Wednesday, 5 November 2014

In the Garden News!

Today I'm going to try to answer a few of the questions about 
finishing up our "In the Garden" QAL Quilt.

First of all I must say that I've had a lot of fun planning, designing and making the blocks each month. I hope you all did too. It almost seems we should just carry on - but sadly we all need a rest too. So now..... we need to put our quilt top together.

Planning the quilt top is to me the most important part - after getting all you blocks done. I've come up with a few ideas (use it, don't use it - up to you) for laying out our blocks. You don't need to use all the blocks or you could even make more of the trees and scatter them around in your garden.

Here is a plain 3 x 4 layout.

We actually made 13 blocks, so you can choose which ones you like more and then leave some out.

You can always make pillows with the others.....

This is a more unusual layout - I was going to do this from the start (reason for so many blocks).

The middle block was also supposed to be open but then we made the cute girl reading in the garden and she seemed to fit really nicely in the middle.

The open fabric sections remind me of mowed lawns. This just makes a rather huge quilt.

Another more traditional approach with each block surrounded by a strip of fabric. 4 x 4.

Here you can see I made more small trees and added another larger tree block to the corner.

With this layout you can always leave out blocks you don't like and make others or add others from other garden blocks you like.

Each of the layouts seem really nice to me, so I'm still a little undecided on mine.

Once you have your idea down for the layout, I would suggest going through all your blocks, removing the paper and instead of sitting there groaning about the mess it's making, think back to each one and the love and care you put into making it. Check the seams.

For tiny places where you might suspect a hole going to happen or a seam that is really just not going to hold, I would suggest a piece of iron on interfacing (not the too stiff kind) and iron it over the seam to give it more hold (onto the back = of course). Give your seams a good pressing! Iron them into submission!

You will need to also trim down your blocks to one uniform size. Measure each one and find the smallest. That is the size you need to make each of them. Don't just hack off a large piece of fabric on one side - trim a little each side until you reach the correct size.


Quilting or not to quilting?
I can only really speak for myself here - I've never quilted the blocks on their own before sewing the quilt top together, but I have heard it is possible.

I actually think I will go down this road this time because lugging the huge top under my tiny machine sometimes just frustrates me and my back and I don't want to give up on this one.

I'm going to find a thinner batting and cut it the size of my block and quilt it down using something more simple. The pictures are already very eye catching so I don't want some elaborate quilting to start a playground fist fight.

The denser you quilt the top the 'stiffer' your quilt will be and the wider apart you have your quilting lines, the softer and more pliable your quilt will be. Both ways are fine!! Its really just up to you.


The washing and care of the quilt was another question asked -
I see this type of quilt the same way I would a traditionally pieced quilt - which also has a ton of seams. Once you have taken your time to prepare the blocks, ironed them down, prepared the quilt sandwich and done the whole quilting, binding thing - its a quilt the same as any other. 

 Okay lots of talk, talk, talk......
Now we need to get to work

By the end of November I will post a Link-Up for our In the Garden Quilts 
(for tops or finished quilts)

Good luck - get going.....


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