Sunday, 23 February 2014

Squaring up

I got the first instalment finished but it did give me the heebie jeebies over cutting it wrong after all that work.It is straight but the only easy place to photo it was on the back of the sofa.

The finished size is 18" square so it had to be cut at eighteen and a half inches. I made a cross in the middle after folding it in half in both directions and held it to the light to make sure the swags were on top of each other. The largest square ruler I have is sixteen and a half inches so the middle of the ruler is eight and a quarter from each side. I marked centre that with a sharpie pen on the top side of the ruler. Then I twisted the big ruler in tiny increments until I was happy that it was as centred as possible.

This still wasn't on the cutting line but I had a plan. I have a one inch wide ruler. I still wasn't happy (or confident enough to cut it yet), so I drew round this line with a pen on what would be the cutting line.)

To get perfect borders I cut a template of freezer paper if the finished size and cut each border individually a quarter inch outside the template.
I used the edge of the border fabric lined up with my drawn line on the appliqué background and stitched it on the machine. And then I did something which might seem a step too far, I hand appliquéd the mitres down changing thread just like Di Ford does going across the colours of the stripes.  I shall go to quilt heaven!
Years ago I bought this mat for my sewing machine. It is a very thick flexible sheet with two functions. One, it stops the machine roaming away from you whilst stitching and two, it absorbs any vibration. It isn't big enough for my big Series 7 Bernina so if anyone out there know what it is called and who sells it, please let me know.
And I have started on border number three for the machine appliqué quilt.

It felt quite odd to sit on the sofa tonight without any hand work. I might go back to the low contrast quilt, but I am not feeling any love for this. Perhaps when I have one of my other quilts finished I shall quilt up what is done so far as a warm up exercise. 


  1. Sally, it's so good to see more of your exquisite work! :)

  2. You shall indeed go to quilt heaven!!! I can see hand stitching the miter for perfection, but changing thread for the colors? I wouldn't have ever thought of that.

  3. Sometimes squaring up a quilt is scary, especially if there isn't much wiggle room for error. But when that final cut is made and the border is sewn down, it's a good feeling. Then it's on to layering the quilt and deciding how to quilt it. Sadly, I have several unfinished quilt tops that are still waiting for that next step in the process of finishing the quilt.

  4. Oh Sally, you ARE a wonder! Just when you think you must have every size ruler necessary, a block like this demands a bigger square-up ruler. I too have used the method of butting two rulers together to get the proper width, and drawing lines is another good way to go. But oh, the holding of the breathe as one checks and rechecks any number of ways to make sure everything is lined up properly. Well, this looks just super, and I don't blame you for hand-stitching the miters. Miters are my nemesis.

  5. This is so beautiful! And you are indeed going to miter heaven for those appliqued borders!!

  6. It looks gorgeous! Thanks for the process, Sally.

  7. Beautiful work - Love what you are doing!

  8. Beautiful work, I love this, can't wait to see more as you progress.
    Julia ♥