There's nothing like a deadline to make me finish a quilt. To be clear, I enjoy finishing quilts. It's just that I can sit and stare at a quilt top for a very long time before committing to how to quilt it, so the finish is often delayed.
|Rosie telling me a quilted quilt would be more comfortable than a mere quilt top|
My new pattern, Rush, needed a cover quilt to be ready for sale when a certain fabric company's catalog goes live. I had to stop waffling and quilt it already! I listened to Rosie and got to work. Here it is, quilted and bound :)
|Rush by Canuck Quilter Designs|
When I first started playing with a chevron shape in EQ8, I built it with flying geese units. That would have worked fine, but would have a lot of points that could be potentially cut off, and I wasn't feeling like taking on that challenge just then, so I let the design sit.
When I was working on the last set of Echo Point placemats, I had an flash of inspiration. Echo point is essentially a chevron. Why couldn't I build the chevrons in the quilt the same way? I had to work out some math to figure out sizes and make sure I wouldn't end up having to cut non-standard measurements but everything fell into place.
Construction went very quickly after that, except for the pause for a sulk when I sewed the sashing to the wrong side of a couple of rows.
|Sashing in the wrong places|
Once I got over my sulk, ripped some seams and sewed it all back together properly, Rosie supervised border measuring.
|Rosie in supervisor mode as I measure a border strip|
I like to lay the border strip directly on the quilt and just mark the length right on the strip. I lay it across the middle, then the top and again at the bottom to make sure there isn't any huge variation, but usually the measurements are close enough (less than 1/4" variation) that I can just use that middle measurement. I then layer the strip over a second border strip, matching one end, and cut both strips at once to the marked length so that I know the borders will be exactly the same length.
|Completed Rush quit top|
This was my design wall for a while. The quilt looked pretty up there for at least a month while I worked on smaller things that didn't need the design wall and I pondered whether I was going to quilt this myself or send it out for quilting.
It would have been faster to send it out, but I was really stuck on thread colour. I didn't want a lighter colour thread showing up across the black background, but I didn't want black thread over the colours either. A medium colour would have been a compromise, not perfect on any of the fabrics. I wasn't up for paying for custom quilting to switch thread in the different areas. OK then, home quilting was the way to go.
|Quilting on my domestic sewing machine|
I quilted straight lines 1" apart in the black background, using my walking foot for the long lines between columns of chevrons and switching to ruler quilting for the short lines between the chevrons. I planned freemotion and ruler quilting for the chevrons, a different design in each color. That didn't happen, as my machine decided it didn't want to sew in a particular direction, interfering with my ability to sew these designs. There may have been some heavy grumbling in the sewing room at this point.
I could work around this machine issue if I reverted to straight lines. Here's the first bit I quilted.
I rather liked the squares, but I was running out of time so I simplified things in the rest of the colours.
This worked just as well, I think. It's less fancy but equally effective at creating texture and highlighting the chevron's shape.
I was limited in my thread colour options, as I didn't have access to the quilt shop (we're a one car family and I didn't have time to taxi husband and daughter to work to keep the car myself). I was surprised I actually had just the right thread colours for most of the chevrons, but red was trickier.
At first glance, I though the one on the right would be the best bet. Just to be sure, I pulled some thread off the spools to audition them that way.
Huh. Look at that. I'm partial to thread that blends with the fabric, so I see texture rather than a line of colour where the quilting is. In that respect, the thread on the left, which absolutely did not look like a good match on the spool, looked like a better choice.
As I stitched I wasn't sure, but now that it's all done, I'm happy enough with my thread choice.
Finish everything off with a bright red binding, mount it on the wall, take a picture, call on my very limited photoshop skills to straighten the picture a bit, and voila, a pattern cover!
Rush is a throw size quilt, though you could easily add more chevrons to enlarge it.
How do you feel about sewing with 45 degree shapes like the ones I used in Rush? I'm working on a tutorial about cutting and sewing these shapes. They are not particularly difficult to work with, but I know some quilters shy away from them. I'd love to know if there are any particular questions I should address, or tips I could share.
If you don't want to miss the tutorial when I post it, watch this blog, sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
The Rush pattern is available as a PDF download in my shop. You can ask for a print version at your favourite quilt shop. Shops, please visit my website for wholesale info or order from Checker Distributor.