Showing posts with label Fence Rail Baby Quilt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fence Rail Baby Quilt. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Baby Fence Rail Quilt - Pt VII: The Big Finish

The Baby Fence Rail Quilt is finished.  It's new owner came to collect it yesterday afternoon an hour or two after I had put the last stitches into the binding.  It was the first time Bill and I had met baby Georgia, who is just four weeks old, and we were captivated

Please excuse my ankles
I wasn't feeling game enough to do the quilting on the Singer 201K and defaulted to my 'go to' quilter the Singer 401K fitted with the walking foot.  I used the same putty-coloured thread to secure the layers as I had used to piece the quilt top.  It shows up better from the back.

The fence rail blocks finished at six inches and used the corners of these blocks are the reference point for the diagonal lines of quilting over the central part of the quilt.  In this way the lines of quilting are four and a quarter inches apart which should be a nice density for a baby quilt.  I quilted in the ditch around the inner border.

This picture shows how well Bill's choice for the backing fabric works.  I think it pops without clashing.  When I was binding the quilt I wanted to do this in exactly the same way I bound the Log Cabin quilt earlier in the year.  I had the blog to remind me but I hadn't been very detailed.  I couldn't for the life of me recall which machine I had used to sew the binding onto the front of the Log Cabin quilt.   So here is a note to myself for future reference:

  • For the fence rail quilt I used the 401G with the walking foot to sew the binding onto the front of the quilt
  • I left eight inch tails at the beginning and of the binding which really made it a lot easier to join them together later
  • I then used a size three between and a ladder stitch to sew the binding onto the back of the quilt using the line of machine stitching from the front as a guide for my hand sewing - yet again this took me hours but I still feel it's time well spent.  After all this is a gift for a very special little bundle.
A well-padded friend maybe just as cuddly as a quilt

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Baby Fence Rail Pt VI

A couple of weekends ago I finally got to the shops to buy some wadding (batting) so that I can finish the Baby Fence Rail quilt.  That was the easy part.  I still needed to choose a backing fabric (remember the green stuff I bought for the purpose and then turned into a shirt?).  After trolling the streets of London for an hour or two I settled on some cassis-coloured (that's pale purple to you and I) cotton sateen lining fabric.  Surprisingly the colour combination works.

Having bought the missing ingredients I discovered new enthusiasm for this quilt.  So I wasted no time and gave the wadding a bath!  This is supposed to remove excess cotton oil which could mark the quilt and to preshrink the wadding.  Some people do and some people don't.  I guess I am just one of those guys who do.

With the wadding and backing fabric washed, preshrunk and dried I layered the quilt sandwich in the usual way.  Pausing only to spend a few minutes deliberating over the right/wrong side of the cotton sateen.  I decided to put the shiny side out.  I thought that this would feel nicest if anyone should try sleeping under the quilt.

When I sandwiched the Log Cabin quilt one of my readers was rather alarmed by how few pins I used in my basting and I solemnly swore to use more on my next project.  I even bought some fancy curved safety pins.  I basted at approximately four inches or less and here is a photograph to prove it.  I must confess that the whole thing feels a lot firmer and I am hoping it will make the quilting process easier.

Now for the really big news.  In an exclusive announcement made this evening our spokesman can confirm that this quilt will be quilted OUT of THE DITCH!!

I have started to mark the quilt top with inch wide masking tape.  I am going to quilt the centre of the quilt with a diagonal cross hatched grid.  Tomorrow, with a fair wind, I may get the Singer 401G out and lay down that first row of quilting...

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt V

Well I think it is safe to say I have crossed the border with the Baby fence rail quilt top.

Baby fence rail quilt inner border

The first border finishes at two inches.  The pattern instructions are to make the border oversize (both width and length), sew it to the quilt and then trim it down to two and a quarter inches in width.  That's why I have the cutting mat and rotary cutter on the floor (mind the carpet!).  The eagle-eyed amongst you with notice that I added borders to the long sides first and then the shorter ones.  I feel that this makes for more pleasing proportions.

Baby fence rail quilt inner and outer borders

The outer border is made from the darker tone on tone leaf fabric.  The pattern instructions are to trim this down to four and a quarter inches so that when the quilt is bound in (yes you've guessed it) the yellow fabric four inches will be showing.  The effect of adding the darker petrel blue border quite startled me.  I don't think I've made the quilt top too gender specific by doing this?

My progress with project has ground to a halt this week because I have no suitable wadding [batting] or backing materials.

I bought 2.3 meters of plain green cotton which is not only the wrong colour but also slightly too little for the job [silly Mr G] and when I went to buy batting the shop didn't have enough of the cotton/poly blend I liked so much when I made the last quilt.

I am now on the look out for some cotton which is the rusty red colour of the little owls - unless someone can suggest a different (better) colour.

As for the green?  Well at the risk of ending up looking like a stout Robin Hood or a geriatric Peter Pan I may use it to make a shirt... ...or shorts... ...or something...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt IV

I cannot believe how quickly I am managing to piece this quilt.  

I read what I could find about blocking and decided not to get too bogged down in it in the end.  All of my squares had finished to within an eighth of an inch of the expected size.  I did trim some of the oversized squares down a bit but, in the event, I haven't agonised too much.

In this picture I have sewn the 12 units into 4 rows of three, laid them out and labelled them (A-D) so I know what order to sew them together in.

