"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

October 25, 2017

Double Wedding Ring Signature Quilt {The Making of....Part 2 of 2}



 See "Double Wedding Ring Signature Quilt {The Making of....Part 1 of 2}" HERE

Test Blocks before starting this quilt - testing whether my applique idea would work

Once the blocks were sent off with the bride for the big day it was time for me to start working on the things that needed to be done before the blocks could be sewn together. First up was hand embroidering the two center blocks, one with their wedding date and the other with their names. Next was to prep the border half blocks with an arc and corner triangles.


Upon the return of the blocks I discovered some amazing artwork on several of the blocks. 
These are just two of my favorite. 

 
After admiring all the artwork it was time to heat set the ink on all of the signed and drawn on blocks. Even though permanent fabric ink was used to sign the blocks, doing the extra step of heat seating the ink adds to the hope that the ink won't run or wash out overtime.

My heat setting process:
1. Protect ironing board from stray ink by covering it with a white cotton flour sack style dish towel (remove towel if ink transferred to it)
2. With iron set on cotton setting, iron each block with drawings and signatures
3. Allow to block to cool
4. In sink gently run cool water over block
5. Gently squeeze out water
6. Lay wet block on another white cotton dish towel
7. Roll towel up with block inside and squeeze out excess water
8. Cover ironing board with a dry flour sack dish towel and Unroll towel and lay damp block on it
9. Using iron on cotton setting press block until it is dry, being sure to move iron often so it doesn't scorch the block
10. Celebrate that the ink didn't run and it's ready for the quilt!
 

Once everything was heat set I stitched on the corner triangles. I used 3" squares, but if I were to do this quilt again I'd use 3-1/2" or 4" squares, then drew a diagonal line across the back and sewed directly on that line to attach it to each corner. Finally trimmed off the excess block and corner leaving a 1/4" seam. If I hadn't trimmed off the corners I would have been working with 3 layers of fabric on each corner and when the four blocks came together there would be 12 layers of fabric to work with, making for a very thick intersection and adding unnecessarily to the overall weight of the quilt.


Before proceeding farther the blocks went back up on the design wall in order with the hope that all blocks were returned. I've found that wedding guests are notorious for throwing away a block and signing another when they don't like how their signature/message came out on the block.  Which is a great reason to buy extra fabric and be prepared to make a few new blocks.

I was impressed that there was only one block missing.


It wasn't until I had the first two rows sewn together that I discovered that I had turned the corner block causing the arcs to not line up correctly. Thankfully it was an easy fix and  only required ripping out two seams, turning the block and sewing those seams back up.


If I remember correctly I didn't discover I had done my math incorrectly until after I had added the border. The bride had requested a Queen size quilt approx. 96" x 108".  But in the design process when I added the outside border to finish all of the rings I forgot to adjust the number of blocks needed. By the time I discovered my mistake and because of how this quilt goes together it was too late to make any changes. Which gave the bride a King size quilt finished at approx. 108" x 120". Thankfully a King size quilt fits nicely on a Queen size bed giving you really nice droop over the edges of the bed. Or it's a great excuse to upgrade to a King size bed.


Often I'm asked, "How do you decide what to quilt on a block or quilt?" 
There are several answers to that question. One being that I'm limited only by my ability, meaning if I can't figure out how to quilt a specific design or don't like how it looks when I've done it on a practice block then I move on to a different choice. But, with most every quilt I print off an 8-1/2" x11" picture of the quilt and even a single block and spend some time doodling different ideas and options.
From there I consider several things; the difficulty of actually stitching out those doodles, the time I have available to do the quilting (what kind of a deadline am I looking at?),  whether I want to quilt each block uniquely or quilt them all the same and of course which doodle is most pleasing to me and complimentary to the quilt.


Often times I'll spend a little time practicing the design I've chosen on a practice sandwich before starting on the actual quilt. I want to work out as many issues as I can before quilting starts.


    Step one: Outline stitching around all the arcs             Step two: Draw out the design to be quilted


Step three: Stitch out planned design
Step four: decide there are too many thread breaks required for this design
Step five: tweak stitching plan


 Step Six: Start stitching including what was             
just a reference line                                                    Step Seven: Use Curved Ruler for smooth curves















By stitching the X that I had planned to use only as a reference line I was able to stitch without having to break thread and only had to bury threads twice on each block instead of the 8 times I was going to have to do. Saved me a bunch of time!






I used a purple air soluble pen to mark my quilting design one block at a time. Since it disappears quicker with higher humidity and only lasts about 24 hours if the humidity is low enough I didn't want to spend time drawing all the designs and have them disappear before I could stitch them all.



When the corner triangles came together they created a square on which I could use the seam lines as my stitching guide to stitching a nice little flower that disappeared into the block.  


On the outer border I stitched parallel lines somewhat evenly spaced, except for in a couple of spots to add some interest. I suppose you'd call it a stitched piano key border.


Dark brown binding to frame it all







With the quilt being so large it's a fairly heavy quilt. I didn't think this fact through before I tried hanging it on my quilt display rod for pictures. It was heavy enough that it permanently bent the rod. If it's ever hung the hangers will need to be firmly attached before the quilt goes on it.

Quilt Stats:

Quilt Name: "Double Wedding Ring Guest Signature Quilt"
 Finished size: 108" x 120"
Quilt Pattern: Double Wedding Ring Applique
Batting: Quilters Dream Cotton - Select
Quilting Thread: 50wt. Aurifil - Silver White #2309 & Gutermann - Midnight #278
Quilting: Free Motion Quilted using my Artistic Quilter Sit Down 18 Long Arm

Thank you for stopping by and sharing in my quilting journey!
Happy Quilting and God Bless,
Marcia
 

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