the amish quilt, part two

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

If you want to read more about the beginning of making my first Amish styled quilt, you can check that out here

I left off talking about how I was sewing together strips of fabric to eventually cut into smaller pieces to put together. The cutting went much easier this time around, since I learned how to use my rotary cutter for these 1 3/4 inch pieces. What a time saver! My sister asked me one night if I enjoy quilting, or just wanted the end result. I told her a little bit of both. I enjoy the sewing part, but not the cutting 144 pieces of two types of fabric, and 72 pieces of another. Do the math, ya'll. That's 360 1 3/4 inch strips of fabric. I cranked it out within a week because I was so sick of measuring and cutting!

Sewing together the blocks was much easier. I actually started with my B blocks, because it was less sewing. I got all of those done, and then got started on the A blocks. I wanted to see what it would look like pieced next to the B's, so I would make an A, sew it in place, and repeat. One row of 11 blocks total took me about an hour to do, because I didn't have 1/2 of my blocks done for it. While I'm sure it's easier to have all of the blocks made and then sew them together, I liked seeing it come together, so I did this for the whole quilt. 

The book I was using for the pattern recommended much wider borders than I used. I didn't want it to overwhelm the pattern so I altered it. I did a white border of 1 3/4 inches (before being sewed) so that it's the same size as the small squares when it was finished. I then put a 4 inch black border outside of the white. I also binded in black so that it blended in well. 

When it came to the actual quilting of the three layers (the quilt, the batting in the middle for thickness, and the backing), I chose to quilt in the white squares. It created a large diamond shape in the end, which I really like! I wanted to keep the focus on the pattern, not on the quilting itself. The whole quilt is very geometric, and I wanted the quilting pattern to keep with that. I used white thread on top to blend into the white squares, and black bobbin thread to blend into the backing. 

I wasn't a huge fan of the quilting process. It wasn't as smooth as I wanted it to be, and I had to pull my quilt more than it pushed it through for me. I even used an even feed quilting foot from Singer, and tried both with my dogs up and down. Up is the way that worked best for me. Maybe this is a practice makes perfect thing? I did get some great advice from a friend of mine who hand quilts and I think I'll try that next time.

All in all, I am so pleased with how it turned out! It's nice and thick, and Austen actually prefers it on our bed to our store bought quilt/comforter. It took me right around 5 weeks total to make, and I finished right before the school year started. 

I've already started cutting the fabric for my next quilt! It's a patterned red, white, and blue against white pinwheel quilt. So far, I'm loving the patterns and how it's looking. I'll keep ya'll posted with that one soon, too. I'm taking much more time on it. I don't have any deadline to finish it by, and am just enjoying the fabric cutting process, no matter how time consuming it might be (haha!). 

What have ya'll been working on? Anything time consuming that was completely worth it in the end? Any quick and satisfying projects? I'd love to hear about them!

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