07 January, 2018

The Gift That Went Missing

Wonder clips holding binding in place. While it was foggy outside, it wasn't raining on this sunday for a photo shoot. I work during daylight hours, so this was my opportunity to get the whole quilt photographed.

 I made a quilt for my son and his girlfriend. A huge gingham style flannel throw.

A while back, he sent me a photo of their living room and the used rug his girlfriend had just bought on ebay.
A few days later, I saw my inspiration quilt over at SOTAK's site and I started planning a quilt.

What could go wrong?

Other than the fact that I don't quilt. ahem.

I carefully worked out the yardage and then grabbed Pencil Girl for a Fabric Depot visit.
We found the gingham colors of black, grey and white right away. The backing fabric in a deep red was easily located as well.
But then it took an hour and a half to decide on the binding fabric.
(this is number one of my reasons for why I don't quilt - endless fabric decisions that take hours).

Pencil Girl saved me by reminding me there isn't an even amount of squares of each color. We had to find an actual gingham and pen out a mini-map of the squares.

Then I washed  my flannels - cuz they shrink. Even though they were quilter's flannels, they still shrunk and not in the same way.

I cut my first squares with no problem. The 2nd fabric wasn't long enough to yield the same squares because the stupid fabric shrunk widthwise instead of lengthwise.

I left plenty of time for this quilt . I started it in October for a christmas finish knowing how busy I am during the holiday season at work.

This super easy large-block quilt required way too many overnight decisions. I decided to piece my squares on the 2nd and 3rd colors to get the right amount instead of going back to the store and hoping they still had the same fabrics.

It's flannel and no one would notice.

Uhhh...did I mention that flannel stretches? Each time I handled it, or ironed the seams flat, it stretched. It was a fun party attempting to get my squares to line up as I sewed the rows together.

 I wanted to add a small gingham motif to the backing to break it up but because of the afore-mentioned piecing of the squares, I barely had enough scraps to create a smallish motif.

I thought I had pieced my backing to the same size as the front. 70 inches x 70 inches across for a square quilt. But I didn't.

More overnight decisions. It's coming on Thanksgiving and I need to be further along on this project.
I decided a square throw is over-rated and decided to lop off one column of the gingham. Each square is 10" wide. So now my throw will be 60" wide x 70" tall. Better all around.

I finally get my quilt sandwich together and because of the stretching I encountered while piecing, I decide to hand-quilt this puppy. Machine quilting would probably result in wonky and wrinkly on the other side.

The hand-quilting went very well - probably the only thing in this darn quilt that did. I was contemplating stitching on both sides of the seams but it's flannel and there's enough nap to hold the fabric layers stable.    And the christmas time-crunch.

 I used a sashiko stitch which is really just a running stitch but a tad more refined.
For instance, in sashiko, you don't meet at intersections. There's a little space left in the middle, by design.

 For the binding, I used pillow ticking fabric to recreate the stripe
This fabric behaved as expected.

I hand-stitched the binding down. I zig-zagged my edges of the quilt to compress the layers.  I machine-sewed one side of the binding down and then folded it over to hand-stitch and finish.

And got it finished in time to ship to ds and girlfriend to arrive before christmas. Which  the tracking showed it did.

But it didn't.
Stay tuned for part two of why I don't quilt.


  1. It is hard for me to believe that you don’t quilt when you made such a beautiful quilt! Your sashiko stitch was a nice touch! It shows how much care you put into your handmade gift!

  2. OH NO! A teaser ending ... my fingers are crossed that the ending will include only a delay, and not something scarier! Despite it's humble and sometimes inauspicious process, the quilt is just gorgeous, and I'm sure the kids will/do love it. I especially love the bit of patchwork incorporated into the backing - nice design decision to include with a pieced backing - it WAS a design decision, I'm sure!

    1. Flannel is only 44" wide (before shrinkage). I needed a 70" x 70" piece. Yes to piecing it big enough.

  3. Love how it turned out. And that backing is fabulous, great idea !!!

  4. Bravo on making such a wonderful gift for your son and his gf! They will treasure it forever. Can't wait to hear what happened..
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Oh, I do hope your quilt finally reached its destination. Despite all the troubles you had, it turned out great in the end. The Sashiko finishes it perfectly!

  6. You just explained perfectly all the troubles that I also encountered trying to quilt. It looks like yo did a great job! Sure hope it didn't get lost in the mail!

  7. It’s beautiful - and thanks fir the sashiko lesson, I love the intersections x


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