In the pink?

May 28, 2012 at 9:41 am 1 comment

Fabrics for Beyond Beginners full size quilt

When I pick fabric for my version of class quilts, I try to step outside my comfort zone so I’m learning new things too. For the Beyond Beginners quilt, a  floral from my stash provided the inspiration for a bright colour palette of fuchsia, coral, lime, jade green,  bright blue and an unexpected irregular polka dot background [thanks to fabric guru Carol of Serge and Sew Nanaimo.] I ended up with a quilt top that was bright and cheery, although it seemed a little bit dated [sort of 1990-ish]. Not my favourite project, so the top was folded and joined a stack of UFOs awaiting quilting.


I think Mrs. Noah may have used this to pass the time on the ark, but the price was right — about 1/10 of what a new one would cost!

Enter the new-to-me industrial-style quilting machine I’ve recently squeezed into my sewing room. Quilt project #1 on the Consew was a wholecloth crib quilt that allowed me to learn how to guide the machine and control stitch length [well, sort of!]

I chose the Beyond Beginners quilt as project#2 – with somewhat predictable results. There’s a lot more potential for errors with a queen size quilt – especially one that’s assembled on-point, so that it doesn’t really play nicely with the horizontal roller systems. We won’t even discuss my challenges with stitch-in-the-ditch around the borders and blocks. Horizontal and vertical are almost passable: diagonal — not so much! I did get better as I went along, although the stitch-and-flip star points were a huge challenge [I had chosen NOT to trim the extra layers away – wrong choice!] Free motion quilting went much better, although I still struggle to maintain stitch length – I want to swoop around the curves, resulting in longer stitches in a few places.

Closeup of one Star of Hope block and quilting

Biggest challenge? I ran out of backing before I ran out of top…clearly I miscalculated when I loaded the backing. I ended up unrolling the whole thing, trimming off 4″ from the backing on the leading edge of the quilt and sewing it onto the other edge. Oh well…lesson learned! When all the quilting was completed, I must admit I was pretty pleased with myself: it isn’t perfect, but it still looks pretty good.

Pride goes before a fall. Or, in my case, a cup of coffee! The addition of the quilting machine with its huge table means my other machine is a bit crowded on its desk in the corner. Sewing binding on a queen size quilt is challenging in that tight space, but I did okay until the last corner. Just as I finished, I knocked over a full cup of coffee, soaking one side of the quilt.

The original fabric on the right with the dulled-down quilt on the left

I didn’t want the coffee to dry and set into the quilt, so I decided to wash the quilt without sewing the binding down. Cold water, gentle cycle: all seemed fine. A few extra threads, but the coffee seemed to be gone.

Then, I discovered the horrible truth: even though I had prewashed all the fabrics, the fuchsia batik bled all through the quilt: blotches of bright pink everywhere! Stain remover and another wash seemed to get most of the pink out, but I didn’t want to risk having a recurrence, so I chose to use an overdye removing product.

Well….the product dealt with the remaining overdye, but it also attacked all the fuchsia: the batik, and the focus fabric were dulled way down. Fuchsia became dark dusty rose; coral became a yellowy peach.

Oh well…now it looks like something from the 50s instead of something from the 80s: a little bit retro instead of a little bit dated, maybe? I dunno. What do you think?

Beyond Beginners quilt: approximately 84″ x84″

Entry filed under: Kim's Design Wall, The Word in Patchwork. Tags: , , , , , , .

Beyond Beginners From my mailbox: Japan

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dorothy Schreyer  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Still very pretty.


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May 2012

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