Quilting and the Wave Stitch

I finally finished my Tossed Nine-Patch quilt, started at the Quilt Expo‘s Crazy For Quilting class taught by “the two Cathies,” Stachowicz and Gandy. You know, the “quilt in a day” that has taken me a little over a month…

finished, bound quilt

I only ran into one real glitch, and it’s my own stupid fault. The pattern sheet says 9 Nine-Patch blocks is a wall hanging, 12 Nine-Patch blocks is a lap quilt. I found that I had plenty enough (and more) 5-inch squares to make the lap quilt (96 squares), so I went ahead with it. Aargh, I later recalled that in class, one of the Cathies told us “Make 9 blocks!” The moment of recall came at the same time I discovered that I didn’t have enough fabric strips in the kit to make the inner border. I added one strip of semi-coordinating fabric remnant from my own stash to stretch the border. That is my non-standard addition to this quilt that makes it not a cookie-cutter commercial item. All of it but that is from the “Modernology” collection of Art Gallery fabrics.

the innermost part of the brown floral strip is not like the others

This blog is all about using remnants, so a project of all designer fabrics, planned and purchased, is not really my aim. I ended up with the coordinating art gallery fabrics because they were pre-packaged in a kit I purchased with the Expo class. I understand how the commercial quilters must go with designer, matchy-matchy fabrics because interdependence on notions, fabric and machines along with imagination makes the whole sewing business world go round. The real aim of my blog and work is to use up fabric that I already own or that I can get cheap, as a remnant.

I did have enough fabric in the kit for the outer border–go figure! But I didn’t get fabric in the kit to use for the backing or the binding. I pondered the choices I had in my stash, and discussed it with DH. Should I try to go with the art gallery fabric for the back and binding, or just use any old fabric, maybe even a solid color? One, I discovered there are no stores within a million miles of me that stock art gallery fabrics, and two, if I buy that fabric from an online venue, it’s going to add about $50 to the cost of this little lap quilt. I (we) decided to spring for the matching fabric just this once, and I ordered it from Hawthorne Threads. It came in the mail, like, immediately.

Now the wave-stitched sashing along the inner border was not part of the Eleanor Burns Tossed Nine-Patch pattern. It was an added little perk that showed what a Babylock serger can do, and BTW Babylock sponsored this particular Crazy About Quilting workshop at the Expo. Oh, what a beautiful little accent that wave stitching provided. One would draw a conclusion that to achieve this lovely effect, one would have to shell out $2500 for the machine that produces it. However, a recent blog entry from Sew Fun! the Husqvarna Viking blog, mentioned a wavy-edge serging technique that I can try. May not be the exact same wave but still a cute accent. After a lot of nail-biting and soul-searching, I decided to machine quilt it in the stipple motif. I can’t say I’m enthralled with the results, but it’s ok. I used more cotton thread for the machine quilting than I ever imagined. I had to wind about 10 bobbins.

Wave-stitched sashing (chartreuse fabric with turquoise stitching)

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This is the first quilt like this I’ve ever done. It is about 62″ by 48,” lap quilt size. Now I can say that I like the fabrics together, I like the randomness of the tossed blocks, and I like that IT IS FINISHED!

just before binding

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