Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seaside Rose Quilt

So I first bought the kit for this on sale in the quilt shop in Cochrane way back in 2005 when I was on a quilt shop tour with my best friend.  I made the centre and loved it.  When it came to making the border, I was really really frustrated because they wanted the 400+ little triangles that make the two rows of prairie points to be sewed  "using your favourite method of appliqué".  There was no template, but it was apparent the seam allowances were hand-turned under and sewn down on top of the 8.5" wide striped twill border.  This did not sit well with me; it seemed like a waste of fabric to lay down a strip of cotton on top of the twill and then cut away triangles and sew down the sawtooth points.  Moreover, they had not been generous in the least with the amounts of fabric in the kit, and I knew I needed to be very frugal.   Hmmm.  I stewed about this for some time...and put the top away...and left it.  Looked at it from time to time, nicely folded in one of my sewing room drawers, and felt annoyed.  Well, this summer I decided I needed to quilt all the tops that I have sitting around that are not quilted.  Although I do have lots of projects in various stages of completion, I only have 4 quilt tops not quilted at this moment!  One of them, a Round Robin from many years ago, is on my Avanté as I type too.

I like a challenge.  And, I thought, there is no way I am going to let this quilt sit one moment longer, once I realized how many years it had already sat.  (2005? That's not that long ago...uh, yes it is...8 years!!)  Besides it will look lovely on the bed in the guest room/sewing room in our Florida condo!  So, here is the first method I came up with for the first sawtooth border.  It is from the book, The Border Workbook by Janet Kime.  It reminds me of seminole piecing that I did years ago.  I cut 2.5" strips of each fabric, making the most of my striped twill, since I needed the blue part only:

I sewed these together, and then drew a line 1/2" down from the top edge on the prairie point fabric.  I cut them apart in 2.25" sections, and then joined them in pairs, matching the drawn line on one section to the seam on the other.  Sewed the pairs together into fours, etc., until I had a strip the length of the side of the quilt.  You can see the strip below.  From here I cut the strip into the prairie points, leaving 1/4" seam allowance above each point.  This gave me my 1.25" high (finished) dogtooths (huh? dogteeth? Never mind.  Prairie Points!)
Next, I sewed the strip to each side of the side of the quilt, and then sewed my twill striped fabric strips on.  I was really happy with how it turned out!  However, I had a lot of waste with this method, and my checked fabric had dwindled alarmingly, so much so that I now think that I won't have enough for the binding.  :-( 
So, I cut a 3 3/4" strip of the checked fabric, and crosscut that twice on the diagonal to yield my triangles.
Then I made a template for the triangle and used it to cut triangles out of the striped fabric, ensuring the pink stripe would be in the seam allowance.  I sewed these together into pairs, the pairs into fours, etc. until I had a long enough strip for each side of my quilt.  Yay!  A HUGE stumbling block had been overcome.  This process took me the better part of two weeks.  Maybe three.  When the sun is shining, I have to be outside...
And so I embarked on the appliqué part of this quilt, again feeling really annoyed at the mistakes on the pattern (they indicated too many leaves to cut; the smallest of the roses did not seem to appear on the photo of the quilt, yet it asked you to make 4 of them, and so on).  This took me WAY longer than I had anticipated.  I would hazard a guess that it took over a month.  I would not let myself sew on anything else until it was done.  Such willpower!  Wish I had it in some other areas of my life...

I used Steam-a-Seam, dabbed spray starch on the seam allowance using a Q-tip, and pressed the seam allowances under.  Then I appliquéd around each shape using monofilament thread and a very narrow zigzag.  For the centres of the roses (such small circles!) I decided to just do raw-edge appliqué with the monofilament and narrow zigzag.  On the stars, I used a Sulky blendable in 30 weight and a straight stitch.

I wanted to emphasize the seashells theme a little more, so from the seashell fabric I fussycut several and raw-edge appliquéd them in a couple of places on the border instead of more stars.  I really like the result.
So the top is now complete (see my very first post for a picture) and I have pieced the back.  I also made a custom label.  Here it is in the process of being written upon:
I visualize lots of feathers in the borders for the quilting motifs!  I am currently taking Angela Walters' Free Motion Quilting with Feathers class, and for the practice, I am using that Round Robin quilt,  made in a guild I belonged to out West.  This way it gets quilted, and I don't care if there are lots of mistakes on it, since I wasn't very happy with the borders that got put on my centre block.  I am liking it more though as these beautiful feathers are undulating their way around the quilt!  I will keep you posted when it comes to the quilting of my Seaside Rose!


  1. Wow, fascinating! And beautiful, love the colours and the somewhat faded look of the material - almost shabby chic (hope that's not insulting).
    You lost me after the first sentence, but I love the pictures!! ;)

  2. Shabby chic is totally correct! And not insulting one bit, as that is the look I was going for. ;-)


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