Peach and Gold Quilt: It is done.

Peach and Gold Quilt (front)

Peach and Gold Quilt (back)

Washed, dried, and wrinkly. A lot of quilters seem to love this look, but I’m still undecided. I think I like the crispness of the stitching before it’s run through the washing machine. Thoughts?

Peach and Gold Quilt

Finished size: I’ve been holding this post up for over a week because I packed this quilt away already. Rather than holding it up even longer, I’m going to say: lap size!

PATTERN: Four-patch with border, provided by the Cambridge Quilt Shop as part of their friendly, encouraging, very helpful Start Quilting class. I basically bought a sewing machine and showed up at this class, and I ended up with a quilt. Highly recommended.

FABRIC: If you’re looking for similar fabrics, I bought everything for this quilt at the Cambridge Quilt Shop except for the bit of Carolyn Friedlander Botanics on the back. The solid peach is Kona Cotton in Salmon; the two fabrics for the four-patch (the ones with randomly placed tiny gold dots) are Hoffman Brilliant Blenders in white gold and ivory gold; the large neutral squares are similar fabric with more orderly rows of tiny gold dots; a large scrap of Carolyn Friedlander Botanics Foliage in Charcoal shows up on the back; the quilt is bound with a coral fabric with tiny peach dashes on it Dear Stella in Ticking Stripe (Coral).

In which I wrestle with bias tape and binding

And also utterly forget about mitered corners.

Making bias tape still sort of freaks me out, maybe because I’m in awe of the continuous method (aka the tube). No matter how carefully I mark and pin and match edges together, I still can’t quite wrap my head around what I’m doing. I persevered last week, though, in order to get one step closer to finishing the peach and gold quilt. I ended up with a lovely mound of coral and peach bias tape, which I promptly ruined by not paying close enough attention to my scissors as I was cutting it apart.

Well done, me.

I was able to patch the non-shredded bits together and ended up with juuuuuust enough to make it around all four edges of this lovely quilt.

Which I then ruined again by forgetting everything I know about how to make lovely, crisp mitered corners and instead following the (really rather asinine) instructions in the Quilting By Machine Singer Sewing Reference Library, which gently guided me through folding over the back of a quilt to bind it but totally bungled everything when it came to binding a quilt with bias tape. According to the book, one first binds the opposite long edges, then binds the short edges separately. This leaves one with four sad little tails, sticking forlornly off the corners of one’s quilt:

Why, Quilting By Machine Singer Sewing Reference Library. Why.

(Aside: you don’t have to look too closely at the photo of the back of the quilt to see that my top stitching left an awkward little 1/4″ flap of binding sticking out. I’m blaming this on the book, even though I’m pretty sure the width and positioning of my bias tape may have been at fault. I’m annoyed enough that I’m going back through and hand stitching the flap down, which means I probably shouldn’t have bothered to machine stitch it in the first place. THE DRAMA.)

I managed to hand stitch along one long edge and wrangle one ugly binding tail into submission. From the front, it looks okay. From the back…I long for neatly mitered corners.

Nevertheless: only three more edges to hand sew and three more tails to tack down. So close to being done!

Ganging aft agley

I have a lot (a lot) of projects planned.

So many beautiful plans I’ve made, and so little time I’ve spent working on them. I’m writing this mostly to give myself a firm nudge by publicly committing to making beautiful things, rather than just dreaming about them.

So: work continues on the hat, which at this point looks like a slightly misshapen rectangle (I started with 84 stitches—I swear, I counted them thrice—but found myself working with over 90 the other day. How?) and has barely escaped the clutches of my overly curious cats multiple times over the past few weeks. (My beautifully wound ball of yarn is now an unwound tangle, thanks to them.) I’m nearly at the finish line, I think, and am hoping to be even closer after tackling the last few dozen rows at tomorrow’s office knitting club and again at Saturday’s Crafter’s Brunch at Gather Here (do you go to this? do you want to go? I’m thinking about bringing muffins to help introduce myself and convince people there to be nice to me and teach me how to properly cast off).

knitting progress

Work also continues(-ish) on the peach and gold quilt, which I thought I had blogged about much more but am now realizing I haven’t. To catch you up:

This is the first quilt I ever started making, thanks to the “Start Quilting” class at Cambridge Quilt Shop. It was relegated to the back burner while I rushed through the Quilts for Kids quilt, but I finished the top over a month ago, pieced together the backing without having to buy any new fabric (quite proud of this), and finally sandwiched it together a week or so ago. I’m looking forward to finishing it, which seems like it will mark my transition from someone who made a quilt once to someone who actually makes quilts, plural.

Other upcoming projects: a chenille blanket, another simple four-patch quilt, a Noodlehead Super Tote to protect future knitting projects from inquisitive kitties, a Zippy Top or two from See Kate Sew, and something still TBD for the Umbrella Prints 2014 trimmings competition, which is due May 30 so should probably be bumped nearer to the top of the list.

Typing it all out now is a bit overwhelming, but I suppose that’s all the more reason to start?