Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the german flag quilt

after finishing my first REAL quilt (for me!) i asked my son what kind of quilt he wanted. he is really into germany and said he wanted a germany-themed quilt. we talked about ideas for that and what it might look like, and we decided to definitely use the german flag colors. i thought a jelly roll race quilt would be fun and easy and lend itself to a very graphic modern pattern.

i ordered jelly rolls in 3 colors and the top WAS very easy and fun to sew! i did it over two evenings, only because of my own time constraints, it went very quickly. i love the idea of the jelly roll race and would like to make more quilts like this as gifts. they go together so easily and are small enough to be machine quilted in my regular machine.

here is the completed top. 
then, something went awry. i washed and dried the top. the yellow strips seemed to shrink at a different rate and became very puckered. i ironed, steamed, pulled and tugged, and got it into the best condition i could. then i made my quilt sandwich and started quilting, from the middle out.

i did straight line, stitch in the ditch quilting on my machine. the machine had no problem handling the thickness, but i had a hard time with the puckering and it got very sloppy. i also didn't get my backing fabric all the way smooth and things were going downhill fast. i got frustrated and stuffed the whole thing in a closet! i just needed to step away from the quilt!

the wip ended up in the closet for several weeks as i curated an art show that took all my spare time. after the show opened and all the craziness died down, i came back around and got the quilt out last weekend. it wasn't as bad as i remembered, and it was very pleasing to sew these nice straight seams. as i got to the ends of the quilt it was smoother and easier to work with. after two nights of working on it, it was done! i bound it with black bias tape.

my son was pleased.

the edges are a little wonky and there's plenty of wrinkles and puckering. i'm still getting the hang of this quilting thing. i think the lesson here is DON'T WASH YOUR TOP. or prewash and preshrink everything, which i elected not to do since they were only 2 inch raw edge strips. surely the edges would have raveled and been harder to work with? hmmm.

it is a cozy quilt in a good size, and i like the straight line quilting. i love the modern, graphic, bold colorway and pattern. i would definitely like to make more jelly roll quilts!

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