Tuesday, October 29, 2013

31 Days - Day 29: Four Sisters

The quilt for today was made in 2005 as a wedding gift for some friends. They got engaged at Christmas and married in February; it was going to be a push to get a quilt done, but I really wanted to give them one.

So, I turned to the master of quick quilts, the Quilt-In-A-Day maven, Eleanor Burns. Ms. Burns is known for writing quilt patterns that can be put together, start to finished top, in a single (rather long) day, especially if you are well organized (and perhaps have a friend to press your seams for you). Her patterns use quick piecing and sewing techniques, are written clearly and pretty much guarantee good results.

Well, unless you are me and unnecessarily complicate matters.

You know that line on tests and patterns that says, "Read all directions first"? That means actually read, not just skim. I had glanced through the pattern, then decided it would be just fine to change things up a teeny, tiny bit.

Cindy & Ish's quilt.
Pretty, isn't it? The colors in the center are pulled from the fabric in the border, which I just love. Peachy roses on a lavender background. I had the same fabric in the reverse colorway - lavender flowers on peach - as well.

If you look closely, you will see that the green fabric in the sashing has lines of darker green vines in it. It is what is known as a directional fabric - the vines all ran the length of the fabric. You need to be careful working with them, as in many cases, you don't want the lines in the fabric to be running willy-nilly in all directions in your finished quilt.

But I'd been quilting over twenty years at this point, and knew how to avoid those problems.

Or not.

I started cutting, sewing and cross cutting the units for the blocks, using the methods outlined in the pattern. It wasn't until I was halfway done piecing the sashing and cornerstones (the beige squares at the intersections of the sashing pieces) that I realized that, if I continued with the method in the pattern, half of my sashing pieces would have the vines running the wrong way. I realized as well that I didn't have enough of the fabric left to cut the remaining pieces in the correct direction.

Off to the store to get just a bit more fabric. Fortunately, because the quilt was being made from new fabric and in a hurry, the store still the original bolt from which my first yardage was cut.

In the end, it took me about twice as long to finish the top as it should have, simply because I didn't pay closer attention to the cutting and piecing directions before I chose the fabric.

The quilt is machine quilted, with a stenciled design in the blocks, my free motion roses in the border. The sashing and small squares are quilted in the ditch (on the seam line where the fabrics are joined).

In the end, I loved the quilt and hated to part with it.

From  then on, I've made sure to completely read directions before I even consider what fabric to use.

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