The 18 Month Quilt

Well...it's going to be longer than that too!

A year and a half ago, there was an Enrichment Group started at church to teach us how to quilt. So we were given the supply list and met for the first class. The type of quilt we were to be making is a rail quilt. So I bought my fabric in some fabulous and striking colors and went to the class. Unfortunately, I don't think that the class was planned very well. With only 2 sessions, time was pretty short. There were no reminders given for the 2nd session which was 2 months later and I (and everyone else in the group) forgot to go. End of the class...I don't know who finished their quilts. (Probably no one.)

So my barely started strips of material sat under my bed for 18 months. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to finish the quilt. On Friday, a group of ladies were going to quilt at church so I took my strips and machine. Zip, zip, zip, I finished sewing my strips and slice, slice, slice I cut my squares. But something was bothering my about the size of the squares. But none of the quilting ladies said there was anything wrong with my squares. I took home a pile of squares...and slept in this morning!

Eager to keep up with this project, I took out my squares and started laying them out on the floor as one of the quilters advised me to do. And the thing about my quilt block size that was bothering me...became VERY APPARRENT. Although the seam allowances call for a 1/4 inch seam, I was told to use the edge of my presser foot...which is actually a 3/8 seam. So after I cut my triple rail into 6.5 inch sections...I still did not have a square block. The sides were shorter b/c of the seam allowances. I ironed my squares for a third time and measured each one. Nope. Some were 6 1/8 inch wide and some where 6 1/4 inche wide. What to do!

I called my sister who quilts. But she is the type that "fudges" quilts along. As I was filling her in on my dilemma, I was on her speaker phone. I asked the question, "Do I fudge it or do I scrap it all and start over?" Going on to explain that I am someone who would rather just scrap it and get going again. Jocelyn said, "Fudge, fudge, fudge it." Then her DH, Steve, interjected. "No start over." He went on to say that you won't like it and it'll bother you. (Steve is a woodcrafter...has made fabulous furniture!) My mom said, "Once you start fudging, you'll be fudging all the way!" (My thoughts exactly. But when I spread out the pieces and made the pattern, it looked just amazing with the red and black zigzags!!

I couldn't bare to scrap it all. "Wear it out, Use it up, Make do or Do Without" was an adage I have heard often. So I trimmed down the pieces that were 6.25...and made them 6.25 square. Then I arranged them in pinwheels and sewed them up.

Voila! Now this just might make a great table cover with some sort of thin, thin, thin batting or something. Once I figure out and finish this, I'll be going to the fabric store and picking out similar colors for a full sized blanket! Any quilters out there can give me some pointers.

(Edited to say: This is about a yard square! haha)


Kim said...

Hi Dawn,
You did what most of us would do and that is square up your blocks.. you did an amazing job!! Great looking quilt top. I use warm and natural batting for all my work. Can't wait to see your next project.
Kim in Havasu :)

Susan said...

This does look great...and I have been a fudger on my quilts way too often. But then I am not a good quilter. And when I sewed clothes, and there was a mistake, I was happier to go start all over with new material, rather than rip out. Bad of me, but true. sometimes fudging works....like on your table runner.

Barb Nelson said...

That is fantastic!! What a fabulous pattern you created!! I too, am more of a fudge quilter than anything else, but I do know a bit about batting!! If you want, they are very thin battings you can purchase. Double check with some "real" quilters, but I think you can use a few layers of muslin as batting too.

Jen said...

I love these colors and the design you ended up with. I think it's beautiful and glad to see you didn't just toss it and start over.

Margaret Kane Ward said...

You did a great job making do. I think too often we just give up and pitch it out. Even more, think of the lessons you've not only learned, but that you've taught your kids. I hated it when I was younger, didn't get 100% on a school assignment and was told pedantically that "You'll learn more from your mistakes than what you got right". Looking back from 50+ years that adage is so TRUE. So, great job!!!

Melissa K. said...

This is very pretty! You could also finish it off, put a sleeve on the back for a dowel and hang it on the wall.

Great Grandma Lin said...

love the quilt top, if you use it for a table cloth get a piece of clear plastic and cut it the same size to put over it to protect it so you can use it more than once. great colors and interesting pattern. aunt lin

Anonymous said...

Dawn, this looks fantastic. I am a quilter, too. Looks to me like this would make a wonderful baby quilt if you know anyone who is expecting and decide not to turn it into a table cover. They say red, black and white are the first colors babies respond to, too.

Jenifer VanPelt

QuiltNut Creations said...

love the colors you picked Dawn! good for you for sticking with it.

i should tell you, i started a 60inch square watercolor quilt 8 years ago and every year i say that *this* is the year i'll finish it lol!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

I am proud of you for finishing your quilt. Looks great :) You did just fine squaring up the squares, just what I have done many of times. I don't think anyone makes the exact same size squares. One tip I was given is to use a piece of "mole foam" found in the foot area and find your 1/4" seam allowance and placea piece of the mole foam so that you can use this as a guide for your seam allowance. I use this all the time that way you can sew without too much concentration, just run it along the foam. Hope you understand that. If you want to have a thin batting you can always use flannel. That gives you a nice table runner so you can set things on it without the thickness. Too bad you are not closer to me I could machine quilt it for you on my machine :)

You go girl !