Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Project Quilting Update

In truth, I had totally forgotten about Kim of Persimon Dreams PQ 13.4 this past week, because of a few things. One was focusing on my Postcard from Sweden next third of the quilt (check). The other was the ongoing Grifter Convoy or kukluxkonvoy that, for the record, had absolutely nothing to do with mandates, but more to do with overthrowing our entire government, far right hatred, and conspiracy theories galore. A third was that figure skating also figured into my sewing time, as I cannot 'watch' TV and sew at the same time; something suffers.

Here, on a much happier, creative note, is my PQ 13.4 challenge, Mining for Diamonds.
That was about as still a photo as I could get in the crazy wind! The sunshine was just so good to show off these beautiful colours.
I made this from my still plentiful stash of gorgeous Island Batik fabrics. They are so very generous with their supply of beautiful fabrics for their ambassadors.

Each year I aim to make one quilt-sized quilt during Project Quilting. I have been wanting to work in actual fabric with HRTs; I actually have a few quilt designs I've drawn up using them. I knew it would have to be a quick make, with large blocks, since I only started making this Thursday, and it was due on Sunday at noon Central time. I pulled out a couple of books, one by Karla Alexander, New Cuts for New Quilts, and another by Tonya Alexander, Stash Lab. My eye fell on Karla's quilt, 'Diamond Throw' and right away I knew that was it. I made mine a bit smaller though. Then it was time for fabric.

Choosing fabrics is my favourite part of making a quilt. I absolutely love playing with colour combinations. However, it usually takes me longer than it really should because I can't decide! Subtext: too many choices, lol. I almost made this quilt with a fat quarter stack of Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou that I've had since Craftsy closed down. But then I saw all my Island Batik lovelies. Each time I go up the stairs to my sewing studio, I see them in rainbow order, and the blues and limes have really been grabbing my attention the past month or so. Maybe I'm just itching for spring... Anyhow, I decided to scratch that itch.
Yellow-greens, blue-greens, light and medium blues, oh my!

I don't have a lot of process photos because? Deadline! And boy do I work well under pressure. I had the top together in no time at all. I set the HRTs on my design wall as I sewed. Do you stop cutting in order to sew a few blocks, just to see... ? I pretty much always do! With Karla's method of slicing a little bit oversize rectangles corner to corner, sewing together and trimming to size, this was utterly painless.

You may notice a few switcheroos happened, just to even out or have better contrast between values.

Next was finding a backing. I did not want nor really have time, to piece a back, but my widleback stash is extremely limited: two rainbow and a friends one from Connecting Threads is it - wait - AND?! A fairly good chunk of leftover wide backing from The Light Within, my last published quilt in Make Modern (see sidebar) - affiliate links. Was there enough? Yay me: I had written down the size of the piece on a paper and attached it to the fabric, and it was more than enough! I even sewed on a cloth label.

Loaded it onto Avril and off I went. Well, I cried a little inside because oh, I wanted to do some fancy-schmancy work in the off-white diamonds, especially with a wool batting, but nope. I made myself stick to an all-over meander (which I love, very very zen-like to quilt), although I did do some stitch-in-the-ditch in the outer seams of all the diamonds. I used an Essential thread from Connecting Threads (affiliate link). The pale yellow is perfect to blend over the blues and greens in various shades as well as the off-white.

Saturday night (past my bedtime) I had the quilt quilted and trimmed, and the binding decided upon and cut. This is one super-soft snuggly little quilt.

Sunday I had to teach yoga, and walk dogs, and then I set to work sewing on the binding. I am not a fast binding applier at all, so I was feeling the pressure, as I now had 1.5 hours after doing all my IRL stuff. And I had binding malfunction. Twice. I sewed the right side of a strip to the wrong side. Yep. Twice. Batiks are beautiful in that they really don't have a definite right side, but when you have raw edges on the outside edge of the binding strip, that is not good!

I sewed the binding, once I got it all oriented correctly, onto the front of the quilt, glued it to the back (love this method) and then carefully stitched in the ditch on the front of the quilt, catching the glued-down back of the binding at the same time.
Spot my initials!

It's not as neat on the back as I would like, but I love how it looks on the front, and, truth tea, I missed a couple of spots and had to go back in after the deadline and fix them.

So... I forgot that the label would actually be on the right hand side of the front of the quilt when loaded for quilting (Are you confused? I was, but not now ha!), so I came very very close to cutting part of it off. I considered taking it all off, re-sewing it a little further over, and then finishing the meander on my Bernina, but... you guessed it. Deadline! 

A flat shot on the floor in indoor natural light.

