Speaking of Quilt Number 2....

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Posted on : 3/07/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In :

In another series of updates, we bring my faithful 2.3 readers....and 59 spam-linkers...the story of my very first quilt.  Brought to you via my personal way-back machine, a story from 2007.

Speaking of Quilt Number 2....


....did I mention Quilt Number 1.

My beloved bride. She's number one in my book. So she ended up being number one as far as quilting goes as well. The following photos are of my very first quilt made for the very first person in my life.





As always, click to see a larger view.

This is a very large quilt. There are [42] panels in it. Plus I have some spares as well. Never let it be said that I don't start out to meet a large challenge.

The pattern is called log cabin. It is a very easy pattern to follow. In fact, Eleanor Burns has made a career out of writing books and conducting seminars teaching people how to use this pattern [and several others] to make a lot of very different looking quilts. All of the stitching is done on a common sewing machine.

I went a little large because I'm about six feet tall. I have a problem with blankets that aren't long enough to go over the end of the bed. As a result, my feet stick out from time to time. This isn't exactly what one would call a desirable condition in the middle of winter or when the dogs think my feet need a midnight cleaning.

The design is kind of interesting. Like many folks, we are fond of Old Glory. And while we don't necessarily think much of wearing the National Ensign as an article of clothing, we do like the way the colors fit together. And as you can see, we added the yellow border which is inspired by the blue star flags flown by families with people serving in the American military on active duty.

The red and the blue in the quilt aren't anything special. The red was something I saw and liked because it is a heavier material. The blue is a stock quilters cotton.

The real story is in the white.

Everyone knows that the white stars are supposed to be on the blue field. There are many different types of patriotic materials that use white stars on a blue field. It just isn't that interesting for a new creative endeavor.

While shopping last fall, I ran across this white satin material that had stars as a part of the weaving pattern. The material was located in among the bridal materials, so I didn't think much about availability. We bought a couple of yards and set it aside.

I thought I had plenty of material when I started working on this quilt. Along about the time when I was almost halfway done making the squares I discovered that I hadn't really gotten enough of the blue material. We took a sample back to the store and eventually found the exact same color and material.

It helps that quilting has gotten popular enough to justify its own section at the local craft store. It also helps that we were looking for a flat blue and not some patterned material.

Shortly thereafter I discovered that I was a bit short on the white satin material. So we made another trip to the store with a sample in hand only to learn that the material with the star pattern should have been with the holiday materials and not with the bridal materials. The holiday in question being All Hallow's Eve. This being late January, it was out of stock.

After a ride home sitting in silent disappointment, I did some ciphering and found that I did have enough of the white satin to finish [44] squares. I had been shooting for [48] squares so that I would have some spares.

Working with satin was a bit of a trick. The material is slick so it likes to slide around while you are cutting it. And once it is cut, the edges fray with wild abandon.

I solved the sliding problem by purchasing a couple of clamps down at the local hardware store. The clamps are used to secure the straight edge and material onto my table so that the material can't move.

The fraying problem was a little tougher. One of my co-workers quilts and she is constantly reminding me that this is a hobby for guys precisely because of all the math and problem solving skills required to make a good quilt.

My solution to the fraying problem was to take some white muslin material and sew it onto the back of the white satin material. As a result, the muslin will take the load when the quilt stretches hopefully leaving the satin alone so that it won't fray.

I still have to finish quilting all the layers together, but it is mostly done. I'll have it finished in time for the snow to fly. My beloved bride asked to have a fleece lining along with the usual batting in the middle.

Let's just say that she won't be cold this winter.

A post script, the satin material really was a bad choice.  The fraying has continued.  I took the quilt to an area quilter and had it sewn more tightly.  This has slowed the damage considerably. I may have think of another pattern for her in the future.

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