Friday, June 03, 2011
Rainbow Rail Quilt Finished
I finished up my "rainbow rail" quilt last night and am very happy with how it turned out! (earlier posts about this quilt are here and here.) I love how my friend Mandy usually rounds the corners of her quilts (like these), and I thought it would provide good balance to all the straight lines and blocks in this quilt, so I went for it. I like it this way, especially since it's a baby quilt, but I also think I would have liked it with square corners.
This was my first attempt at free-motion quilting a whole quilt - I had been practicing on some smaller projects, and I decided this was a good time to take the leap, especially since I wasn't sure how I could straight line quilt this in a way that complemented the design well. It definitely isn't perfect - my stitch length is a bit variable and there are just some out and out mistakes - but for a first try I think it is not bad at all! I used white thread to quilt it which stands out more than I'd like in some places, but seemed like the best choice given the rainbow of colors in the quilt.
I also used spray basting for the first time, which I figured would be easier than taking out pins as I quilted, and it worked really well. I got Sulky because they had it at my fabric store (I later saw it at Joann's too, so if I buy more I may get it there with a coupon), but I also liked that it said it was non-toxic and safe to spray indoors. It seemed to work well but since I have never used another brand I can't make any comparisons - I'd be interested to hear what brands other folks use and how you like them.
While I had originally thought about binding the quilt with a solid brown, I decided that was too dark and went with a forest green color from my stash (pretty sure it is Kona but I don't know which shade unfortunately). I feel like I could have probably come up with a more perfect fabric to complement the front of the quilt - maybe rainbow polka dots or a stripe? although maybe rainbow would have been overkill - but I think this works fine. And I love how it looks with the cute veggie backing fabric!
I went out of my way to make bias binding for the quilt to go around the curves, but I wasn't paying attention and I am embarrassed to admit that I messed it up and didn't actually cut it on the bias! I was basically following this technique (although I didn't make it into double fold tape, I just ironed it in half to make the binding), but after made the parallelogram shape I accidentally drew my cutting lines parallel to the grain rather than along the bias cut edge... OOPS. I didn't figure it out until I had sewn around two of the rounded corners on the back, and it just didn't seem to be acting like bias-cut binding should. In retrospect, I am actually impressed that it went around the corners as well as it did!
I also tried a new stitch to attach the binding to the back of the quilt, and was really happy with how it turned out. In the past I have done a blind hem stitch, but inspired by this post, I tried a ladder stitch (which I have done before, but not on binding), and I agree that it makes the binding more even; I also suspect that it will be more durable, which is good since I am hoping this baby blanket will get a lot of use and love! The photo above shows the quilt after washing, all crinkled up.
I'm posting a bit early, but I'll be linking up to Sew Modern Monday on Canoe Ridge Creations on Monday - check it out to see others' modern sewing projects!