Basic Shapes: a finish

Basic Shapes feature shotI knocked one of my three current quilting projects into the finish column last week. Here's the full report on Basic Shapes, my IG (instagram) Mini Swap quilt. It has made it's way to Becky, so I can finally tell you all about it. This project was a lot of firsts for me.

  • first quilt swap
  • first IG swap
  • first medallion style quilt
  • first flying geese
  • first time using Rita Hutchens' tubular strip piecing method
  • first frankenbatting
  • first time quilting using aurifil (I have been piecing with it)
  • first time using 1 3/4" binding strips

I loved watching the progress in the IG community. It was so inspiring (and at times intimidating) to see all the beautiful work being done by the hundreds of other quilters participating. I'm hooked, seriously. I've already signed up for two three more IG swaps (the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap: round 3, as a late addition to be a swap angel in the Disney 2015 swap, and to the new rainbow mini swap).

Basic Shapes finished front

Basic Shapes finished back

Then my 2.5-year-old helper had to take a picture... apparently we had different understandings of what "Do you want to help Mama take some pictures of her quilt?" meant.
Then my 2.5-year-old helper had to take a picture... apparently we had different understandings of what "Do you want to help Mama take some pictures of her quilt?" meant.

A little on my process:

I had a hard time making a plan for my quilt and decided to start with doing something I had never done. I chose a blue fabric to make some flying geese. I also made some with orange. I made the flying geese using Rita Hutchens' Totally Tubular Strip Piecing after seeing her speak at a guild meeting. Halfway in, I decided to alternate the blue and orange geese. They aren't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with them. I'll definitely be doing more of Rita's magical tube piecing. I loved the geometry of the process.

I decided the flying geese would be a fun first border on a medallion style quilt, so I found a 9" star block to use in my center, pleased that the math worked out and I had 32 geese, with a total length of 36". I got stuck there for a while. There were 120 pieces in that 14" square. I kinda didn't know what to do next.

I decided to do the thin green border as a rest from the busy center. Then having used the green, I wanted to avoid it in the final border. I was worried that the last two borders were too simple, but I think with so much detail in the middle it worked out very nicely. In the end, the quilt finished at about 18" square. I'm looking forward to another medallion style quilt. Maybe by myself, or I'd love to do one round robin style with a group.

(I guess I thought the blue side was the top when I was working... it ended up on the bottom corner.)
(I guess I thought the blue side was the top when I was working... it ended up on the bottom corner.)
My frankenbatting. It was remarkably easy to piece together with a 3-step zigzag stitch.
My frankenbatting. It was remarkably easy to piece together with a 3-step zigzag stitch.

I had a great time quilting it. It's the most dense quilting I've done. I worked without marking my lines (cause I think I just don't have the patience for that) and I really felt like I was in control. It was the first time I've quilted with Aurifil thread and I am so pleased! It was so smooth and I had zero thread breaks while I worked. This is amazing compared to normal for me. I'm sold on Aurifil and just picked up some red thread for quilting the mystery quilt. (I see a collection of Aurifil in my future... I'm eyeing the Aurifil color card.)

I attach my binding by machine, and usually use a 2" width, but I've found that it's a little wider than I want it to be, and the stitching visible on the back is 1/8" from the edge of the binding. I tried the 1 3/4" width on this project and it was a little tight, some places the stitching on the back is on the edge of the binding, but I was overall pleased. I added corners at the top for hanging.

I haven't yet received my mini quilt from the swap, but there is so much amazing work being done by all the swappers. Check out #igminiswap on Instagram.

Basic Shapes quilting detail back

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and to TGIFF at Quilt Matters this week (and looking forward to hosting it next week!) :-) Also linking up to Finish Along 2014 Wrap Up Party. Here's my full list of Q4 goals.


14 thoughts on “Basic Shapes: a finish

    1. sarah

      Post author

      Thank you! Truth be told, it was a little hard to give away. I'll have to make myself a mini soon. :-) Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
    1. sarah

      Post author

      Thanks, Laura. I'm really happy that I got some good pictures of the quilting. I think it's my best quilting work to date.

      Reply

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