Tag Archives: quilt sashing



Hi! Remember me? I blog here. It’s almost halfway through June and for those of you out there with kids, this is a CRAZY month for school! I have a preschooler who’s about to graduate to Kindergarten and even the preschool is hoppin’ with stuff to do. Every once in a while I’ll hear Bronwen singing a song to herself, under her breath, and when I ask what she’s singing, she says “mommy, it’s for school!” Not to mention all the stuff on the calendar that means alotting time on this day or that day for family BBQs and graduation day.

Talk about tired!

Talk about tired!

So I’ve been busy with that and also finishing the Dr. Who quilt. My friend Amanda has been waiting patiently for it and I’m in the home stretch to hand it over. It was one of the most advanced projects I’ve ever taken on–everything was paper foundation pieced, some of the sub-units had 50 pieces!! It was quite the exercise in patience. But at least I got all 20 blocks done and have completed the assembly.


I love this quilt as you go method. I can more easily quilt each block in my machine and then assemble the top with little sashing strips. I sewed the front and backs with my walking foot and then sewed the front together by hand. I had a classic tv marathon while doing this–it was definitely Columbo time after being relegated to my sewing room for a month.

Time to go mobile

Time to go mobile

So I rolled up each row like cords of wood and took my show on the road…to the family room, anyway. Once I got each block sewn together and then each row, it was time for a border treatment that I’ve been dying to try! And I must say, for a first time effort, I think it came out pretty badass. I made a big border with two narrow strips of the same navy fabric that predominates the quilt and one wide white strip.

bare naked border

bare naked border

I took a tip from a Cindy Needham class and she said to ditch everything before quilting. I must say, I’ve not heard this bit of advice before, but I thought what the heck? It’s only a few long, straight seams down the border. So I did. Then she said to work your design from the big stuff to the small details. For me, that began with quilting the navy strips with these squares. The next step will be the feather structure.

A note about thread:

You know, I wondered for ages what everyone was talking about when they praised Aurifil thread. So I bought a spool of green 50 weight Aurifil thread from my quilt shop. It was expensive and they only carry a very select few colours. They carry lots of Sulky, YLR and Gutermann. I use those a lot–Sulky and YLR for the more novelty stuff or quilting, and Gutermann for piecing. So anyway I tried my green Aurifil in the bobbin and on top to piece something (I don’t remember what). And the jamming and breaking was absolutely crazy-making, as my mother in law would say. So I put the spool on my rack and would stare at it longingly. “Why won’t you sew? You’re such a pretty colour!”

So on a whim and taking a risk, I wanted green feathers on my border treatment for this quilt. I used lots of variegated polyester thread to quilt the blocks out and wanted the border to be just as awesome.


I wanted to take the opportunity to make a truly arresting border for this quilt as I haven’t really had much artistic license in making it because the patterns were all very specific. I was always of the belief that quilt borders were kinda like backs–just there to make the quilt larger. But not anymore!

I figured out what would make the Aurifil work in my machine, too, by the way.  It works only if I use Gutermann in the bobbin and the Aurifil through the needle. Weird, I know. But at least I will get use out of this Gucci thread that I likely won’t buy again. Here’s the Aurifil feathers:


Along the navy strips I used an ivory Gutermann to do scribbling and cross hatching. The feathers were a blast! I used the same green thread to paint in the background. I found that it made the feathers stand out much more than if I’d left the background alone.


See? It really pops the feathers out, which I figure is important, as I took the trouble to quilt them. As a last bit of awesomeness I thought I needed some sparkle, since this was all quilted with cotton thread. So I wanted to use my 14 weight polyester thread and do some bobbin painting.


Check out that backbone on the feathers! I used that 14 weight variegated polyester in my bobbin and used a Sulky metallic thread in my needle. The trick to this technique is flipping your quilt upside down and delivering the heavy thread to the front! Now the spines of my feathers sparkle and I love them!

So here’s another word to the wise should you want to take on a border like this: make sure to stretch and walk around lots. I have serious body aches and sore hands from handing this quilt and all the thread painting. Honestly–it’s in my legs, hands, neck and arms. It’s a bummer. But the borders are almost done and this puppy will be ready for binding!

Have a good one and I’ll be back soon to update you on quilts and life in general.


Sashing sweatshop


I am still working on making all the HSTs I need for my sashing! I think it’s totally worth it but I have been living in the HST hinterland (aka sashing sweatshop) for a week straight!

My quilt top is fully assembled with two borders now. 🙂 But it needs some more width or it is both too narrow and too short. Whoa is me.

I am likely going to need another 200 HSTs for the last element of piecing before moving on to doing the finishing border. This time I’m going to try something fun–curved corners! It takes bias binding but I think I can handle it. I’ll take pics and post about it when I get to that stage!

I don’t know about you, but I love quilt bindings that are different. It’s cool to do something that lends itself to the design in your piecing rather than do a simple straight edge, straight grain binding. I got a bee in my bonnet about this particular look for this quilt because of all the appliqué and the curved bias strip stems on the flowers. Short of doing a full-out scallop, I thought I’d just go ahead and do it this minimalist way.

I am also lusting after my latest acquisitions–two very different jelly rolls. One is Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille, which is super cute and springy. Then I got a decidedly more masculine jelly roll, Sweet Serenade, by Basic Grey. It’s got more greys, teals, blacks, and some soft neutral strips.

I haven’t really secured any ideas in my head about what to make with them. I was thinking about maybe doing a really cute Irish chain pattern that’s got some curves with Scrumptious, but then I got Sweet Serenade and I’m thinking that would make an awesome and unexpected Irish chain.

I find myself thinking about patterns that are unexpected when paired with modern fabrics instead of the usual traditional stuff.

Here’s a traditional looking stars quilt. I made it decidedly modern by using a charcoal grey Kona solid as the background and an urban jelly roll called Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie.



There’s the very traditional like the double wedding ring. Very beautiful. Nothing wrong with it. But I don’t want my patchwork (or quilting, for that matter) to make the house look like Downton Abbey. I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face in my own home if I did that! I want it to be modern and loads of fun with texture both visually and physically. I have every intention of making this pattern but I have yet to decide how to go about my palette.

That is my CD rack/jumble of saved selvages and jelly roll wraps. It’s one way of going about my palette choice. Each wrap looks neat and has colour ideas on them!

So that’s where I’m at, guys. Lots of piecing and quilting to do!

Have a good week!