Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two tops finished!

Half-square triangle quilt. 40-inches square.

Woo hoo! I finished the half-square triangle top last weekend. And a spider-web top that I hadn't mentioned before.

The half-square triangle was nine blocks waiting for a border while I debated various ideas. One plan was to turn all the leftover squares from the half-square triangles into applique circles of various sizes and scatter them over a vine on a solid navy border. Circles inside circles would form the flowers on the vine.

I found circle templates from my kaleidoscope and Dresden plate quilts, cut some more in different sizes and even tried Anna Maria Horner's super circles on a couple before I confessed to myself that I was totally going to hate making all those circles no matter what method I used, and I was not going to enjoy sewing them to the border either. (The kaleidescope and Dresden plate experiences still being too fresh to repeat no matter how in love with the border idea I was.) And then, I pulled some of the leftover squares and scattered them over the border fabric and realized that the border idea would be too busy and would compete with the already busy interior.

Feeling guilt free about abandoning the applique circles, I pulled different fabrics for the border (didn't have enough navy and trying to use up stash). I didn't have quite enough of this purple stripe leftover from the backing of another quilt, but by using partial seams to set it, I had just enough. The width of the border was determined by the length of the fabric I did have. There was just enough for binding too!

I like how the stripes move around the quilt. This would have looked good mitred too, and if I'd had enough fabric that's what I would have done.

Last Sunday was very productive. I sewed all day. Besides that top and binding, I also finished a spider-web quilt and the backing for it and -- finally -- the backing for Luke's quilt.

Spider-web quilt in progress.

Year's ago (kind of a theme with my quilting) I saw a spider-web quilt at a quilt show in Lake County, Florida. Always wanted to make one, but never did. Then, I saw Marit's spider-web blocks and her tutorial, which includes a link to Bonnie's tutorial and decided that now was the time to give it a try. (Also, I was still avoiding making the back for Luke's quilt). I used paper like Bonnie and shortened my stitch length to reduce the chances of the stitching coming out when I removed the paper.

I squared up my blocks after stitching them together because they weren't as uniform as this anal-retentive quilter would like. I figured my blocks needed to be squared to 11 inches. I kept the 45-degree line of the ruler along a diagonal seam line, the midpoint of the finished size (5.5 inches) on the ruler at the intersection of the seams, and the 11-inch ruler marks on the seams at the corners.

To reduce bulk in the center, I pulled the seams in opposite directions so that I could fan them out, making a tiny four-patch and letting the seam lie flatter.

I used a bunch of strips that had been given to me years ago (I told you this was a theme in my quilting) by a quilt shop owner who didn't want them because they weren't her colors and she thought I'd be able to figure out something to do with them. I don't know where she got them. This was before jelly rolls, and these strips were not cut to a uniform width, which is just fine for the spider-web blocks.

I had some strips leftover, but had to supplement with two other fabrics from my stash to nearly complete the piano-keys border. There wasn't enough of the black polka-dot for the cornerstones so I used plain black and plan to embroider (or quilt) spider webs in bright pink and orange thread.

This quilt and a copy of Charlotte's Web will make a nice present for a certain little girl. I had bought some fabric for her, but couldn't figure out what pattern to use. Still don't know what to do with that fabric, but I'm sure years from now I'll figure it out.

Completed spider-web quilt top. 44-inches square.

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