Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Finished Top!!

After a botanizing break in Upper Michigan last week, I was looking forward to getting back in the studio and adding the border to this masterpiece!! 
 I made the edges of the top straight by using half-hexagons so I could continue the "all machine-pieced" theme.The hexagons for the top and bottom edges were more like 3/4 hexagons which I cut from straight strips like this so that the top and bottom edges would be on straight of grain.
Talk about boring piecing!!  I did most of them as "leaders and enders" for other projects that were in process at the same time. 
The sides pieces were half hexagons of a variety of green prints chosen to blend with the border fabric. 
Before I could add the borders, I had to press almost the entire piece.  Only the center star was completely pressed and let me tell you, it was just as boring a task as you might image.  Then it occurred to me to set myself up for some lap ironing!!
One episode of Poldark, one episode of The Crimson Field, and two episodes of Crossing Lines and it was all done!  Here's a close-up -- once I found the rhythm and got absorbed in the drama, it went quickly.  I worked in straight lines, swirling each intersection and pressing my way along with a dry iron.  Notice the seams pointing in the same direction as your eye moves across the piece.  That was the key!!
It felt like a major accomplishment to get it all pressed. 
Time for the border print -- from the stash -- can't remember how I obtained it but it was best choice from the options I pulled out of my stash.  The main motif is staggered and flipped in rows across the print and I had about 1 1/4 yards of it which meant the borders needed to be pieced.
There was lots of auditioning on the workwall before I decided to cut the fabric horizontally rather than vertically.  In the process, I realized it would be easier to focus on the smaller repeated motif and after several math sessions, I was ready to cut.
The cuts are 3 15/16" -- yep!  4" was too much and 3 3/4" was too little to enable me to align the strips end to end to get the length needed for each border.
Two of the borders have the motifs aiming to the right and the other two are opposite.  I'm not sure anyone would have noticed if I had put a right facing strip with a left facing strip, but I feel it would have made it look awkward.
I attempted to "match" the motifs -- the first time I forgot that some of the motif would disappear into the seam allowance.  Question is when I make a little discovery like that -- will I remember the next time to go slower?  Probably not.
I don't like to press seams open unless I'm trying to camouflage the seam as in this case. 
Three of my joins looked okay even though they aren't perfect, but the one on the right had to be adjusted.  It was too obvious to my eye.
Much better!!
I mitered the corners -- I think a graceful floral looks better with a mitered corner even if the design doesn't mesh flawlessly.  And I like to show off how easy it is with Marti Michell's My Favorite Mitering ruler. 
You can cut the angle before stitching when you are confident. 
Or draw a line when you want to be cautious!
Here it is pinned and ready to go to the machine. 
Excellent results are the norm when using this tool and I have to confess that it's fun to show-off a bit.
And here it is -- a finished quilt top!!  Totally machine pieced with the chain-piecing technique of Mary O'Keefe as shared in my instructional DVD, Set-in Piecing Simplified.
It's 58" by 62" made with 1" hexagons that I cut using Marti Michell's Set G.  It will take some time to consider the quilting but for now I'll rummage through the stash and find a fitting backing fabric!!
Hope your week has some stitching time included everyday!!
Mary Huey


  1. It is glorious; the border fabric really pops the centre. I agree that a mitered corner really finishes a quilt perfectly!

  2. Beautiful. I love when someone is so meticulous in matching a print and also takes the time to share their effort with the blogging world. Job well done! Excellent choice of border print, too.

  3. Beautifully done Mary! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow! I'm impressed you didn't burn yourself while watching TV and ironing. Such a beauty. Thanks so much for the tut on the borders. That border fabric is perfect for it.

  5. Wow! This is gorgeous! I try to get myself to press my hexies every few rows. I have done marathon pressing sessions as well!

  6. I really like your idea for pressing. I tend to save up the boring jobs, too, and then listen to music or sit in front of the t.v. My only problem is I either wind up watching to keep up with the t.v., or finish my project work and have to watch the whole show over to catch up everything I miss.

    I've been watching this whole quilt come together, and it really is a fabulous top. I like a mitered border, too, but don't always wind up doing it.

    Julie@ Pink Doxies

  7. I bet the pressing really was ghastly. I am sure you are glad you have finished that!

  8. This is a masterpiece indeed..absolutely gorgeous! :)

  9. It is so beautiful and such a challenging quilt!