Posts Tagged friendship braid quilt
You might remember that I asked your advice several times about my Friendship Braid quilt – what colour to do the border when there were so many different colours in the centre, whether I could (or should) use a vintage sheet for the border and possibly the backing and whether or not to use a professional quilting service for the first time.
As usual, I canvassed opinion and then wilfully ignored most of it. I ended up going for a green and white gingham vintage sheet for the border whereas most of you suggested red and, having got your reassurance that I could probably use a sheet for the backing too, changed my mind and went for extra wide quilting cotton.
It was whilst searching for extra wide backing that I came across The Quilt Sandwich who have a wide range of backings in lots of different designs and at reasonable prices. I also found, coincidentally, that they have a longarm quilting machine and offer a quilting service.
It was meant to be.
Fiona operates from The Royal Bridlington Hotel in Yorkshire and was very helpful when I asked for her advice on the particular shade of green for the backing and also for which quilting design to go for on a top with an already busy design.
Once Fiona had received the quilt and could confirm that the shade of green matched those in the quilt I opted for a crosshatch patterned fabric and the quilting design I chose, again with Fiona’s guidance, is called ‘Twine’.
This is how it came back to me after quilting. I wanted to ‘reconnect’ with it again myself so, although Fiona offers a binding service, I just asked her to cut it for me ready for binding and did it myself.
I decided to heed the advice I ignored last time and introduced some red. It was supposed to be wider than this but I attached the double fold binding by machine, as I would have if I’d left some excess batting and backing – ie. with a 1/4 inch seam – and then realised I wouldn’t have had any filling in my binding. Of course, with a wide border like this I should have attached the binding at half an inch and then taken in the batting and backing as it had been trimmed. I’m so used to working with blocks lately that go right up to the edge that I’d forgotten.
So, I just folded the binding onto itself and then over to the back before handstitching it down which resulted in a skimpier binding than I’d intended but at least it wasn’t all floppy. It did compromise my previously
perfect acceptable mitred corners a bit but it doesn’t really show.
What do you think?
Here’s the back in all it’s professionally quilted glory.
It’s a strange size at 60 x 66 inches (172 x 187 cm) so a topper for a small double bed or a generous single bed size. The only single sized bed in the house is in the Bermuda Triangle otherwise known as Mlle. Tialys the Younger’s bedroom and, once it goes in there, I might never see it again.
So before it disappears from my life until at least the next re-decoration project I have flung it over a couple of surfaces so that I can at least look at the photos.
I thought long and hard about using a professional quilting service because I wondered whether it was ‘cheating’ on some sort of level. Realistically, my skills – such as they are – are definitely in piecing and although I will continue doing quilt as you go where the quilt design allows and perhaps the smaller (much smaller) quilting projects, Fiona has done such a good job and the price was so reasonable that I would certainly go back to her if and when I make another large quilt that doesn’t lend itself to QAYG. After all, I reasoned, if I had the space and the money for a longarm quilting machine and the patience to learn how to use one, or if I had a friend just down the road who had one, I would never ever quilt on a domestic machine again so what’s the difference? It’s also something I’ve wanted to try and I’m very pleased I did.
If you are in the U.K. – or in France with a commuting husband willing to drag quilt tops and then completed quilts back and forth with him – or you just want to see a really good range of extra wide backings, go and have a look at Fiona’s site here .
With apologies to the Pet Shop Boys for sort of ripping off their lyrics for my title, I hope you’re all enjoying a lovely long Easter/Spring break and doing whatever it is you like to do at such times.
Last time we had a chat I asked you for help in deciding on a border for the Friendship Braids quilt and then mostly ignored what everybody said anyway. The Quilt Police will not be happy but I decided to dig out a vintage sheet I had actually bought a couple of years ago with the backing for this quilt in mind and use it for the border.
Tell me I was wrong.
I’m not normally a ‘green’ lover but I think it makes it look very fresh.
It is quite a low thread count I believe but, just to be sure, I washed it, made a sandwich with a square of quilting cotton, wadding and sheet and had a go on the machine. I didn’t have any problems with tension or thread knotting or snapping or anything and I certainly won’t be doing any quilting this close together so I’m going to go ahead and if I’m arrested and given a long sentence it will just give me the opportunity to sew mini hexies together, learn to love cross stitch, do a degree in psychology and concentrate on trying to make an orange jumpsuit work with my complexion – although that would only be if I got arrested by the United States Quilt Police which is a possibility as I think they are the most rigorous.
As I’m in confession mode, I must offer as evidence to be taken into consideration M’lud that, even worse than it being a sheet, there might be a touch of ‘poly’ in with the cotton as there’s a vague chemical smell when I iron it.
With this in mind, I decided not to go the whole hog and use it for the backing as well. As luck would have it, I had just dug a duvet cover out of the clean laundry basket that has been subjected to numerous treatments and washes in an attempt to remove some oil (I think it was some sort of body oil) that Mlle Tialys the elder had managed to spill on it some time ago. There was a patch of oil that refused to come out and, if anything, appeared to increase in oiliness as time went by. I cut out the patch, harvested the top Cath Kidston like floral fabric for future projects and pondered using the checkered side for the back as it is serendipitously the right colours and size. (Woohoo, I got to use ‘serendipitously’ – and again!)
