Monday, April 15, 2013

Diamonds & (herring)Bones

The herringbone quilt is finally finished. This was a present for my mom for her birthday (which is at the end of February) and I just finished it on Easter Sunday. Clearly I am behind. This whole work thing is really cutting into my sewing time :(

This quilt may be a little... Shall we say imperfect and leave it at that? There are some puckers here and there, especially on the back, but I'm having trouble caring. Truth be told I'm pretty well chuffed with it. And of course my mom loves it and it is highly soft and cuddly so I'm calling it a win.

I found the tutorial for the herringbone pattern online. You actually just sew all the little strips together at an angle then cut out rectangles from your long line of strips... Which is pretty ingenious but for one thing: how does one make it so that all the rectangles end up with the same angle? In theory it's not that difficult to figure out, but for myself, master of meandering seam allowances, in practice it didn't work out so well.

All the little strips are actual scraps (as if you couldn't tell!) and the border is just the big pieces I had left of that sheet after hang it for a skirt and a shirt. It was a really big sheet. It's really soft but it's pretty freaking slippery and distorts easily. I knew it would be a pain to use on a quilt but it was just laying around with no clear purpose so in it went!

That means that this whole quilt top was basically lying on my sewing room floor. I would tell you that it's nice to be able to walk through my sewing room again, and it was while it lasted. But remember I said I finished it Easter Sunday which means there are already lots of brand new scraps impeding progress.

For the back I bought this incredibly soft, thick cotton sheet... From goodwill for $2 of course. The colorful floral sheet I originally bought to back it accidentally turned into a dress (so sorry I'm not at all sorry mom!) but I like this better anyway. The front of the quilt is so busy I think the low volume on the back works better.

The binding is a dark purple cotton (sheet again) that's I've already used to make a skirt and a dress. I already told you: I use all the parts!

For the quilting I did a sort of random diamonds and zigzag thing for the border (is that called sashing? I don't even know) and a slightly less random diamond and zigzag thing on the herringbone part. I feel like I need to read up on my quilting terminology before my next quilt... But that'll probably be a long time coming so I won't worry about it just yet.

Just how long did this quilt take? I started cutting and sewing the strips before baby girl was born and she's almost 9 months now so... A long ass time basically.  I wasn't actively working on it that whole time, but I knew it was there unfinished the whole time.  What, you don't feel like your WIPs are lurking in the background, waiting??

But anyway, I feel like it was worth it though and I will definitely make more quilts in the future. It does not seem likely, however, that I will become one of those people who buys fabrics specifically for quilting. Maybe one or two fat quarters here and there, but I have waaaay too many scraps to justify that sort of thing. Quilts to me are just a warm, cuddly (&useful) way to clean up my sewing room floor. In case you hadn't noticed I never throw anything away so I'm a big fan of scrappy projects.

I've already started thinking about my next quilt so I guess you can be looking for that in another 9 months or so :P It will almost certainly be another string quilt so don't get too excited haha!!

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