Sunday, December 20, 2015

Going Postal

Going Postal
This quilt is a kind of landmark that starts my new quilting life in Oregon. It's the first one that was completely made here, not started somewhere else.

My sweetie helped me pick the fabrics, which was interesting. It's so much fun going to a fabric store with a man who really wants to be there! He wanted novelty fabrics that depicted his hobbies: postage stamps, primarily, bicycling. Since there weren't enough fabrics in these categories, we added some that included bridges and boats.

The back almost looks like a solid piece of fabric, though it is quilt-as-you-go, block by block, from the method used in Beth Donaldson's Block by Block book.

Going Postal, block stack
Above are the blocks, sandwiched and ready for quilting. I used spray basting, though I realized in retrospect that it wasn't necessary. A few straight pins would have been enough.

Going Postal, quilting in progress

I'm still moving into my new 10x20 studio. It's quite a change from my 40x40 Hideaway, so I haven't organized my excess junque yet. During my first months here, I added laminate flooring on top the previous plywood, and then tore out all the ugly, sagging shelving on the right. IKEA was the source of the wire basket storage -- I love them for the fabrics.

I quilted each block, mostly just straight lines, or stitching parallel to the seam lines about 1/8" away. Deliver me from stitch-in-the-ditch (SITD)! SITD is about the most difficult quilting possible, at least for me, because I want to stay in the ditch, and that sewing machine will wander out of it, and then my quilting isn't perfect. If you are not trying to stay in the ditch, it isn't so noticeable if your lines are a tiny bit off.

Using Beth Donaldson's method for joining the QAYG blocks didn't require an extra strip of fabric, a big plus, IMO, but it still involved folding the raw edge in the back over the seamline just right and stitching it just right, even though you are working from the opposite side when stitching. It is easier than it sounds, but not as efficient as the QAYG row by row method I used for Oregon Ducks (yet to be posted), or the reproduction one I posted last night.

When it was all put together, I still needed to quilt down the sashing, but that wasn't too bad. The quilting looks primitive, because my experience is primitive, but it's done, and on the bed, and matches the walls.

I learned that making a quilt to someone else's design specifications is difficult. Sweetie thought all the prints in my blocks looked "too busy," hence all the plain blue and white sashing, but then he was so enamored with the look of the reproduction fabric quilt, which is very busy, that I'm beginning to think he would have liked Going Postal just as well if it were as busy as I'd originally planned it.

One benefit of QAYG, besides not having to have a wrestling match inside the neck of your sewing machine, is that only minimal pinning is needed, and you can use up pieces of batting left over from other projects; you don't need a new bed-sized piece.

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