Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I watched the Westminster Dog Show Monday and Tuesday nights. What beautiful dogs! I still managed to get some sewing done both nights though:  hand sewing on a binding Monday night and machine sewing a backing last night. I showed you my finished butterfly quilt yesterday - that's the one I finished on Monday. Today I want to share the backing for my hearts quilt.

This is the hearts quilt that I have challenged myself to finish in February 2012. I started it in October at the Ladybug Retreat with the Dogwood Quilt Guild. I am not a "heart" person; I prefer bolder colors and less organized patterns. When I saw this pattern, however, I decided that it was disorganized enough to appeal to me, so I decided to try it. I think everyone has to try a heart quilt at some time. I also threw in a red fabric with liberal amounts of Christmas green in it to add some pop.

I bought this material to use as the border for the quilt, but then decided that there was more pink in the fabric than I thought would work with all of that red. I decided to border the quilt with randomly cut red scraps instead. Now I wish I'd stuck with my original plan. Wait until you see the backing now!

I had six heart squares left over, so I sewed them together to make a band that would reach most of the way across the back. I knew that I would need more fabric for the ends of the band, so I found this inexpensive flat fold fabric in my stash. Since it is a less expensive fabric, the plaid design is not printed straight. If this bothers you, don't buy crooked fabric. I don't care if it's straight (I think crooked lines give more movement and motion to the finished quilt, so I like them!). I liked the way the ends looked, so decided to add smaller borders to the top and bottom as well.

 I auditioned the hearts flush against the heart backing fabric, but I thought it really needed that red border.

 Yep, this is the right combination for me!

Here is my finished backing, partially laid out on a couple of narrow tables in my classroom. I like it! Now to see if I can con Mom into quilting it for me...

 I promised yesterday to show the backing fabric for my appliqued African mask wall hanging. This fabric is beautiful, but it is heavy, tightly woven, and stamped with gold decorative elephants. All of this makes this material very difficult to sew through - especially by hand. Did I mention that I am hand-quilting the applique squares? And the back side of the binding?
 My binding clips help convince this stubborn fabric that it is supposed to fold then lie flat. If I clip the entire quilt and leave the clips on while I work, the fabric is easier to manipulate.
The right side of this photo shows what the quilt will look like when the binding is finished. I can't decide which I'm having more trouble with, folding and sewing the binding or quilting the inside squares. Oh well, back to work.

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