Regardless, it was done and posted on Instagram and linked with a whole EIGHT MINUTES to spare. I think I am actually the last one in the linkup this time, gulp. Thank goodness Kim had it open until 1:30 my time; otherwise I wouldn't have made the deadline.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Diamond Throw by Karla Alexander
Size: 42.5" x 44.5"
Fabric: Island Batik
Backing: Benartex wide back
Batting: Quilter's Dream 100% wool
Quilted: on Avril: 29 346 stitches
Threads: pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Essential cotton 50 wt; The Bottom Line in the bobbin.

A quick note of my PQ 13.3 project which was Kitchen Influence. I posted it on Instagram, but never did write anything here. I made a placemat in red for the RSC colour of January. This was thanks to a squirrel from Janine at Quilts from the Little House, as well as
in my scraps.

Well I liked it so much that I thought I may as well whip up a turquoise one for February's colour.

So apparently I now have two RSC ongoing projects this year. How does that happen every year? I checked with Joy of The Joyful Quilter, and yep, this counts for her Table Scraps Challenge, so I guess I'm participating in that now too!


  1. I usually always sew a block just to see, then cut more fabric as I go. Nice to read that I'm not the only one with an oopsie or two in project quilting challenge. Gluing and stitching the binding from the front is my go to for binding.

  2. What a pretty quilt, Sandra. I think it's pretty amazing that you could finish this in the timeframe for PQ! I've had those snafus with binding, too, so I'm always careful to check now.

  3. I'm so impressed that you could make a whole quilt, completely finished, in just a few days, Sandra! That is a really pretty design, and I love those beautiful batiks. Makes me think I should purchase more batiks for my stash.

  4. Wow, Sandra! That is a lovely quilt. I love the blue and lime prints and the soft background fabrics. The photo in the sun really makes it glow. Those deadlines certainly do seem to bring out the best in you. I hadn't checked out the PQ challenges this year. I think I forgot about them. And those placemats are so scrumptious. I can see you sitting on the deck with those on the table in different colors this spring summer. Congrats on a great finish.

  5. Hi Sandra! Figure skating is a complete distraction in our home as well as the biathlon. A few upsets keeps us watching, that's for sure. Lovely Project Quilting piece and congrats for getting it linked up in the knick of time! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. I need to remember that large, loose meander for a donation quilt. I often meander fairly tightly and then it takes forever. Of course, I need to actually finish a donation quilt or two soon. You sure do like to cut those PQ deadlines close. The diamonds look great.

  7. Lovely Sandra & while you were talking about your colour choices, I thought you'd done something in similar colours I'd seen lately & yep, I was right. A loose meander definitely makes the quilt cuddlier. Figure skating seems to be something I missed, being on at times that were either too late or they just didn't show on our local channel, but I did see the bit before the closing ceremony & so enjoyed. It brings back the days of my youth, skating my teenage years away & being in the chorus line of two shows held at the ice rink where I went for years. My last little skating adventure was in 2018 with my granddaughter & my boots don't fit me anymore, as my feet have changed so much, but I hired a pair (for free)after one of the attendees noticed my dilemma & I had so much fun, even though a couple of people commented on doing well for my age....ha, ha. Sorry about the silliness of above. Take care & hugs.

  8. Ooh love the quilt. Sadly I just have too much on this year to do the PQ challenge. Never thought to glue the binding onto the back, I must try it. I always use loads of quilting clips. Not tried HRT's something else to add to my ever expanding list. Love the two place mats, not doing the RSC this year either. However progress is being made with my Postcard from Sweden, although I've made a mistake, it really doesn't need to be changed but.... I know I'm going to end up changing it so I may as well just get on and do it!

  9. That is a wonderful quilt for PQ! And of course your table mats are lovely, too. Fun that you were the last one in....I have yet to do any PQ this year, just too many little things and not enough big quilting things.

  10. Have I told you that I LOVE Batiks (probably more than once), and they look lovely, especially in my favourite colour green, and close second blue. And as for the kukluxkonvoy (I love that), I can't decide whether I'm more irritated at them or the Konservatives (and really glad I'm not the only one), but feel so sorry for those that live nearby in Ottawa. Think they should have all been arrested for disturbing the peace, and sent to . . . oh, 'h e double hockey sticks' how bout Guantanamo Bay. As for figure skating, I seem to have missed it, along with the Biathalons - love the shooting with cross country, the Olympics seem to have come and gone when I blinked - so bummed I missed most of it. As for postcards, I haven't had a chance there either, one of these days I'm going to sneak off and make some me time. Thanks for the post Sandra, even if it was time stamped 4:00 a.m. - get some sleep, and take care!

  11. Oh, a big quilt, and so beautiful. Those fabrics are darling.