Monday, June 30, 2014

Sew & Tell: Lone Ring

I finished an epic quilt! It always feels like a million bucks - especially when it turns out beautiful, which this did. I decided to take pictures of the steps this time because sometimes I need to be reminded why I don't do more big quilts. I think I'm good for maybe two a year.
First, I had to buy 12 yards of fabric. For the front. I cut out about 320 of the light squares and 160 of the dark squares, both 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". (Except I did quite a few more than that because I'm terrible at math and I COULD NOT figure out how wide and how long this thing would be finished.) I also cut out 160+ of the Quiltsmart Drunkard's Path interfacing squares. (I've used this interfacing before here.) The cutting was the easiest part because I could do it with the boys in the same room.
The next step was putting the interfacing on the dark squares and sewing along the solid line on the inside, then running them through and sewing along the solid line on the outside. Once both of the lines were sewn on, I could cut along the dotted line and turn them right-side out. Also a step I could do in the same room with the boys.
Once the quarter circles and the arches were turned right side out, I placed them on the light squares (that's why there were twice as many light squares).
I ironed down the shapes and made sure I had a complete sixteen-square block. It looked weird without the blocks surrounding it to make a pattern. Next I did a zig-zag stitch along the curves of every square with clear thread. I came to the step that I forgot about at this point - I had to cut out the interfacing from every single square. How could I forget that?! I thought I was close, but I was not. That's why I'm writing it down here - so I remember that this will take me longer than I think.

On Memorial Day, Brian and the kids were playing at Grandma and Grandpa's and I spent the day with Downton Abbey (meh) and my sewing machine. I sewed the squares together to make the blocks, but it wasn't enough time to put the blocks together in rows. That happened about a week later on a Friday night. I was so tired after putting all the blocks together and then the rows that I sewed the two halves of the quilt together upside-down. Bother. I should have saved it for another day because I spent the evening unpicking 92" of sewing, breaking my sewing machine needle, destroying half a dozen pins, and getting poked with a pin hard enough to draw blood. Sigh.
I had Wendy quilt it for me. No stop border - I liked how it looked to have the dark fabric "bleed" into the border fabric.
Another six yards of fabric for the back, but COME ON - I love it so much. I had to add a few of my leftover strips of the dark blue fabric to make it wide enough. It's a big quilt.
It took a little longer, but I added piping to the bias-cut binding. (You are kidding me. A bright purple thread in this photo?!!! I had the quilt on my bed and spent a good twenty minutes picking off loose threads and cutting off the ones that were attached.) 
This quilt ended up being one of the most satisfying I've ever made. Every minute I spent on it was completely worth it. I'm so glad I learned (and continue to learn) how to do this. It's become my favorite way to show love.


Jill said...

Gorgeous! I'm impressed beyond measure. Wow!

melissa said...

That is so beautiful! You did it!