Friday, December 28, 2012

Improvising a Quit Top Finish

I don't typically make New Year's Resolutions but if I did, this year's may be to plan in advance.  At least when it comes to quilting projects.

I posted about this quilt top once before, it's for a friend of mine who lives in Phoenix who was part of the running team I was on when Shelly passed away.  I had only met her the day before but she showed herself to be one of the strongest, most positive, supportive people I have ever known and she will be a forever friend.

When she found out I sewed, she asked for a quilt.  She was kidding -- sort of -- but I knew right away she would get one.  She recently bought a new house and hasn't decided what colors she wants to use, but she told me black and white are her favorites.

I started with 2 charm packs purchased online and came up with this:

I liked it enough (even though HSTs are *not* my strong suit)... but it was too small.  Only 50" wide x 57" long.  That wasn't going to work.  I can't tell you how many nights I fell asleep trying to figure out how to make it bigger without looking like I just slapped on some extra fabric... but on Christmas Eve night, it was a vision of this quilt (and not sugar plums) dancing in my head.  

First, I turned the quilt sideways, so 57" became the width instead of the length.  Then I took off the (now) top and bottom borders.  If there's anything that ranks as low as pinning in my "things I like to do" book, it's ripping stitches!

Next, I created a few rows of checkerboards for the top and bottom, to add between the HST section and the borders I'd just taken off.  I would have done more, but I was out of charms.

Here's how it looks with one side (the bottom) sewn back together.  Of course, I had to extend the side borders to go the (new) full length.  I was lucky to have *just* enough fabric left to do this.

Here's how it looks with the side (near the top) borders lengthened, before I sewed it all back together:

And finally, the completed (I hope!) quilt top, now big enough to cover a full grown person:

I've started piecing a back, which will be more colorful.  I haven't a clue how I'll quilt this once it's done.  The middle (HST) section is bulky and doesn't lie completely flat.  I want to do something relatively simple (read: won't take forever) but I haven't decided what yet.  Suggestions are appreciated!

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~


  1. great job on "Dreaming up" the rest of this top. It is quite lovely. Maybe stippling or loop -de- loops if you want something simple.

  2. I personally like to stitch in the ditch around the blocks when I am having bulky problems are in a hurry. It looks nice and it lays flat.

  3. Lovely layout, and the added borders make it, I like the contrast so much. Quilting, well that too will come to mind after you leave it out and look at it several/lots/ many times, inspiration will follow, and you will be fine. Cheers from Jean.

  4. I loved the original- but love what you did to 'improve' it as well. How about some 1/2 inch straight line stitching in a chevron pattern through the darker stripes. (does that make sense at all?) That might help things lie down flatter.

  5. Very pretty, and a nice creative way to make it larger! I would just use white thread and a random meander to quilt the HST section - it's amazing how all those bulky/not quite flat spots will disappear when you wash it! Criss-cross straight line quilting in the checkerboard panels, straight line quilting in the narrow b/w border, and random meander in black in the black borders. Well, you asked!!

    Whoop whoop!!

  6. Love how you made it bigger. I like to use a fluffier batting when I have blocks that are not as flat as I would like them. Helps to fill up the space a bit. Maybe some quick curvey lines to enhance the zig zag in the center, curvey X's in the checker board to keep the diagonal flow, and simple lines or zig zag in the borders, around the border to frame it all in? Or just go for some modern different size sqaures/rectangles all around with slightly curved corners. What fun, the quilting is my favorite part :) Happy New year!!

  7. Whoop whoop! I love your black and white quilt top! Great documentation of the work in process. Thanks for sharing, I am sure your friend will love it :o)

  8. OMG, did you say HST??? Those HST's that you hate and will never, ever use?! Well done, it's a lovely quilt - I love the stepped border and the black and white is bold and fabulous. HST's, ha ha ha!

  9. Amazing!! I love how you made it bigger - very creative!! And beautiful


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