Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Finish: Scrappy Bee Blocks

Earlier this year the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild had a few quilt bees.  For my month as queen bee, I decided I wanted scrappy stars.  Any star would do, as long as it was low-volume against a good contrast background fabric.
I posted my directions for a Friendship Star and for a Wonky Star so everyone had easy access to the directions.
Any star would do, as long as it was low-volume against a good contrast background fabric.
I used my new design wall to decide on placement of my blocks. I have a project bin full of 6" and 12" blocks that I've been adding to throughout the last couple years. This was the perfect opportunity to use them.
In an effort to avoid working on a very strict grid, I did end up with some short seams. I'm really pleased with how the quilt turned out, but short seams are such a pain!
Once I had the top together I realized I had added an extra row. I was aiming for a 7' by 8' layout and had managed to create a top that was 8' by 8'. Too big! So I did some surgery to remove a row. I rarely rip, so this was important enough that I just hunkered down and got it done.
Here is the final layout. Every star made by the bee is in there.
I pieced the backing and it was a close call with the sizing. This quilt is no small piece of work. This is how I make sure the backing is big enough for the quilt. I fold both the top and the backing into quarters and lay the top on the backing making sure I'm matching the width and length. This means I don't have a have a huge area to lay out the quilt. The top is significantly wider to make sure there is room for the side clamps on the long arm frame.
I selected thread that matches the backing fabric. I wanted to use So Fine! because it is a very understated thread and it quilts up beautifully. The bobbin thread is Omni. This quilt took 8 bobbins to quilt. (The average crib quilt with medium/light density quilting takes about one bobbin.)
The quilting isn't easy to see on the top since it is such a scrappy quilt. This is a view of the back of the quilt while it was still on the frame. This motif really added some amazing texture to the quilt.
Quilted and off the frame!
The texture of this quilting is so much fun!
I dug into my binding bin and found the 10 or so yards of binding ready to go. I attached the binding by machine with a machine-finish. (My tutorial for machine-finished binding can be found here.) I put it on the bed and it is a perfect fit!

Have you been part of a quilt bee this year? If so, did you finish your bee project?

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