Finished! – Oliver’s Super Nine.

Oliver’s quilt was finished just in time for me to wrap it before we went to my sister’s for christmas day breakfast.  It is one of my goals to get projects finished, and finished on time.  My mother, although a talented seamstress, was either always rushing to get projects finished, or never finishing them at all.  I think this is one of the things that put me off sewing for such a long time; finishing a project seemed almost impossible to me!  But, guess what?  Completing a project isn’t that difficult, as long as I remember, all together now, that finished is better than perfect.

Oliver’s quilt certainly isn’t perfect, but I do like the way it has turned out.  There were some surprises during it’s construction, but, hey, it wouldn’t do if everything ran smoothly.  The batting, which I got from the local crafty type shop, shrank more than my expected 5%. It was nice batting to work with though, dense with not very high loft. I would use it again, keeping it’s shrinkage in mind.
To construct the quilt, I used this ‘quilt as you go’ method from Maureen Cracknell.  (That’s a link to her blog, btw, which I love.  Her use of colour is just delicious.  Drop by and have a read.)  I’ve never done any quilt as you go before, and there are some things I would do differently. Rookie mistakes I’m sure. The first mistake I made was that my quilting wasn’t evenly spaced on each block. (This seems such an obvious error now, I can’t believe I didn’t take it into consideration. duh.) This resulted in the blocks looking different and having a different sort of ‘pull’ on them. This method calls for the back to be attached after the quilting is done and the blocks are joined, which I think is an inherently good idea. However, the large amount this particular batting shrunk meant that the backing turned out much ‘baggier’ than I would have liked. Maybe next time, if I’m using this batting, I will try shrinking the top and batting sandwich before attaching the back. That way, I can have the crinkling and a smooth back. Despite these problems, I think Maureen’s method is a good one, and I will use it again. I’m planning to use it to practice free motion quilting, as I can use manoeuvrable blocks, rather than attempting to manhandle a whole quilt top right off the bat. Also, this way, I am not risking wrecking an entire, basted quilt top and all the time invested in it. If I am not happy with a block, well, it’s only one block.
After a couple of washes, it was lovely a soft, and I hope Ceri and Oliver get lots of cuddle time with it!

Finished!

red scatter squares

Red Scatter Squares is finished! Well, apart from a run through the washing machine and the tumble dryer. There will be some shrinkage, which is fine, but I am slightly worried. I think I should have washed it before I put the binding on. What way round do people normally do it? :-/ I want the soft, crinkly antique look, but I don’t want to sacrifice crisp edges and corners to get it. It’s too late for this one, but next time I think I’ll wash first. Apart from that, I’m pretty pleased with it. It’s not perfect, but I improved a lot and learned a lot through making it. Besides, finished is better than perfect anyway. Here’s the back:

Red scatter squares reverseI didn’t want a plain backing, but I’m not ready to do a pieced back, although I love the way they look. This quilt is about 45 inches square (final measurements when it comes out of the drier!) and is destined to be a gift for my friend Carole’s little girl, who is due any day now. I like the distribution of colour, and I think I will try this again with a braver palette. I’ve been playing around with building palettes lately, it’s great fun and a fine way to waste time, so I’ve got a couple of ideas.

Next week, I have to get my sewing room in order. At the moment, it is more of an office I set my sewing machine up in, but I’m going to change it round to more sewing space first and office second. There was a catalyst for the rearrangement, but I’m keeping it a secret for a little bit longer. What’s your sewing space like?

Update: The quilt came out of the dryer just fine. The binding is nicely crinkled, but it isn’t distorting the quilt any! 🙂

Have a great day!

P.S. Comments are always welcome. 😀