Monday, January 23, 2012

The Kaffe Fassett quilt progresses ....

some of the fabrics I'm using in the Amateur Actresses' quilt

So I was awake early this morning, and by 5.02am I was at the sewing machine. Is that crazy?

I've been making excellent progress on the Kaffe Fassett baby quilt for the Amateur Actress, you see, and sometimes when everything is going really well and the colours are wonderfull and I feel my workmanship is is good, I get the urge to craft as much as possible. It's being on a roll, I guess.

I want this quilt to be really good. Really, really good. It's her first child and a much-anticipated baby, and I want to give her a fabulous present to say well done.

So I've taken lots of care selecting the fabrics, and I was very uptight about cutting out squares that were exactly six inches on each side, and I laid out the patches four or five different ways until I got the right combination of patterns and colours. Then I pinned. Readers, I pinned a lot.

I sewed the strips together with more patience than usual, and I did an endless amount of pressing all the seams in one direction.

I even went to the extent of buying the really nice bamboo cotton wadding for the centre of the quilt sandwich. Normally I just use the polyfil wadding - it's good and puffy and feels lovely - but it's a horror to work with. I always find the fabric bunches up oddly when I'm actually quilting it, and it pulls the nice straight lines out of whack.

I did not want to give the Amateur Actress an out of whack quilt that looked like I'd thrown it together. So I bought the good wadding instead.

Last night I laid it all out on the floor, and accompanied by a number of very helpful pussins, started assembling the quilt sandwich. Backing fabric on the floor first. Smooth it all out. Then bamboo wadding on top of that. Smooth it all out. Pin. A lot. Cut out bamboo wadding with a bit of room around the edges. Then ever-so-gently lay the quilt top on top of everything while holding Grimth at bay with elbow.

It was a bit challenging, as the quilt top is EXACTLY the width of the backing fabric I'm using (Amy Butler's flannel from the Love collection) and of course I'd cut the bamboo wadding a bit wider for safety's sake, so I had to somehow magically see through the wadding and ensure the edges of the backing and top were exactly together.

There was no room for error. Everything had to be perfectly aligned. Per-fect-ly. Let me just say this: four pins per six-inch square - one on every side, to hold everything exactly in place. It was the quilty equivalent of  one of those cages they put people's heads in when they've had brain surgery. (hm, have I drawn too long an analogical bow there?).

Anyway, as I put the last pin into place and stood up to stretch my aching back, the clock struck ten and it was time to go to bed.

When I woke up this morning I was all full of anticipation at actually doing the quilting part - so there I was, at 5.02am, stitching in the ditch.

And can I just say, that two strips in, things are looking very good indeed .....


Isabella Golightly said...

Um, got basting spray? First time quilt for me was almost exactly as described except I used basting spray & worked quickly on each half to get them aligned. Admittedly I did not have to worry so much about getting the sizes to match, I had so much backing over I'm still using it to make pouches. Looking nice!

Jennie said...

I could tell that story wasn't going to be one that ended "NO!!!! Why do things always go so wrong??!!" Keep up the careful work!