me. My husband just keeps asking when I'm going to make him some quilted pants. The knicker swap was underwear too far for him though and declared I needed a new hobby, something cooler. Making underwear for someone I had never met foxed him completely - love him! I'm also very impressed with the amount you get done, despite a tricky toddler :)


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