Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pink Wip, basted

I basted the Pink Wip this afternoon, and am pretty happy with the results. I pieced the back, and made a big mistake in my calculations, so the backing was, in the pieced section, just barely the same size as the quilt top. Well, in theory that's okay, but in reality, when you're basting (by the pin method, or really any method) it's hard to get the top and the back lined up just so, what with the batting obscuring your viewpoint.

But I did use the needle-and-thread method again, and got things pretty darn close, so I'm not too worried about the resulting job binding the quilt. Keep your fingers crossed for me, though -- I'm going to try to get the quilting done in only two days. And we're trying to shift time in our household by getting up 45 minutes earlier every morning so that when we arrive in England on Saturday morning, it won't be quite such a hideous shock to the system. So I might actually be at my sewing machine by some ungodly hour tomorrow morning, like 7:30 a.m. or something.

Well, I might be . . . Okay, so it's not likely, but I might get started before lunch, which will be a change from my current tendency to fritter away valuable quilting time doing stupid stuff.

I'll keep you posted on that one.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

About that Pink WIP

Yes, quilting has actually happened in the time since I last posted here. Let's get some photographic proof of this, shall we?

When you last saw the Pink WIP, it was just strips to make nine patches. I did go to the trouble of making both light and dark nine patches, and the light ones (meaning, the ones that go light-dark-light on the top and bottom rows of the nine patch) were put aside for the back. Here are the dark ones, interspersed with the mattress ticking and cherry blossom floral print. The renaissance print comes next.

It was at this point that I made an exciting discovery (exciting for me; your mileage might vary): those flower-head pins come in almost a perfect Roy G. Biv rainbow! This was important because I needed to keep these rows straight as I sewed on the setting triangles. I pinned one end of each row with a flower-head pin, then the next row with an adjacent color pin. This helped with keeping the rows in order, but I still managed to confuse myself as to where the corners were! Oh, well, a little reverse sewing never killed anyone. And the pins weren't at fault there -- they did their job, and the rows were sewn together in the correct order!

Next to the renaissance print, a green marble. It was at this point that I auditioned fabrics for the setting triangles and inner borders. I'm really happy with the result:

I don't know if this shows up, but it makes it look like there's a field of flowers surrounded by greenery -- a pattern even prettier than I thought it would be. Really, this is a very successful design, for which I have nothing but compliments for Gai Perry. Fabric selection, well, I'll take some small credit for that, but I genuinely can't say enough good things about the design.

Next up: mitered corners.

Someone wrote to me just as I was getting read to do these corners and when I mentioned that I was doing mitered corners, she said she'd never tried them. "Oh, I don't know of any tricks," I said blithely before it occurred to me that I have an entire bookcase of tricks and tips. I found a good one: you organize the miter, tape it on the right side with masking tape, then sew the miter down while it's still taped. Trust me -- they're still a bear to do, but it came out way better than the last ones I tried.

And here's the completed top:

The colors are, as always, better in real life. (They're better in the photos above, for that matter!) But you can get the overall effect pretty well here. I absolutely love this quilt top.

I'm working on a pieced back that uses the leftover nine patches and a toile in pink & cream that just didn't make it into this top. I'll photograph that for a later post. Then I need to quilt it, bind it, and give it away. That's going to be the hardest part -- I have absolutely no need for it, but I do love it!