…another project crossed off…
It’s interesting how completely my mindset around finishing a project has changed over the last two years. Once upon a time, in The Before, binding was my least favourite part of quilting. Even knowing a finish was in sight, and that it actually wasn’t that bad of a job, I would put it off as long as I could. Even at the time, I knew 100% it was self-sabotaging overthinking. There was very rarely a logical reason why I couldn’t do the binding straight away. Even knowing it was all in my head, it didn’t make it any easier to make myself do it though.
Then all the everything happened, and I became a person who Finished Things. The week before Mother’s Day, I prepped my binding strips, and got them attached. Then, in an echo of Rachys Past, I put it aside. Not because I didn’t want to do it; in fact, I spent most of the week itching to pick it up and just get started. But Mothers Day was coming, and with it, the promise of an afternoon on the couch with nothing to do but to please myself. A far cry from my former procrastination, this binding was being saved as a special treat. To curl up under an almost finished quilt, a hot tea beside me, a silent house while the husband took the kids to help him with the chores, and to slowly stitch away; what more could a crafty mama want?
I didn’t quite get it finished, but the following night, with a few episodes of Bones to keep me company, I powered around the last two corners. By 9.30pm, I had it finished, folded, and photographed, dropping into the chat with a spectacular splash and multiple swear words* in tow. (*the worst kind of F word – FINISH)
I am so so glad I decided to add asymmetrical sashing, rather than make up extra blocks to create the grid suggested in the original pattern. I used two different Alison Glass bundles (Hopscotch & Sun Print Luminance), paired with a plain white homespun, which made for an easy rainbow effect. I had originally planned on a grey polka dot for the binding, but when I took it to the fabric shop and auditioned options, I ended up deciding on a warm navy tone-on-tone. I think it makes the rainbow pop better than the grey would have, but is still neutral enough that it works with the range of colours in the quilt.
I had originally planned to hand quilt the whole thing, but once I had it sandwiched, that didn’t feel like a good fit. If I was going to machine quilt it, a grid seemed the obvious starting point for such a geometric quilt, but I was worried that would reduce the impact of the crosses. I spent some time on Pinterest, surfing through different options for free motion quilting, but the more I looked at all-over designs, the less I wanted that either. Something I particularly loved about my Vintage Modern BOM quilt, was the range of quilting designs. Something like that could work here, I decided.
I settled on “organic geometric” as my overarching plan. The crosses would have a fan shape, each starting in a different corner, and the background would be lines across the side direction. I didn’t mark anything, just freehanded, though I did use a walking foot for the straight lines. The walking foot gave me a neat line, but the lack of marking meant it wandering gently across the quilt – exactly the effect I was going for. The fan shapes I freehanded with a fmq foot. One big change with this quilt was I finally took the plunge and bought a quilting extension table for my sewing machine, and oh my GOSH. How have I gone this long without one? My arms and shoulders were very thankful!
It was so nice to scratch my quilting itch with this project. Being in a small space, it can be tricky to do bigger projects, but this one worked well in the compact space. I could cut everything at once. I could chain piece. Each step I would pack up my progress into sorted and labelled ziplock bags. Even at the layout stage, I broke it down into sections, and packed it back into bags. With the help of a labelled photo of the main layout, I could work on assembling a section at a time, without needing the whole quilt laid out until right at the end when I joined all the sections together.
Is it easy making a quilt in a tiny house, when the quilt takes up the whole floor? Not really. Was it worth it to pick a design that could be worked up in sections and stages? Absolutely. I so very enjoyed being back in a quilting frame of mind! I can’t wait for our new house to be built and have space to quilt more consistently (I especially want to get started on some glory box items for my children’s future families!), but for now, this has filled that need, and my crafty mojo is happy to be turned back in the direction of smaller handwork projects. All about the swings and roundabouts when it comes to tiny house life!