Thursday, February 18, 2010

Finally, a Couple of Finishes!

Yesterday was such a busy day for me! I did our taxes from start to e-filing, so that is done for another year. What changes the last year has brought, as evidenced by claiming two less children than last year. Even our youngest doesn't qualify for the child tax credit anymore, though he's still a dependent. Where did the time go?

Time to reveal my first two finishes of 2010......

I got the split nine patch bound and washed. You can't tell in the picture, but is is quilted with diamond crosshatching. This one needs to be mailed to its recipient, so I'm going to try to pack it up today. I had no problems quilting this on my Juki. I don't know why the Juki hated the frame so much, yet sews fine off of it. Now that it's in a cabinet we're finally becoming friends. This quilt measures 80x92 and I had no problems moving it around on the Juki. The cabinet being the size of a small island helped too ;-)

This is a top I made from leftover parts from the Stashbuster Mystery last summer. Since it is incredibly scrappy anyway, I went with a scrappy binding. I really like that look on certain quilts, and I love the fact I am not wasting anything. I got this one finished yesterday too.

Speaking of not wasting anything, the other thing I did yesterday (besides taxes and finishing two quilts) was try piecing leftover pieces of batting. I buy Warm and Natural batting by the roll (crib and queen sizes), and I have some of both sizes left, so I wasn't desperate for batting by any stretch of the imagination. One of my yahoo groups has been discussing different ways of piecing batting, and whether or not it's noticeable in a finished quilt. The general consensus was that pieced batting is not noticeable in a finished quilt, so I decided to try it. Since I buy batting by the roll, I never have large pieces left over, just strips from oversizing the batting a bit. I just cut the correct size off of the roll to begin with, so I don't have a lot of waste. Sometimes I get a bit of a larger piece if I make a 60" quilt, and can't use the crib batting, so use the queen instead. I usually use all of those larger pieces for burp cloths, so those never last long.

What I had available in cotton batting scraps was strips varying in width from 2" to 8". Using a ruler, I cut the strips to the largest width I could, making them straight and even. I butted the now straight edges together and stitched them with the widest zigzag stitch on my machine. It was fast and easy, and I found it pretty relaxing. I did prewash the strips, because I wasn't sure how shinkage would affect the pieced batting. Warm and Natural does fine in the washer and dryer, and I wanted the pieces to shrink, so I washed and fully dried them. I ended up with three crib sized battings from unusable strips, so I was pretty happy with the results. I can barely feel the joins on the batting without fabric on the top and bottom, so I think it will work out fine in a finished quilt.

I have some scraps of polyester batting I might play with next. I won't bother prewashing the poly scraps, since shrinkage is not so much of an issue. It will be great to use up these batting scraps and not have them piling up just because I hate to throw them out.

Today's goal, get the borders on the Shamrock quilt, and possibly start quilting it. I might just do the borders and then play with the polyester batting scraps, I'm not sure. I should be able to quilt the Shamrock quilt in a day, so tomorrow would be soon enough for that. I'd like to have both the split nine patch and the Shamrock quilt in the mail by Monday. How nice to finally be finishing a few things :-)

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