Monday, October 1, 2018

Slinky To The Finally Finish Line

Last month when I finished the Slinky top, I had mentioned that I needed to quilt it as soon as possible because Fall was in the air despite being in a heat wave at that time.  And wouldn't you know it, after finally having some cool temps for a few hours this week, a voice living outside my head said: "Are you ever going to finish my quilt?".  Yes, the screaming squirrel has morphed into my 6'4" son and the quilt was now needed at the fire station. It's not that I wasn't working on it, just thinking about it for the past month.  I still had to purchase the Star War fabric for the backing and I was tempted to not quilt it myself since this was going to be the largest quilt I ever machine quilted so I needed to ruminate for the challenges.  Slinky was finally finished yesterday and wouldn't you know it, we're going to be having cloudy weather for the next few days so my photos are going to be on the dismal side.  Master Quilt Holder is happy that this quilt needed to be hung off the screen room room since it was too long for him to hold up.
The fabrics I chose were Amy Ellis' Chic Neutral, which I had in my stash, a charm pack and yardage were left over after using it as a test quilt for the Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilt last year and also yardage of Marcus Brothers Aged Muslin in gray.  Since I had to design Slinky around the charm pack, the quilt is made up of 4.5" squares and strips in varying widths as you can see in my sketch.
I wanted a modern look rather than a traditional one patch layout and was inspired by some of the quilts I've seen made by Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation and others on Pinterest.  I opted for the gray strips to be equal on both sides rather than offset since I thought it would have looked crooked laying on the bed. The sizes of the gray strips depended on what I could have cut from my June Tailor Shape Cut ruler since I wanted them to be exactly the same size and my cuts are never accurate when it involves cutting them either with a ruler or the measurements on the cutting mat.  I've learned from making my Regatta quilt  that it's easier for me to precut my strips to size before sewing and not to cut them to size after the top is sewn. After the top was sewn, the end of my rows were exact and, if I can remember, there was no trimming at all.
For such an easy pattern, there was a challenge with Slinky when I was sewing the top. Once the squares and strips were laid out on my design board, the squares were numbered and the rows separated by a fabric scrap in between, this should have been an easy sew but it was not since I wasn't paying close enough attention to the numbers and sometimes inadvertently flipped some of the squares the wrong way up while sewing them together.  Sir Seam Ripper was called to action way too often to take apart some rows which I knew were wrong when two squares of the same fabrics happened to be in the same spot and didn't noticed it until after it was sewn together.  Lesson learned--take a photo of your layout before sewing for reference, which I did several times before the seam ripping began.
Once the top was sewn I was ready to take a break from Slinky because I had other projects like my Echinacea Quilt which I mistakenly thought needed to be finished for the 2018 Quilt Bloggers Festival and there were other new DrEAMi projects which distracted me from the inevitable piecing of the Star Wars backing.  Normally, I'm not particular about matching seam lines which is why I choose busy prints for the backing, but the Star Wars print needed to match.  I thought I did a pretty good job by getting Princess Leia's shoulders to match but after the backing was sewn, I realized the match point should have been Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker with their lightsabers.  Oh well, not too noticeable, right?  And this should prevent Demando from using the backing for the top which someone (specifically his sister-in-law) does.  Sometimes piecing is not appreciated when the backing is really cute or cool.  My only disappointment with the Star Wars fabric is that Yoda does not appear on it and would have been sweet since Demando used to call my late mother, his grandmother, Yoda.  BTW, when my sweet granddaughter is going to call be Moda when she's able, which is way more nicer sounding than "Da" which sounds like dog.
Slinky measures 68"x 90" after quilting which is not as long as I would have liked; I am still amazed that the quilting could shrink a quilt as much as 2". The machine quilting went very nicely, despite the size and the wrestling involved--just straight lines along the seams and slinky, wavey lines in between using a gray thread on top and silver on the bottom.  Surprisingly and very welcomed was the lack of distortion on the sides--I think the tight weave of the Aged Muslin prevented that which is also why I used a Chrome Microtex needle. I'm glad I decided at the last moment to machine bind Slinky with the gray aged muslin rather than with one of the prints used in the quilt. I had planned to use wool batting since Demando wanted the quilt to be warm so I purchased Pellon's wool batting, in Queen size, since I've already used their cotton batting for many of my quilts and never had any problems with it.  Once the wool batting was placed over the backing, I happened to look at the care instructions and much to my surprise and disappointment I saw that this it could NOT be put in the dryer which I did not notice when looking for wool batting online.  Why would or could anyone hang dry a bed quilt after washing especially in the Winter.  I can't even get a clothes line in my backyard let alone inside my house.  So the wool batting was replaced with the Pellon cotton batting in white, thankfully I just purchased a bolt of it recently and mentioned to my hubby that Demando probably wouldn't notice the difference.  I was wrong.  The first thing he said after touching the quilt was why didn't I use wool batting. I asked him how he knew and his response was Slinky felt like all of the other quilts in the house. Really, I now have Quilt Detective Demando living in our house. When I explained to him that the quilt would have to have been hang dry which is hard when the weather is cold, Demando's response was didn't I know that quilts were supposed to be washed in the Springtime so they could be hung outside. Demando knows way too much about quilting for someone who's never made a quilt.  
All in all, I'm happy that Slinky is a Finally Finish and I really like this pattern which I think will be using it again--it's great for squares which I have with the many charm packs I have and can easily be die cut from my stash. Demando is happy, he better be, despite not having a long, super warm quilt to sleep under while he's at the fire station.  My thought, he shouldn't get too comfortable, after all he's on duty.  Maybe, I'll make him a new quilt with the wool batting for his bedroom at home so he can wash it and hang dry it outside himself if and when I ever get my clothesline.  A Mother's love only goes so far now that my granddaughter is around.

