Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks
My block is in the November 2015 issue!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Things have been really crazy here!  Between trips with my hubby for Knights of Columbus, trying to keep up with the weeds in garden, and trying to get to the raspberries and blueberries before the birds do, I've been going nuts.

The last time I posted, I think I mentioned that there are now 74 blocks for the raffle quilt, and a diagonal setting is in order.  However, I had originally planned to put borders on it.  To put it bluntly, that ain't happenin'!  

Stepping back a few steps for the newbies - I am making a quilt to be raffled off at this year's Knights of Columbus international convention (a.k.a. "Supreme Convention"), which is being held in Philadelphia at the beginning of August. It is red, white and blue, and is made from modified Sawtooth Star blocks; one block for each jurisdiction where the Knights are active.  The original design was a simple 8x9 setting because there were 72 jurisdictions.  Sometime in May, the powers-that-be decided that one of the jurisdictions in Mexico was too big, so they split it in two.  Without checking with me - can you believe it?  ;->  So after some sleepless nights dreaming about blocks and layouts, I finally come up with a layout for 73 blocks.   All was well until the beginning of June at the annual meeting when they split one of the jurisdictions in the Philippines into 2. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH! 

More sleepless nights ensued until I came up with the current layout.  If they do any more dividing, I'm going to give up and put the new blocks on the back!  

So I finally finished all the blocks, laid them out on my 'design wall' (living room floor ;->) and realized that I was going to have to quilt it in pieces because it is so big.  So I joined the blocks for the center section together and quilted it using a simple curved design.  Then I sewed the four corner sections together and quilted them using the same design.  To join the sections, I sewed the top portion of each piece in its place by machine, and trimmed and stitched the batting and the backing together by hand.  I then had to quilt over the seamed areas.  That is where I ran into trouble again.

The quilt was getting so big that it would not feed through my sewing machine smoothly.  Sometimes, near the edges, it was fine, but when I had to turn it, it would either jerk and make a jig-jog in the stitching line, or it wouldn't move and I'd have teeny tiny little stitches that didn't match the rest.  

So I decided that, if I want it to look decent, I won't be able to put borders on it. Adding borders that need to be quilted would just exacerbate the problem with wonky stitching.  So I am going to finish the quilting as best I can, then just bind it.  It will still end up about 80 inches square, so it will be a nice queen bed topper.  If I want to make anything bigger than a toddler size quilt from now on,  I am going to take it to my local quilt shop and learn to use their longarm! 

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