Friday, April 8, 2011

Stripes & Solids--the top and back

Just when I thought I would never have the chance to photograph this lovely top and back, we had a sunny evening in Boston and Amy left work early to help me hang them on the fence in the courtyard of my building (definitely a two-person job).

This is the second in my Amish quilts series. It was inspired by a quilt in an excellent book on Amish quilts, Amish Abstractions (you can see my review of it in that link. I'm trying write enough reviews to become a member of Amazon Vine so I'll get free quilt books. So far, I've written two).

Attaching the large borders to the center square in my incredibly small sewing area was difficult, but I persevered and am just so happy with the result. All I did was cut down the middle of several yards of fabric and attach it, so the borders are 22" and the center square is 44", for a grand total of 88" square.

Constructing the back was much more frustrating than piecing the top. As I said in my earlier post about this quilt, I got a little rotary-cutter happy and cut strips from three yards of fabric for the top. Of course, you don't use that much fabric in a 44" square, so I had quite a few leftover strips from which to piece the back.

Sewing them up was a complete nightmare. There are two parts of quilting I don't like: cutting (in general) and sewing long, thin strips. I bought an Accuquilt to deal with the first issue, but the second is unavoidable. So I created a battle plan and plunged in. Twenty 1"x88" strips later, I was finished...but I never wanted to sew a strip again. When we were photographing this yesterday, Amy (unprompted) said it looked hard to sew so many thin strips together. I informed her I was still having flashbacks about it. Luckily, I had had three seasons of Vicar of Dibley to get me through. Someone tell me I'm not the only person besides my grandmother who is obsessed with that show.

I do plan to quilt this on my own machine (gasp) and am actually in the process of looking for a new sewing table right now to make the quilting process easier on myself (in general...not just for this quilt!). I don't know if quilting it myself is crazy or not. Of course, I am considering going back to Laurena's to use her Sweet Sixteen because she has (much) more table space. But it's also free to do it at my own apartment.

I think I want to quilt it with concentric circles. I was planning to do a diagonal grid, which I do enjoy, but I've seen several quilts quilted that way in blogland over the last few weeks, and I'm already starting to get a little tired of the pattern.

I'm in Philly for the weekend doing something very exciting with a special friend of mine! I can't wait to tell you all about it when I return. Happy sewing!


  1. ok I first freaked out thinking you were still in boston!

    those strips look fiddly as hell, but it looks awesome! and I totally vote circles too!

    you are so on your way to free books!

  2. I love the back!!! I might like it even more than the front. I think all of those strips were totally worth it. I can't wait to see how you quilt it.

  3. I love the strips on the back. The front is beautiful, but the back really pops for me. Totally worth it.

  4. Such a great quilt and the strip piecing on the back was totally worth it. I love the sound of circle quilting - it won't be fast or easy on a home machine, but also totally worth it to do it yourself. Good luck!

  5. The stripes on the back were definitely worth the headache - I LOVE them! And no you're not the only person who loves the Vicar of Dibley - my parents do too...of course, they're 78....