The Quilting has Begun

The quilt that began with a goal to be finished for my sister's wedding anniversary in July has become my focus for September!

I had raced to finish this much of the (I need a better name...) Neutral Log Cabin quilt before my local agricultural fair in early June.

neutral log cabin quilt

The pattern (by Judy Martin in her book Log Cabin Quilt Book) has a piano key border after this, but I thought it might be a bit too much for the quilt and was trying to decide on other border ideas.

So the quilt sat. Then I decided to start piecing the piano keys. Hey, I liked it! I had thought the swirly blocks pictured above were rather busy and the piano key would be a bit jarring, but it looks pretty good.

I attached the border, and lay the flimsy on my queen mattress and thought it was a bit short for the deep mattress, so I added a solid fabric on three sides.

And I forgot to take a picture of the front.

As I was building my quilt sandwich, I made sure to make the back larger than the front, but didn't measure the batting. Can you see where that is going?

The batting was too narrow with the extra borders. So I ripped them out cause I didn't want to pull out my electric machine to zigzag the cotton batting together. Lazy? Yes.

I pieced the entire top on Sissy, my antique hand crank Csepel, and I do free motion quilting on Janey, my Janome 8200. I have a 1960-or-70-something Brother for projects on a deadline, but it's not my favourite machine and does not have a name. :P

Quilting the log cabin - back view of centre

I pin basted the quilt and happily went to Janey to begin the ditch quilting on the dark logs of each block.

The first day I finished the four centre spiral squares and was quite pleased with how it looked when I glimpsed at the back.

After sewing for about 2 hours on the second day, my shoulders were tired from moving the quilt around so much. Who knew that a queen size quilt was so heavy to free motion quilt?

I had gotten about halfway around the large diamond, which is quite an accomplishment on these 1 inch finished logs.

Here's where you can laugh at me....

A big tuck in the backing! Oh no :(

Would you believe that three times that little voice in my head said "Look at the back" and I stubbornly answered: in a minute..this is the last block I'm quilting til later.

So I did finish that block, then flip over the quilt and see the rather obvious tuck in the backing.

Needless to say it took some steam out of my progress for the day....but it didn't really take that long to pull out the stitches.

It did take a long time (2.5 hours) to remove all the other pins and restretch and baste the quilt.

This time, my pins are closer together and I made sure to pull the backing tight. I also took some care to line up the seam on the back to a seam on the front. I'm certain it's not perfect, but it's pretty good.

Now if I can negotiate some quality time with Janey and this quilt, I'll be a happy camper again! The plan is to finish the ditch quilting on all the dark logs, then fill the light log areas with feather quilting. I've only done one block (12 inches) of feathers - and that was 2 years ago, but I'm sure I can handle it, right?!?!

Please tell me I'm not the only one who may have taken a more generous evaluation of their skills :)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced, and Let's bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

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