I did make another sandwich, it worked fine, it is now cut to size for assembly so it’s too late to tell me if you don’t think it’s a good idea and, anyway, you know I don’t always listen don’t you. It is, at least, 100% cotton.
I rest my case.
I did have a vague idea about giving this to my Mum when I’d finished it but I think it might have too much green in it now for her liking. She has a thing about green and, as with most of her superstitions, has passed them on to me. Even though I don’t really count myself as a particularly superstitious person, I like to err on the side of caution. I don’t put new shoes on the kitchen table, I don’t bring lilacs into the house, I don’t tell Friday’s dreams on a Saturday in case they come true, and other such tosh. However, for years I believed the colour green to be unlucky until it turned out that her basis for believing that was that her own mother had once lost a purse while wearing a green coat. Sometimes I worry.
So she will be getting my first ever crocheted blanket instead which, as far as I know, has no bad luck associated with it and will go very nicely on her sofa and across her knees if she gets a bit chilly
Flushed with success after harvesting 450g of gorgeous tasting brown mushrooms from the pot on the right and watching the new babies grow (you can just see them if you squint) – I spotted a pot for white mushrooms (or champignons de Paris as they are called here) and thought I’d give them a go too. It’s quite amazing how much better they taste when plucked from their very own compost just before you cook them. I’m a convert and our earth floor wine cellar – which never gets used to store wine as we drink it too quickly – may well be put into use as a mushroom growing room in the near future.
I found this little stool in the junk shop last week and, as with much vintage French furniture, it was covered in a very dark brown thick varnish. Yuk. I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo but it was a flat, uninteresting, no grain showing, almost black, dark brown. Mr. T. had a go with the varnish remover and the sander and got it down to this.
I’m going to treat it with some woodworm killer – just in case – and, if all of the varnish has gone I want to use a white wax on it but, if not, I will probably use a chalk paint and then distress and wax it.
Off to baste a quilt before somebody stops me.
I did some food shopping today for the weekend – it’s only Thursday but Mr. T. arrives home tonight and I count Friday as the weekend – mainly so I can have a glass of wine (or two) but also because it feels like the weekend to me. Sometimes I come home with unusual things like this Romanesco – a cross between a cauliflower and broccoli which, so far, looks better than it tastes but I think that’s because I haven’t perfected my method of cooking it yet. I love all those little mini fir trees in fluorescent green although last time I cooked it in the oven and overdid it a little so the mini trees looked as if they had been in a mini forest fire.
Today I discovered this mushroom shaped pot of mushrooms, if you see what I mean. I couldn’t resist it because you are supposed to get three harvests out of this pot – obviously the first one is ready to pick.
But look at all these little baby ones ready to spring into life and become friends with eggs and bacon.
I try to have little adventures all the time, even when I’m doing the food shopping. Don’t judge me.
The postlady surprised me yesterday morning and not only because she arrived before 2 o’clock in the afternoon. She delivered a little package which had me racking my brains trying to think what I’d ordered from here in France – my online purchases are usually from further afield. Then I spotted the sender’s address and realised it was from Claire a fellow British expat. She is very generous with the results of her many talents and often sends little unbirthday gifts out to friends – both real and blogging – which is such a sweet thing to do. I might start to prefer ‘unbirthdays’ as you don’t have to get another year older when you have one. This lovely little needlecase features a little egg in the centre and I’m embarassed to say I don’t know exactly how she’s done it. It doesn’t look quite like cross stitch and it isn’t hardanger as I know you cut bits away with that – so I’m stumped. Pardon my ignorance but I don’t do all that fiddly stuff on tiny squared fabric – just admire those who do.
Inside, some stitch markers for both crochet and knitting and some pins – all in a lovely turquoise colour which goes beautifully with the crochet project bag I showed you last time.
A long time ago (Lordy, 2 years ago – I just checked), I started a quilt – you know the story – and now I’ve brought it back out into the light of day to finish it. I have my Mum’s birthday in mind but I’m not 100% sure it isn’t too bright for her tastes. I’ll finish it first and then make a decision about its eventual home. The design is called ‘Friendship Braid’ and is made using a jelly roll from a book about using jelly rolls called something I can’t bring to mind at the moment. The fabric I used was Gypsy Girl by Moda.
I have two questions for both quilters and non- quilters who wish to venture an opinion.
I need a six inch border around the outside. I can’t use plain white (as they have in the book) because my quilting wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny. I need something with at least some sort of design on it. There is a white fabric in the braids with tiny green spots – do you think something like that would work? What I decide on will depend on the answer to my second question.
Obviously I can’t ‘quilt as you go’ with this one – not at this stage anyway – what sort of simple (very simple!) machine quilting design would work do you think?
How do you feel about sending quilts out to be professionally quilted? I’m pretty sure I’ve asked this question before but it’s one that vexes me. I know it’s fairly common in the States to do so but I have recently seen a company in the U.K. who does it for quite a reasonable price and I’m interested to see how it would turn out. I am the first to admit that I’m a piecer not a quilter but is it cheating? (O.K., that might be three questions) I would have it back afterward to put the binding on so I would feel as if I’d done the ‘finishing touch’ but I can’t quite decide what to do. If I did something like vertical lines it would be fairly easy – apart from wrestling my smallish sewing machine into submission – but would that look O.K. Help!