Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Moving Back a Bit

You might think that after getting feedback from my art group, I'd dive right back into the bubble quilt, putting that input to good use. Instead, the half-square triangle quilt was calling out for attention, and I'm all about heeding the call this year, remember? This is not as odd a move as it looks on the surface. To be honest, that quilt taking up almost all of the design wall had started to irritate me. I turned countless times to put the bubble quilt up on the wall to work out one issue or another only to be confronted by that top. Where at first it was a comforting and colorful addition to the studio, now it was just a distraction and in the way. Time to get the backing pieced and the top layered, even if I just roll it up afterward to be quilt another day.

I'd spent a good deal of time deciding on a backing before I switched gears to the bubbles. I'd done an estimate of how much I needed if I seamed it horizontally, and I had plenty of the pink. So now that I am ready to cut it for that piecing, I am stunned to find there is nowhere near enough! I don't know how I managed to do that, but I did, so it was time to search for another length of fabric that would work with the pink and the top. I decided the fabric on the right would do fine. There were more calculations to make as I decided to now run my seams vertically and cut the panels different widths. Check and double check because the last thing I wanted was to cut and sew and not have the backing wide enough. Oh yeah, and both fabrics were a directional print so lets be sure we don't turn one the wrong way when we pin the panels for joining.

I can now tell you it was a total success and I moved on to layering. I'm trying a batting new to me, one I bought perhaps from Connecting Threads probably a few years ago. I like cotton batting, and for some quilts I like wool, but I also like the cotton blends. I'd not seen a cotton wool blend before so that is why I bought it. The packaging has no brand name on it, just a small piece of paper listing size, fiber content and care instructions. Once I opened it up, I was not impressed. The side I opted to have facing up is very nubby and not consistently so; on a lighter quilt I suspect these bumps would show through. 

On the other side the batting is full of trash - the bits and pieces of the plant that better batting cleans out. There even seems to be some seed leaching oil. This certainly isn't a betting I'd want to be hand quilting. The batting itself is fairly thin and flat - you'd never know there was wool in there so it must primarily be for warmth, not loft. Good thing this is a utility quilt or else I'd be rolling this back up and using something else. I'm interested to see how it quilts up and washes though. I've been fooled before by batting that worked differently than I would have thought. In another life, I would have quilted up a batting sample first. In this one, the whole dang quilt is going to be a sample. 

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