I’ve been slowly making progress on my First Year Quilt by Acorn Quilts. To date I have completed the quilt top and am now ready to assemble the backing. If you would like to look back at my previous posts check out the following links here, and here.
I had quite a bit of fabric leftover when I finished making the quilt top. Not wanting to waste them I decided to stitch together the remaining remnants.
When I was finished I ended up with 29 strips measuring 55″ long. I neatly stacked all 29 strips into one pile. Beginning with the first two I began the laborious process of creating what would be the center panel of my quilt backing. Using a 1/4″ seam I sewed those two strips together. After reaching the end I clipped my threads.
From the machine I carried the fabric strips to my pressing station. There I placed the strip flat on my pressing board and used my 1990’s Rowenta iron to first set the seam by making one pass of the iron over the unopened strip. Next I laid the strip, right side down on the pressing board and using the tip of my warm iron, gently wriggled it along the seam pressing it open. I chose to press the seam open rather than two one side or the other because I wanted to reduce the bulk created by the multiple intersections as much as possible. I had been concerned that this process of pressing was going to be difficult, thinking that the multiple seams might not want to go in my intended direction but I think the gentle wriggling helped to make the process go smoothly. After successfully assembling the first two strips I went on to add the remaining 27.
After completing this step I pressed everything once more then squared up the ends. The panel at this point measured 29 3/4″ x 52″. Originally I was going to stop here and add the additional fabric needed to bring the backing to 74″ x 74″ but I was feeling a bit adventurous so I decided to cut my panel into four equal segments. Once doing that I planned to spin each of them 180 degrees then sew them back together. Turning them 180 degrees didn’t seem to be enough of a change so I shuffled them around and spun them every which way until I was satisfied with the visual appearance.
Sewing them back together was a bit more labor intensive than I had anticipated. Cutting the panel was the fun and easy part. Matching up and pinning the 28 seams was the time-consuming one. Since I wanted to achieve the best possible outcome I coached myself to proceed with care. To distract myself I put a DVD into the player and let it roll while I worked.
When the last stitch was applied I snipped the threads and began the process of pressing open each of the seams. Once I had this part finished I turned my new panel right side up and grabbed my measuring tape. My refashioned center panel now measured 29″ x 50 1/2.”