20 comments :

  1. Beautiful quilt! Love the story that goes with it.

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  2. Now there is one happy (and lucky) guy! My daughter would love that quilt backing too! You sure have finished a lot this year!!

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  3. You are such a great story teller. And I might add a loving mother too. It's a beautiful quilt and I agree that it makes a perfect pattern for those charm packs that seem to accumulate on the shelf.

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  4. What a pretty quilt. And I think perhaps it's time Demando learns to sew...something to fill his time at the firehouse between naps and calls to help those in need?

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  5. What a lucky guy! I really like how your quilt turned out. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

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  6. I love his smile with the quilt and, clearly, he knows his quilt stuff! The quilt really came together well. I like the quilting; I'm going to have to keep that design in mind! Good job on the finish!

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  7. It’s so lovely Rose, and you can tell how much Demando loves it from the look on his face. I’m amazed at his knowledge of quilting, it shows how much he actually listens to you too, I don’t think my son listens to me like that, more in one ear and out the other when I’m wittering on about subjects he isn’t interested in. You reminded me a have a layer pack, it would be a great pattern to finally use it up, and no waste too.

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  8. Great quilt and love the story that goes with it.

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  9. Good Morning Rose! Yes, a mother's love does only go so far once grandchildren are in the picture. That is a known fact. I can see why Demando was anxious for this quilt to be finished. It is fabulous! I just LOVE all the different fabrics you chose, and also the quilting. Aren't you just so proud of yourself for doing it?! He looks very happy with the finished product. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  10. What a fabulous beast of a quilt! I love the pops of yellow! I can't imagine trying to wrestle it through a sewing machine though. Well done!

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  11. Demando. Snort. What a cool nickname. And he's a detective at that. Congrats on a DrEAMi finish! I think you did great at that back. Even with your neon arrows, I was trying to figure out what you wanted us to look at with the matching, so I'm sure it's going to be fine. I had no idea you couldn't put wool batting in the dryer. I wonder if anyone has broken the rules and tried it. I'd love to know what happened to it. I do hope your son gets to sleep through the night when he's at the station. It will mean all's well with the world.

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  12. I love how you arranged the charm squares. They look great. Your son sure does look happy with his quilt so you know it's a job well done. I also love your last sentence and I know all about that as well.

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  13. Demando is a very in-the-know quilt recipient!!! I love the last photo. He is quilt worthy. In line behind Micah, but still in line. BTW, Quilter's Dream Wool is machine wash cold and machine dry. And if you want it warmer than that, add a layer of QDB cotton under the wool. That's the brand I always use. http://www.quiltersdreambatting.com/products/dream-wool/

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  14. Beautiful quilt. Laughed at Quilt Detective Demando!

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  15. I love this post! You thought about everything while making this quilt! The colors are fabulous. And the quilting...perfect. I have a quilt with wool batting and I wash and dry it at least once a year. Never have I had a problem. And I find it hilarious that your son noticed!! We think our kids don't pay attention, but they know more about quilting than we think...and are more than happy to blow our minds when they share it!

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  16. Beautiful fabrics, lovely quilt but the star of this post is the handsome man and his gorgeous smile. If screaming squirrels morph into handsome tall men, I'd go around petting them :-D

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  17. Looks Great. I love bk and white with any color but this really pops.

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  18. Oh, Rose, you always make me laugh! Calling your son Demando and the quilt a screaming squirrel, ha ha! It turned out great, very modern and masculine, and the smile on his face says it all :)

    I didn't know you weren't supposed to machine dry wool batting. I've only made two wool quilts and washed and dried them both. They did shrink a lot but since I never know how big mine will be to begin with, I don't usually care too much about shrinkage. But for your tall, handsome son, long is important!

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