A lovely Quilt of Valor was given to me to quilt, and I finished the work on it over the weekend. The design is simple, basically a churn dash with a star center. For each block, you’d make four flying geese units, then place them with some half square triangles, additional bars, and a solid center square. Then the quilt top was sashed to bring it up to the minimum size for a Quilt of Valor.
The backing was a wide back, my favorite to use, but there was a minor problem. The corners were clipped, presumably to keep it from raveling. I have never found this to be effective. High quality fabric doesn’t ravel if washed with the Brilliant Tip method, and cheap fabrics will ravel no matter what you do.
The problem occurs when pinning the back to the leaders. The clipped point cannot be pinned, and therefore hangs loose.
A long view of the pinned backing shows how bad this droop can be. Clamping the sides will help, but this sometimes will produce pleats on the backing.
So, I clamped the sides, added the batting and floated the top. Oh dear, can you see how it is bowing up in the middle and down on the edges? This means the borders are too long, and I will have excess fabric to work in all the way around the quilt.
I chose a star pantograph that I recently received called Blue Star from Urban Elementz. I like the star and the flourishes for a patriotic quilt.
It has a big interlocking design, and here you can see how much it goes up and down from the midline. This will make the quilting much less linear when it is all done. It won’t be obvious where the quilting rows are.
Quilting along, the first couple of passes are done. Each advance of the quilt has to be fussed with a bit more because of the backing and border adjustments.
This is what happens when the borders are too long. For a full explanation, see my post on Borders, Understanding the Why. Most of us know how we should do borders, that post explains what happens when we don’t. All this extra fabric has to be worked in as I go.
Here is the other side, a lot of excess.
Here is one cause, doing bias seams on the border. The added stretch here is exacerbated when the border is added to the top, especially if they are put on without careful measuring.
I steam and starch the borders as I advance the quilt. I use a solution of Best Press and water, diluting the Best Press 50%. This works just as well as full strength and makes the Best Press last twice as long.
I do both sides. Here you can see how much excess there is.
Spray with the solution, then steam using my iron.
It is amazing how well this works. Look how flat now. Next is to stay stitch the edges, then I can do the next row of quilting.
Working well, and the blocks look great with the star pantograph.
All done in just a few hours spread over a couple of days.
It is quilted in white Glide, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.
The quilting rows tessellate so well, that the overall impression is a nicely dense.
It will go back to the committee this week for trimming and binding.
Are you quilting this week? Or working on a project?