Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Charley Harper Resolution

I blogged about The Charley Harper Conundrum a few weeks ago.  I was having difficulty deciding what to do with the back of the quilt.  I ended up deciding to run with the interlocking design because I love how complimentary it is to the front.  Both do a great job featuring the fabrics with a nice, fresh white background, and both designs are pretty modern.  I have to laugh at myself, though.  This is only my second quilt, and I decide to attempt a pretty difficult pattern for the piecing.  That pretty much sums me up: I'll try something at a beginner level, then skip straight to expert!

The plan
I put together each section individually, then attached the smaller sections into larger blocks (ie: a1 and a2 attached, b1, b2, b3 attached).  Then I attached the larger blocks together, and sewed some long strips of white onto the sides and top to make it a more even frame all around.  It took a little fiddling to make sure everything lined up properly, and I definitely had to take apart and restitch some sections.  But the attention to detail paid off, because it all came together nicely.

Completed backing
My next step was to make a quilt sandwich of the front, batting, and back.  Only problem was that I didn't have a large enough single piece of batting to use.  I had a few large scraps left over from Briar Rose's quilt that would combine to make a big enough piece, so I decided to try to attach them together.  I used a wide zig-zag stitch and ran it through my machine, holding the edges right beside each other with no overlap.  It came together perfectly, and saved me a trip to the fabric store!  Waste not, want not!
Don't overlap at all, just press the edged close together
You can barely tell this is made from scraps!
I laid everything out on my dining room floor and basted with safety pins.

Then percolated with the decision of what kind of quilting design to use.  In the end, I did some free motion quilting of (relatively) straight lines with a variety of sizes of circles coming off the line at random spacing and intervals.   I used the super precise method of measuring with my four fingers to determine the spacing between the lines.  I wanted something that looked organic, and I am very happy with how it turned out.

After squaring off the quilt and trimming the excess back/batting fabric, I made a double fold binding with the brown fabric I had originally bought to do the backing.  The colour matches some of the leaves in the Charley Harper prints.  I like to hand stitch my binding, I think it looks nicer than a machine binding, and it went very quickly now that I have the hang of it.  Just two evenings instead of a week and half for the last quilt!  I finished it up last night and tested it out- it is very snuggly, perfect for getting cozy in front of a good movie.  This morning, I took advantage of a nice sunny day and headed into my backyard with the quilt to have a little photo shoot.  Please bear with me- I just couldn't get enough pictures of this one!  

And some detail shots.

And because you can't leave a quilt unattended for even a minute....

Annyong loves quilted blankies
And last but not least, my favourite element of the quilt: I included a piece of the selvedge in my piecing, and I absolutely adore how it looks.  

This quilt has been a challenge, but reinforces for me that anything is possible if you just give it a try.  I was a little intimidated by my ambitions, but I figured it doesn't hurt to make the attempt.  I am so glad I aimed for the stars on this one, because I feel so fabulous that it was my hand that made this beauty.  Do you ever have a moment where you look at something you have made and think "I can't believe I did that!"?

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