Saturday, April 04, 2020

Log Cabin Quilt Finished

I am not a quilter. I love quilts -- I think they are beautiful and I have seen some incredible quilts.  I admire quilters for their creativity and patience and beautiful quilting and mostly anyone who can make a quilt in under a year.  I've tried, but it seems that I like to wear my creations more than sleep under them.  I enjoy piecing but just don't enjoy the process of quilting as much as I do making clothes.  To give you an example, my last quilt, a simple nine block quilt, took 5 1/2 years to complete.  It just wasn't a priority for me.

Twenty year old quilt made by my sweet and patient mother-in-law
That said, the quilt we had been using for many years (pictured above) needs to be replaced.  It was made by my very sweet and talented mother-in-law.  She started quilting after she retired from banking and has made many quilts over the years. Most have been given to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She pieces both by hand and machine, but prefers to hand quilt and does beautiful work. She made the quilt that has graced our bed for the past twenty years and gave it to us just before the birth of our first child.  We snuggled all three babies under it, moved it to several homes and enjoyed it so much it actually hurts a little to retire it.  It is starting to shred, however, so with a little sadness, I have washed and line-dried it for the last time and will put it away.

Starting the squares
After we moved to the old house, I needed a project and knew we needed a new quilt.  Most of my sewing things were packed away, but I had kept out some things and a sewing machine. So sometime in August or September 2018, we made the 90 mile trip to the nearest JoAnns to buy fabric.  

I chose the log cabin pattern due to the ease of sewing and over the course of the next year, made 42 14" squares.  I prefer to use the Quilt-as-you-go technique as I also like machine quilting, but hate wrangling a large quilt under my machine.  

Quilt as you go

Each seam line was quilted using one of the quilting stitches on my Pfaff machines.  This got me into trouble later when I went to join the squares into the quilt.

As you can see in the above picture, I stitched all the way to the end of the seam.  Because I didn't want to use sashing (narrow strips used to join the blocks), which is standard with quilt-as-you-go quilting, I had to unpick a 1/2" or so of each of the seams that came right to the edge so I had enough seam allowance to join the blocks.  A 1/4" of unpicking wasn't enough to give the presser foot enough room to slide through.  While most of my seams matched, there are a few that didn't quite line up.  
Machine embroidered corner and boarders
Joining the squares wasn't always fun and took quite a while, but it got done.  Each square is 14" square and there are 36 total squares (6 x 6).  I sewed the extra squares to make pillow shams, but no idea when that project will get done. The boarder is 6" wide and quilted with my embroidery machine.  The designs are from Embroidery Library.  I discovered that I love quilting via embroidery machine and want to do that again. I did use red sashing to join the boarder to the quilt and the same fabric for the binding.

Completed quilt
I learned a lot.  Mostly, I learned I never want to make a quilt that large again.  If I need another queen or larger quilt, I will piece it and take it somewhere to be quilted.  I also learned that there is a reason most people use sashing between blocks on QAYG quilts, especially if you want quilting to go all the way to the end.  I may make smaller quilts in the future, but they will either be quilted on the embroidery machine or have sashing between the blocks.  

Completed quilt
I started the project in September 2018 and finished in March 2020, so I have improved on my speed a bit.  In my defense, we also had construction going on as well as all of the Diva's medical issues, so sewing has not been a priority for the past year.  It feels really good to have this project done.  It is not my best work, but it is warm and pretty and brightens up my room.  
Face mask, almost finished
My current project is making face masks for our family and local hospital in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I want to supply each family member with at least two and donate the rest to the local community.  Then, finally, I will start sewing for myself.   I need tops badly as most of my tops are over a decade old (yea for slow fashion!) and acceptable only for gardening.  Sprite is hoping I can fit in some new jeans for her and the Diva is in need of new jackets, tops and skirts.  I will have plenty to keep me busy as we stay at home during this crises.

Please take care of your selves and your loved ones during this time.  


pat in MO said...

I struggled woith making my first mask to day and it took me for ever Ilike yoyr face mask pattern, how big was the first square ad length of elastic.

SewPaula said...

Pat, this is the pattern that I am using because it is the one that the local hospital has requested. It is pretty easy, though making the pleats can be a little fiddly.