Thursday, 24 October 2013

On Nanny's Lap

My Winter's Lane quilt is finished, it is a lap quilt for my mum so I've called this 'On Nanny's Lap'.   Despite some quilting bloopers, I love how it turned out and it's perfect for mum to use on her lap while reading in her special chair.  It is sparsely quilted, with a quasi-random grid of rectangles and squares.




The design is my own (front and back).  I took a charm pack of Winter's Lane, came up with a block layout that I liked, framed each block in a beige-grey then used a cream homespun for sashing and borders. The binding is from Ro Gregg's Lady in Red collection.



This is my first person sized completed quilt (Ruby's quilt is waiting patiently for me to piece a back for it). Here's what I learnt with this quilt:

  • It's great having a wall big enough to layout out your design but Blu tack isn't the best option for sticking blocks on your wall - pulling the blocks off repeatedly pulled some of the patches out of shape.
  • When quilting, it's actually rather tricky to sew perfectly straight with a walking foot.  A nano-second of inattention leads to wonky stitching.  
  • Inspired by the success of my seam allowance guide, I used masking tape as my straight line quilting guide.  This worked fine so long as I didn't actually sew on the masking tape, because then it was tricky to remove all the bits that get left stuck under the stitching.
  • When quilting, guide all three layers of the quilt together, don't nudge just the top layer under the needle when trying to stay straight - otherwise this happens on the back of the quilt:

  • When using a walking foot, there seems to be an optimum speed - its neither too fast nor too slow but probably closer to too slow.  Annoying, the right speed for you and your machine is something you'll just have to figure out.
  • Some quilters trim the back and batting before sewing the binding on, and some trim it after sewing the first side of the binding on.  Presumably there's pros and cons of each.
  • Joining the start and end of your binding using a diagonal seam is soooo much trickier than tutorials make it out to be, especially if it's past your bedtime when you are trying to do it.  I unpicked it 6 times and just could not figure out how on earth my binding kept ended up twisted once joined.  So pleased with myself when I got it right on the 7th try - the photo I've pinned here was the key to getting it right, so thank you so much Red Pepper Quilts!
  • While I was piecing the back I had a vision for how to quilt it - so when I was basting it I kept that vision in mind.  Turns out that vision was really just a billboard highlighting my inexperience because it would have meant turning the quilt 90 degrees many, many, many times.  So I unpicked a whole lot of quilting, while surreptitiously glancing over my shoulder worried the quilting police were heading my way - I mean, is that the done thing?  Do people unpick their quilting?  My vision also presented many questions for which I didn't know the answers, and was too lazy far too busy to bother surfing the net to find.  Questions such as - how do you stop and start quilting if you're not just going from one side to the other?  Do I backstitch?  I still don't know the answers to those questions.
Thanks for reading if you're still with me after all those bullet points!

Linking up to:
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Thursday Threads at 627Handworks
Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side
TGIFF hosted this week at Quilter in the Closet

23 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! I know your Mum is just going to love it! Who wouldn't?!!!
    I tie and bury the knots when starting and stopping quilting that is not off the edge of a quilt. And last week I bought a flannel backed vinyl table cloth to use as a design wall. The blocks stick to the flannel - just like magic! Congrats on a very beautiful finish... with 62 days left to spare before Christmas!

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  2. Very nice! I'm making a quilt with a charm pack of Winter's Lane, also. My blocks are similarly pieced. I just have to put the whole thing together, etc. Life is getting in the way, though!

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  3. I read every word! Love that you take the time to do this. I saw a video on youtube I think that suggested that one way to start and stop is to lower your stitch length waaaay down and take a few tiny stitches. I've been doing that but I hesitate to give it my full endorsement because I haven't repeatedly washed those quilts yet! So no guarantees. :)

    I ALWAYS get my stupid last part of binding twisted, even if I use a straight rather than diagonal seam.

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    1. I was tearing my hair out (to put it mildly), thanks for the tip about very small stitch length, something for me to try.

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  4. Oh it turned out beautifully! Sounds like quite a learning curve but worth it in the end!

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  5. P.S. Check out this tutorial on binding. This is how I join the start/ends on my bindings and it's soooo easy!!

    http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/how-to-bind-quilt-and-other-quilty.html

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  6. Your quilt is beautiful! I love the back too.

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  7. Love the back! Great colors!

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  8. Beautiful! I love this fabric line and your quilt showcases it wonderfully.

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  9. What a great job you've done on this quilt. I'm sure it will be well loved and appreciated. I liked seeing your list of things learned....a good thing to do regardless of how long you've been a quilter or sewer. Always keep learning, challenging yourself and improving.

    I am visiting from Thursday Threads and would love to have you stop by and see my 1930's Fabrics and Quilts. Just click on the signature link below...hope to see you there.  Your comments are 'Sew' Welcomed!

    Sue CollectInTexas Gal

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  10. What a fabulous finish. Congrats. I absolutely love Winter's Lane and that's a great design to showcase it.
    I think every quilt is a learning experience, especially the early ones and you have learnt so much. I have unpicked my quilting, and will always do so if I'm not happy. Others may never notice but it would always annoy me if I didn't like it.
    To stop and start quilting mid quilt I use the lock stitch my machien has. The manual maintains I can just trim off the threads but I still just bury them in the batting. If I'm using my older machine which doesn't have a lock stitch then I just knot them and bury them

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    1. Thank you for that tip, I'm shopping around for a new machine at the moment and will be on the lookout for a lock stitch - I haven't heard of it before so you mentioning it is a big help to me! Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.

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  11. Your quilt is so pretty, and I love the backing as much as the front!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  12. What a beautiful design. The white is just what this quilt needed. It is obviously a VERY special quilt.

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  13. it's lovely! Thanks for keeping it real :-) And, yes, I have unpicked quilting too. It was a total pain, but it would have been a million times more annoying if I had left it as it was!

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  14. Congratulations on the design and finish of this lovely quilt! I am sure it will be well loved and used....and that really is the most important thing. I too am learning on every project; I accept imperfection (to an extent). The diagonal binding thing was tricky at first but now it is straight forward for me. I totally agree with your comment about the difficulty of quilting straight lines! And if you get one line a little wonky, what happens to the next one?! I think FMQ is so much more forgiving! Your quilt is lovely..have fun! (I have a similar post about things I learned on a recent project on my blog.)

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  15. Looks great to me! And I usually get those fabric folds on the front of my quilts if I straight line, must learn to slow down!

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  16. lovely quilt and great advice too.

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  17. Looks lovely! I like your simple layout. It is very effective.

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  18. Gorgeous! I love the back, too. I am terrible for nudging things when I should just leave them alone. I hadn't heard that slower was better for walking feet, though that explains a LOT. Thanks! :-)

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  19. I love the quilt and the simple straight line quilting is perfect for the quilt!

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  20. Have you seen this binding tutorial by Missouri Quilt Company? The way she joins the start and end of changed my life. No jokes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vCWpxBRs20

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