Well … The miracle actually happened.
As of last week, it’s finished! From top to bottom, start to finish, DONE! I can’t believe it myself! There is a teeny tiny amount to do left – weave in the thread ends and attach the label – but I’m counting this quilt as a 2021 finish!
After the previous week’s blitz, I only had the Tree of Life block to do. As we all know, that’s a special block for me, so I did a little extra quilting on it. Do you see the little leaves? I got very excited about that part. In fact, I’m still excited about it! I think it’s a perfect way to finish the block quilting portion of this quilt.
Up next was the sashing. I actually had several ideas about the sashing as I was working on it and had settled on fake cursive or waves. I thought waves would be more fitting, but would take longer. After I finished all the blocks and spread it on the bed to roll it, I realized that the quilting looked very busy because each block had completely different quilting designs. I thought that making the sashing busy too may detract from the blocks, so at the last second I decided to go with a simple X pattern on each strip. I used chalk and a ruler to mark the lines, then free-motion stitched the lines. I learned a couple of lessons about this design. First – I like it for sampler quilts! Very simple and clean looking. Second – 16” blocks are too big to quilt that design with a ruler. The first row didn’t look super straight and I got a similar look using the free-motion foot instead. Plus less cumbersome with no ruler and it went faster. Third – If I want those lines to look super straight and crisp in the future, I can only use the ruler on smaller focal blocks. I wanted to use it on the Amish Barns quilt when I finished it, but we’ll have to see. It may be easier to do the larger blocks if I’m only quilting a lap size. Fighting a queen size quilt through the machine while sewing with a ruler is hard!
With the sashing finished, all I had left was the outer border! This one I had picked out from the moment the quilt was finished and I stuck with it. I used the Taj ruler to put a simple design around the border. It will keep everything stitched down, it didn’t take too much time, and it looks neat and clean. Win win win!
Time to put away the quilting feet and rulers!! Whooo!!! Of course, we’re not quite finished, but OH SO CLOSE. First to trim the quilt. I took this opportunity to also measure the quilt dimensions at this point. When I pulled out the binding the night before, I was terrified that I didn’t have enough fabric to do the binding! Measuring the quilt first told me that I had more than enough to get it on. I may even have a fat eighth left over. And when I got the binding on, I cut off a spare 3 inches. How is that for perfect measurement!!
Binding was finished the night before UFO club. I tossed the quilt on the spare bed, took a picture, and sent everything off for my completion check-mark. I’m planning on weaving in the ends and putting on the label when I’m in Sudbury for a few days in November (more on that another day). My FIL may be dropping in this week, though, so I need to find a good place to hide it in the meantime!!