Here row A has been flipped over onto row B and pinned so that the seam lines match where they cross.

Here is the result, which I got The Much Belovéd to QA for me - it passed.

Here are all four rows after I have sewn them together.  I have already cut the fabric for the two borders.  The directions were to cut six strips of each fabric, cut two of each of those in half and to join the resulting four half-strips to the remaining four full strips.  I have already completed this so just a little more work will see this quilt top completed.  Then I will have to think about buying some  batting and how I will quilt the thing - more in the ditch work or any alternatives?

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt III

I have been chain piecing the 48 squares into pairs and pressing them.  I had experimented with chain piecing when constructing the piano key border for the log-cabin quilt and I think it is the best thing since the invention of the lock-stitch machine!  It's hard to believe how much such a simple technique speeds up the piecing process.  I use a dry iron to set the seams and then I snip the units apart before "pressing to the dark side"

The 48 squares make 24 pairs which, in their turn, will be sewn together creating 12 four patch squares.

Here I have managed to sew together 12 of the pairs to produce six squares.  I stopped here because the light was starting to fail (to be fair it hardly got light today) and I wanted to get some pictures taken.  I used a couple or three pins to make sure that the seams all stayed matched at the centre of the blocks.  They've come out well so far and the 201K has behaved faultlessly.  The hinged presser foot has managed to glide over the pressed seams and pins beautifully.

I may carry on and sew the remaining pairs into squares this evening but I will need to spend some time reading up on "blocking".  The larger squares should measure approximately 12 and a half inches and finish at 12.  The ones I have completed aren't far out but I really want to be as accurate as possible.  From what I can tell blocking will help me establish the 'true' sewing line for when I piece the units together in rows.  One method advocates using a square ruler and a pencil to establish this line the other a rotary cutter to trim blocks down to size.  I think am leaning toward the drawing rather than the cutting method.  Less scope for disaster at this stage perhaps? 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt II

All eight strip sets have been sewn together and pressed.  Each one has been cut into six and a half inch squares.

The Radio is my constant companion in my sewing adventures

Each strip set yields six squares a total of 48.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt I

Last night I pre-washed the fabric I bought for this project back in March.  It was all dry by the time I got home this evening and ready to be ironed.

With the fabric ironed I got to work with the rotary cutter.  I didn't set out to do all my cutting in one go but I had no idea how quickly this would go when working with new yardage and a new cutting disc.  To date my patch work has all been put together from repurposed garments or left overs from other projects.  This has meant dealing with irregular shapes and a certain amount of patch by patch cutting.  New fabric is regular in shape, easy to fold and it took no time to cut eight, two and a half inch, cross-width strips from each fabric.  I then cut a further six wider strips from two of the fabrics.  These will form narrow and wider borders.  The binding will be made of the third (yellow) fabric.

Don't the cut fabrics look satisfying all laid out and ready to go?

The brand new spool of natural coloured Gutermann's sew all was too much for me to resist so I got to work filling a bobbin.  I have decided, as this project begins with sewing strip sets, to use the 201k to piece this project.  The large level working space provided by the cabinet will be useful.

Filling bobbins is a task I always enjoy and never more so than on my 201k.  The rubber tyre is nearly new so the winder fills bobbins a treat!  This is where I intended to stop for the evening but all that lovely cut fabric was just too tempting.

So here it is - the first strip set I have sewn and pressed.  The ironing board cover is new.  I bought it off the peg but had to do major surgery yesterday afternoon to make it fit my tiny ironing board.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Saturday Shopping Spree

I haven't done any sewing since Thursday but I have been planning and shopping.  Next best thing?

A few weeks ago my oldest old friend told me the fantastic news that she was expecting her first baby.  Wonderful news for her and just the excuse that I've been looking for to make a cot-sized fence rail quilt.

I had stumbled across a free pattern at Victoriana Quilt Designs a few months back and stored the idea in my memory bank for later.

I imagine something bright, fun and cute but not mawkish for a baby quilt and as we don't know what type of baby we are expecting I am steering clear of pink flowers and Disney Princesses.

I was thrilled to find these fabrics in the shop that is never knowingly undersold.  I spotted the owl print first and fell for it.  I've had a bit of a thing for Owls for ages.  I think it goes back to childhood memories of Blackberry Farm, Winnie the Pooh, The Sword in the Stone and Clash of the Titans (the original one with Larry, Maggie and Burgess).  Wise nocturnal birds seem to me to be appropriate to watch over infant sleep.

The bright yellow leaf print was next to catch my eye.  The yellow is a spot on match for the yellow on the owl print and the leaf is stylistically similar on both fabrics.  I toyed with a few options over the the third fabric.  I wanted to bring out either the red or the blue from the owl print.  I saw some blue with irregular yellow dots that I liked but the yellow wasn't quite right and then, a few bolts down the rack, I spied the petrel blue version of the yellow leaf print.  I hummed and hahhed a bit over it.  I didn't want the thing to look too leafy but The-Much-Beloved and the staff helped me make up my mind.

The pattern I intend to make calls for three fabrics; a dark tone on tone, medium tone on tone, and a light print.  I think I am near enough on that one.

I have one or two things to finish before I go at this project hammer and tongs so I guess I can enjoy the smell of new fabric for a few days more before I get down to washing and preshrinking the new yardage.