Sunday, January 22, 2017

Backing, Blocks, Binding and Blanket Stitch

I've been plodding along with hand stitching down the binding on my Constellation quilt, and I've got down to about 6" left... at the moment the quilt is sitting folded in the lounge - and I just love the contrast of the solid grey in the front against the bright and funky backing fabric.

Again, I can't get over how the binding is such a perfect fabric!

I chose this fabric for the backing as it was ideal for hiding quilting imperfections, plus it went "well" with the front, as it was from the same designer who made the charm pack that started the whole project, although from a different range.  (Of course, I needed a bit more patterned fabric for the front than a charm pack would provide and raided my stash to make up enough half square triangles.)  Although there are some different colours used on the backing fabric - and to be honest I am not a fan of all of them - the "feel" of the design, as well as the colours that are the same means it gives the impression of fitting into the same family.

Ideally it would have been nice to pick up a cheater print from the same range, but getting an incredible online special meant that getting a similar range gave better value for money.  Quilting in NZ is expensive!

This star shows some of the charm pack, as well as some of the stash additions.

I have also spent some time blanket stitching my Tillies Lane second month blocks:

After doing a class with Michele Hill from Australia, I started using a smaller blanket stitch which she recommends.  Although I decided I didn't like this neutral thread I was using, and switched to a Mettler Seralene part way through the smaller block.

While this thread is supposed to be a bobbin fill, I have been using it in the top and bottom for blanket stitch, and I like how fine and flat it looks against the applique pieces.

This is from the My Tweets blocks, and you can see how the stitch is a lot larger - I think my machine sets a minimum width of 2.5mm, and I have the length as 2.0mm for this 5 step blanket stitch - which gives a really lovely edge to the applique shapes.

I've also done some sorting in my quilting shed, and found that I had more of the hourglass blocks sewn in a secondary location - so I had already done all the blocks necessary for this month.  Bonus!

In my experience of starting a million and one different scrap projects - I think this one works really well as the blocks are so little - so you really only need quite a small amount of scrap to make each block.

This is how I have pressed the blocks - it comes out really flat - no bulky seams - and gives good visibility for joining on the alternate solid square.

With the coloured sections literally covering scraps of all colour and style, I have gone for some very subtle cream prints as the alternate unit.

Pressing the seam to the light in this case means that it cuts down bulk, and will be easy to join into four patches as the project grows.

I notice that I have made some scrap substitutions in the making of these blocks - so it should be interesting once it is all made:

I'm not sure of my logic making a green and orange block - although it is all scraps of fabric designed by Denyse Schmidt.

 I have also been working on the Sugar Club blocks, and have finished upsizing another one.

And made good progress on yet another one.  Hopefully this one will get finished in the next few days.

Best of all, I have achieved some good tidying and consolidation of projects and fabrics... I admit I am pretty messy, and tend to leave a trail of destruction behind when projects are finished.  Just getting a bit of organisation back has allowed me to feel more relaxed with the whole process.


  1. Gosh you are busy Suzanne! I too always dial down the size of my buttonhole stitch, I prefer it to look a little more subtle....using the Seralene is a great idea. It looks like you are making awesome progress on all your projects!!

  2. You sound like you're getting yourself all sorted. I'm jealous. But then I did spend an hour totally rearranging my studio after you guys left the other day, so that makes me feel better. I think it will work/flow so much better than it did, much more floor space for walking and laying things out too. I'll brush it up a bit over the next week and take photos for a blog post about it.