The saga of ‘The Evolving Quilt’ continues….dah dah dah.
I am actually making good progress on the quilt. I hope to be finished by the end of April. I also hope that spring will actually arrive by then too. Maybe I am setting my hope level too high? Oh well, dream big or stay home. Oh, who am I kidding? I always dream big and I always stay home! So I guess that means I am outside the average??
I have a normal sized machine which I love, but find it is very awkward to (wo)man-handle a bed-sized quilt to machine quilt. These hands are just not strong enough. I have read numerous articles on quilt as you go and have finally found one that works for me. The sashing is super skinny, but I can make that work. I have already redesigned a quilt I am finishing for a friend to take that into account. But way before then I need to finish my daughter’s.
As you know, all the quilt blocks have been assembled. Next is quilting them. This part is so much easier already; 12 inch square block in way easier to woman-handle then man-handling a full quilt. I have two left to quilt. In the mean time I have machine quilted the blocks around the outside of the quilt with a meandering stitch.
A meandering stitch was used to quilt the outside blocks.
Another advantage to smaller pieces is that I was able to use spray glue to hold the batting in place. No hand-basting or fighting pins while sewing.
Spray glue for basting is wonderful.
The top and bottom rows have been sewn together and I will talk about how I did that below. I have sewn the sashing strips on with a 1/4 ich seam allowance. You need to know the seam allowance you will use to determine the width of the sashing. I cut two sashing widths, one for the front and one for the back. For the front I cut 1 inch wide and back is 1.5 inches wide. I cut the length a little over 12 inches. The 1.5 inch piece is folded in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together.
The front sashing and the folded back sashing.
With the quilt block facing up, lay the front sashing right-side down, lining up edges. On the back of the quilt block, line up the raw edges of the back sashing on the same edge as the front sashing. Make sure you use the raw edge, not the folded edge, here.
In this picture the backing sashing is on top. All the raw edges are lined up.
Sew all three pieces together with a 1/4 inch seam. Trim the sashings even with the quilt block now. Press the front sashing over the stitched seam. Lay your next quilt block out beside the just finished one make sure that you have the right edges matched. Place the right-sides together, lining up the other raw edge of the front sashing with the edge of the second quilt block. You ignore the back sashing during this step.
Physically lining up the blocks helps me ensure all the blocks are facing the right way.
Sew with 1/4 inch seam. I found it easier to place the first seam over the foot; less fighting keeping the seam at the right place. I also found it easier to sew with the first seam on top, as pictured below.
Placing the seam over the foot allows for smoother sewing.
Now flip the two quilt blocks over and press the back sashing over the seam. As you can see the edges of the blocks meet. This gives your sashing the body that regular quilting would give you.
Ahh, there is the batting for the sashing strips. It’s magic!
Sew the back sashing down using a blind applique, making sure to cover the stitched seam.
A little hand-stitching and you are done.
Yes, you may do more hand-stitching with quilt-as-you-go, but for me it is a better exchange then fighting with a whole quilt in the machine. It also allows me to have fun with the quilting, whether follow the line or free-motion. I usually do the hand-stitching in the evening, catching up on some shows.
Here is the back of the quilt, with the sashing sewn down. You don’t get to see the front yet! You have to wait until it is done.
Now do it all again on the opposite side of the second quilt block. When you have all the blocks sewn into rows you are ready to sew all the rows together. Cut your sashing strips the same width for the front and back (1 & 1.5 inches), with the length equalling the length of the completed row. For mine I have 5 blocks per row, so 5 blocks x 12 inches is 60 inches. I cut the front sashings 1 by 61 inches and the back sashings 1.5 by 61 inches. I always cut my sashing a little longer to be on the safe side. It is way easier to trim extra off then add extra. 😉
I have yet to sew any rows together, but I will let you know how it went goes.