Happily Ever After: The Finish

While I was talking to Becky about the shopping trip she mentioned that they had samples in the store. Could I do a scalloped border? Oh, crap. Well, I’ve never done one but, yes, I can do that. I sent her pictures of the 2 types of scalloped borders: serpentine which is easier and what I think of as the Baltimore album border which is harder to get the binding right. She said the serpentine border was fine. Good. I’ve also never done bias binding before so not having to do the tight turns was a relief.

The design we chose is simple but getting the squares lined up evenly across the sashing with no match points can be a problem. If they don’t line up, it shows. I found someone’s blog where they had done the same sort of design. Instead of squares with long sashing on the diagonal rows, she framed each square so that when two were sewn together, the frames were the width of the planned sashing. I did that.

I don’t have a decent design wall so I used my bed.

The squares laid out on my bed for color and print arrangement.

The squares laid out on my bed for color and print arrangement.

I used these numbered pins to label each square. Since the pins didn't go high enough I had to get creative and use multiples that added up to the number I needed. In hindsight, I should have just pinned a piece of paper to each block.

I used these numbered pins to label each square. Since the pins didn’t go high enough I had to get creative and use multiples that added up to the number I needed. In hindsight, I should have just pinned a piece of paper to each block.

I made a chart to keep me on track. I  marked off each row as it was assembled.

I made a chart to keep me on track. I marked off each row as it was assembled.

The diagonal rows, ready for final assembly, laid out on the bed.

The diagonal rows, ready for final assembly, laid out on the bed.

The finished top.

The finished top.

I have the Sue Pelland Leaves Galore rulers that I thought I could easily use to mark the serpentine border. I was sadly disappointed. The rulers don’t come with instructions. I do have the book that is the “manual” for the rulers so I dug it out. There is exactly one page talking about how to do a serpentine border. A lot was left to the imagination or knowledge I didn’t have was assumed. I futzed around for a while trying to come up with something that would make the right size curve. Finally, I gave up and threw myself on Linda’s mercy.

Linda came over and coached me through marking the serpentine border. I was anxious and some harsh words were said at one point when I couldn’t follow what she was telling me to do – I needed a minute to think before continuing. I wanted the outer curve to be centered on the point of a square and the inner curve centered on the point of the setting triangle. Becky wanted the top edge to be straight because it would be easier to sleep with.

I had a roll of exam table paper that I bought years ago after Karen Kay Buckley lectured at my guild and recommended it for borders. I cut a piece as long as the quilt and marked a line all the way down to indicate the width of the border as if we were leaving it straight. It’s been a while now so I’m not sure I remember exactly what we did. I think we marked a line for the center of each outer and inner curve.

The first thing Linda had me do was figure out the curved corner. After we got something we liked, we tackled the side curves. We did use one of the leaves galore rulers to draw parts of the curves but I couldn’t just draw around the ruler edge. We had to adjust to get the curve we needed to fit.

Linda made me draw all the curves along one side and around a corner on the paper before we touched the quilt. We laid that on the quilt and made sure everything fit and hit where it was supposed to. Then, we made a plastic template of the outer curve with half an inner curve on each side. It took us about 3 hours to get to that point – a good time to break for lunch.

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The plastic template on the quilt. The ruler is to make sure the template is lined up properly.

After lunch I used the plastic template to mark the border on the quilt so it could go to the quilter. I used a pencil for marking because i didn’t want to take a chance on marks showing after the quilt was bound. It had to be marked before being quilted so the quilter could fit the quilting design properly. Whew! Finishing that was quite a relief.

When I give a quilt like this, I like to include an insurance appraisal so the recipient is properly appreciative of the value of the quilt. Phyllis Hatcher is my go-to quilt appraiser.

The quilt hanging at the appraiser's.

The quilt hanging at the appraiser’s.

Back of quilt hanging at appraiser's.

Back of quilt hanging at appraiser’s.

In the following detail pictures the white fabric looks pink from the lavender back because of the way the light was shining through the back of the quilt.

Detail of border quilting.

Detail of border quilting.

Detail of quilting in printed squares.

Detail of quilting in printed squares.

The happy couple's names.

The happy couple’s names quilted in.

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The wedding date quilted in.

The label.

The label. The wedding vow fabric at the top was left over from my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary quilt.

rachel's quilt

The finished quilt being shown at Sew and Tell at Genie’s house.

Nothing more to do until the day of the shower. The bride’s mother saved this gift to be presented after all the other gifts were opened.

The bride-to-be reading the card.

The bride-to-be reading the card.

Taking the quilt out of the bag. It's folded on the diagonal, burrito style, to prevent permanent creases.

Taking the quilt out of the bag. It’s folded on the diagonal, burrito style, to prevent permanent creases.

The mother of the bride pointed out special things like their names and date and the mouse fabric. Apparently, I didn’t get a picture with both of them.

Quilt Odyssey 052

I had never met the groom. At the reception, Rachel introduced me as the person who made the quilt. Matt surprised me with a big hug. I got another big hug the next day at the family brunch.

This is my second finish for 2015.

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