Monday, April 4, 2016

First Quarter Finish #4

It's all finished and in it's new home.  I'm just home from a visit with my daughter and her family.  The piece was quilted when I left but I waited until I could try it out on the bed to be sure the size was okay before I did the binding. 
It looks a bit lumpy because the bed in the guest room has become a catch-all -- what a surprise?!?
My daughter is pleased with it and likes the simplicity of it and the fabrics I chose.  (Yea!!)
I took a number of pictures to share with you as I assembled it since I quilted it in three sections.
The quilting is simple and organic to enhance the overall design.
The leaves are in the lighter bands while randomly spaced lines that follow the zig-zag of the piecing fill the medium to dark value bands.
The large leaves were fun to stitch.  Each began with an arc from the pivot point.
Then back up the middle to the top adding three or four "veins" 
and an occasional "bite" before proceeding to the next pivot point. 
My sections were two sets of eight rows and a center set of six rows.  I quilted out to the outer edges of the eight  row sections and out to the final zig-zag seam of the edges to be joined to the center section which is seen below. 
I marked the center of the triangles along that edge to make alignment of the center section easier.
For the center section, I did not quilt the last row on both sides so that I could pull back the batting and lining during the joining of the sections as you see below.
This is a "four-layer" seam -- the backing and batting of the center section is pulled over to the left side and I'm stitching (with my walking foot) through four layers -- center section top (right side down), side section top (right side up), batting, and backing of the side section.
I did well with the alignment of the zig-zags and only nipped off a couple tips.
I find that working on my iron board for finishing the backing is best as the weight of the sections hanging down both sides keeps the layers spread open completely.
(The pieced section in the backing is made of the leftover pieces from the top.)
Before doing any trimming, I press the four-layer seam to one side and check the front to be sure there are no pleats or wrinkles.
I trimmed away the extra backing fabric (about 3/8" from the stitching line and smooth down the batting that is caught in the seam.
Now I smooth the other batting over being sure that it is laying flat and smooth.  Notice that the backing at the lower edge of the picture is still pulled aside.
Now I very carefully trim that batting to match the edge of the first piece.  This is the slowest part of the process as it's important to keep the cut smooth and not slice the quilt top.  I achieve a smooth invisible finish by moving the joining of the batting  about 1" away from the four-layer seam.  When I shared it with my quilting group after the three sections were together, none of them could find the joins -- no lumpy-ness!!
At this point, I can whip stitch the batting edges together or use a fusible batting tape -- Marti Michell makes both a 1" wide and 2" wide product.  I use the 2" wide in quilts.  Once again, slow and careful gives the best results to be sure the edges of the battings meet snuggly with no gaps. 
Finally, I'm ready to turn back the edge of the backing fabric and pin it in place for hand stitching.
Once that is finished, I headed back to "George" to quilt the joining area between the two sections, thankful that I haven't had to wrestle with all the bulk of the quilt for the entire process!!
And there it is -- finish #4 from my first quarter list for the 2016 Finish-A-Long over at SHE CAN QUILT.  The link-up for this quarter is pretty impressive with almost 600 finishes listed so far.
I'm pleased to have reached four out of six of my goals.  I did make progress on #5 (now a finished top instead of a pile of blocks) and #6 (in process but still 2/3 of the cutting and piecing to go).
I'm working on my second quarter list!!

Click HERE to see my original list for this quarter.

If you have any questions about this post, please let me know in the comments below.

If you need to muster up more courage to try this process yourself, remember that Marti Michell now offers a class on Craftsy to show you a variety of options for quilting in sections!!
Now through the end of April, Craftsy is offering a Pick-Your-Prize Giveaway -- the $100 value would cover a couple of classes!!

Mary Huey

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  1. Thanks for posting. I've been thinking of trying this. You make it look easy.

  2. Congrats on your finishes - a great tutorial, too.

  3. Beautiful quilt Mary and great info on piecing it in sections! I bet your daughter loves it!

  4. This is so pretty, I love the simplicity of the fabrics you chose as well. Also, I did not see your link to your original goal post, make sure you add it so you're eligible for prizes! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.

  5. I love the quilting that you chose to do on this, and thanks for the tutorial. I've never finished a quilt in sections before, but you've explained it well. Congratulations on the goal progress. Sure feels good, doesn't it?

  6. How timely to read your post today. I've been thinking about trying quilting a larger quilt in sections! I just wasn't quite sure how to make it smooth. You have allayed all my fears. Thank you. It's a beautiful quilt and wonderful quilting!

  7. Yay! No lumpiness! I am impressed with this method.