Sunday, September 8, 2013

Flannel Finish

Gee it's been forever since I've felt like I had time to post something.  I really admire those bloggers who are so proficient at keeping their blog up to date!  I have to admit I've not been doing a lot of quilting lately so there really wasn't much to say.  Now that the weather has changed here in New England and the humidity is gone I'm getting the quilting bug again.

Before I start writing about my latest project I need to catch up on one or two of my previously finished projects.  Let's start with this flannel one.  This is a project that was actually finished and delivered back in May.  I have a very dear friend that lives on a lake and I'd wanted to make a quilt for her and her husband.  So it had to be pretty but masculine at the same time.  As I poked around my stash I came up with this fun flannel fish fabric!

The fish are different types of salmon (my friend loves salmon!).  And then I found these flannel fat quarters in fall colors, plaids, and little flowers.  Seemed like just the right mix!

Deciding on a block was easy; the disappearing 9-patch is a quick fun block I’ve used it several times and loved the end results each time.  Deciding on a layout took a bit longer but after several tries I decided that what was missing from the block was the fish!  So I checked my yardage and had enough for the backing and the blocks.  Here’s what the final block looked like after it was cut and the pieces rotated.  If you have a novelty print that has a specific orientation then rotating the blocks can be tricky. For some of my previous quilts with this block I tested them first. 

In this case, I wanted to make sure that the fish were swimming upright but they could have been rotated any which way and still been fine.  Once the layout and rotation was determined I simply strip pieced the blocks together.

Before bringing the finished top off to the long arm quilter I had to piece the back.  Now most of the time I don’t pick a fabric that has such a distinct pattern so piecing the back just means doing the math, cutting, and sewing the pieces together.  But for this backing I just felt the fish would look weird if they were cut in half and a head swimming into a body!  Kind of ghoulish don’t you think? 

So I took the time to match the pattern and I had whole fish swimming happily around when it was pieced together. Phew!  Funny how I was hearing my mother’s voice as I lined up the pattern (not literally, they lock you up for that!).  She would have been saying “if you’re not going to do it right then don’t do it at all, it only takes a couple extra minutes to get it right!”  How true, and I’m so glad I did it.  Mom would be proud.  :o) 

I love picking out just the right quilting pattern.  This one looks like ripples on the water.  Having a long arm quilter that works with you is one of the best things.  Lori Wurtzler of Seventh Heaven Quilting here in NH has been doing a great job for me.  I always feel like she’s as excited about how the finished quilt will look as I am.  I didn’t get a very good picture of the quilting but if you look closely at the gold and cream squares you can see it.

For the binding I used the same cream fabric that was in the block.  I didn't want to distract from the scrappy nature of the layout so I didn't include any borders or sashing.

And what quilt would one of my quilts be without the “Guppy Quality Check”?

Once it passed the Guppy test the label was all that was left.  As I’ve often said I really don’t like to have a huge white block on the back of the quilt.  I always fine it distracting.  Sometimes you have to do that but I try to at least incorporate some type of fabric from the front to tie it all together.  For this one I just wanted to put my name and the date on it because I loved how the fish looked swimming around in the water.
The finished quilt came out beautiful and my friend loved it.
I hope you'll give that disappearing 9 patch block a try I think it will become one of your favorites too!



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