I got the borders on my Crossroads quilt this weekend, though not without some difficulty (aka unsewing).
I am using this holly stripe fabric for the border. It is from an older Moda line by April Cornell called Christmas Presence. When I saw the Crossroads pattern, I knew it would be a good use of this print. The strips run lengthwise on the fabric, with five stripes across the width of the fabric.
I initially cut the stripes apart so that the solid red between each of the holly stripes would form the edges of each border. But when I got the first border on, I was not happy with the look. There was only about 3/8" of red next to the black inner border and it wasn't enough. After some experimentation, I found the best look could be achieved by trimming the red so it was seam allowance only and sewing on the outer line of the green holly stripes. But that meant unpicking the initial border, 73" long. Not fun, but I did it, trimmed all four borders, then started sewing again.
The effort paid off and I am very happy with how the borders look now.
Oh, and did I mention mitered corners? Mitered corners are not my favorite part of quilting but sometimes they are necessary. Definitely with this print, so I forged ahead.
And actually, they were not that difficult. Maybe I've had enough practice now to become fairly proficient. (I think this is the third or fourth time I've mitred the corners on a border.) They turned out quite nicely. Here's a close-up.
I found some fabric in my stash that might work for the back. I just need to measure and be sure I have enough.
I recently got three quilts back from longarm quilters. But I need to bind and label them before I can truly call them finished. So I've been making binding. And over the next few weeks, I'll be sewing it on. And then there will be a few "show off the final quilt" posts around here on Main Street. Stay tuned!
Quilt shows are a great place to find new tools. Across all the vendors at a large quilt show, you tend to see a lot more goods than your local quilt shop can stock. Additionally, there may be a tool maker or originator on hand giving demonstrations. That's how I found some of my favorite quilting specialty rulers, like Bloc Loc (great for accurately trimming half square triangles and flying geese). In fact, I usually come home from a quilt show with at least one new specialty ruler or tool. But not this time.
When I went to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XIX this past weekend, I was looking for a specific tool, the Quilt Ruler Connector. I had heard about this gizmo from Thelma on her blog, and it sounded like something that would come in handy for cutting borders. Though I searched the tool and ruler racks of the various vendors, I did not see it. I'll have to order it from an online source.
But I did see the Kaleidoscope Smart Plate ruler...again.
As soon as I saw it, I remembered buying it last year. It was a great reminder that I want to make a kaleidoscope quilt and use this ruler in the process. It looks like it makes the construction of the block much easier. Squash House Quilts has a demo.
Maybe it is just as well that I was not seduced by any new tools. I have plenty of old tools I haven't even tried out yet.
This past weekend, I went to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, an annual quilt show outside Philadelphia. I always enjoy this show, the largest quilt show in my area, and this year was no exception. Here are just a few of the display quilts that particularly caught my eye.
Field of Lubines, by Betty K. Fulmer of Quakertown, PA. Machine appliqued and machine quilted.
Pineapple Blue, by Brigitte Morgenroth of Germany. Paper pieced and machine quilted. It won a "Best Use of Color" ribbon.
This close-up shows how the quilting emphasizes the circular shape achieved with the pineapple piecing. I've been thinking about tackling a pineapple quilt recently, which is probably why this one caught my attention.
Millefiori, by Chrise Kenna of New Zealand. It was inspired by Murano glass paperwights and constructed with the spiderweb technique but with additional spidewebs in what are usually the negative space/solid fabric spaces.
This has to be the ultimate scrap quilt! I think it is spectacular!
Barcelona Crow;s Nest, by Pat Delaney of Abington, MA. It was inspired by a mosaic ceiling seen in Barcelona. This quilt won 3rd place in the Traditional category.
Fabric loops on all four edges and a variety of quilting patterns in the strips and triangles.
At a quilt show, the vendors are just as much fun as the exhibits. This year, I was more restrained with my purchases than usual because I have my next several projects mentally planned and so was looking for only a few items. I could not pass up this key ring. It is inlaid wood and hand-made. Each color is a different type of wood. The maker had boxes, necklaces, earrings, pins, and Christmas ornaments as well as key chains, all with quilt block motifs.
In case you are thinking these would make nice gifts, you can find them at www.woodquilter.net.
I limited my fabric purchases to a few fat quarters.
And I bought just one pattern, Irish Birds by Lynette Anderson Designs. The vendor had a sample hanging up and when I saw it, I was sure I had finally found the design deserving of my hoarded fat quarter stack of Rouenneries fabrics.
The pattern is an Irish Chain design with added applique and embroidery.
Just a short post to show you the progress on my Christmasy Crossroads.
I'm in the process of sewing the center section together - blocks, sashing, and setting triangles. There will be a narrow black inner border and then the holly stripe outer border.
It is coming together very well. Either the pattern is particularly good or I've been unusually accurate because I managed to avoid nipping off any of the points on the star blocks! Just a bit more work and I'll have a finished flimsy.
Reading about quilt shops can be almost as much fun as visiting them in person. That's why I so enjoy Quilt Sampler magazine.
It was publishing genius when they increased the frequency to two times per year. I may never go on a physical shop hop but I've done it in my head once or twice a year for the past ten years or so.
Though I enjoyed this issue, none of the quilt projects caught my fancy enough to go on the LIST. But there were a few drool-worthy specimens on display in the store photos, particularly this rainbow effect design made from solids, hanging on a wall in Quilt Beginnings in Columbus, Ohio.
From the notation, I think it is the store's own pattern, called Amish Crossroads. At the moment, their website is not set up for e-commerce but maybe I could order the pattern by phone. Hmm...
I guess I could have clled this post, "Storing and Displaying Quilts, Part 3." I was doing some errands on Saturday and my route took me by a furniture consignment store in Princeton. I have plans for an update of our living room and dining room so decided to run in and see what was available. I didn't find anything for the living room or dining room but I did find this:
It is a brass quilt rack, designed to hold three quilts. It was priced at about $80 (with sales tax) so I decided it had to come home with me. It is perfect for our mostly traditional decorating style.
Here it is in the bedroom with some of my quilts...and a view from the top.
Right now, it is in front of a window so I need to do a little rearranging so I can move it out of direct sunlight. I think I can even squeeze a couple more quilts on it.
I labored over the weekend - it was a labor of love - and finished all the blocks for my Crossroads quilt. They are up on my design wall, though not very tidy. But now I can see how it will come together.
My next step is to add the sashing, then the side triangles, then the striped border. I hope to get this finished and quilted in time for Christmas.