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.”
This seemed like a natural place to stop so I set my things aside and took a break. So what do you think?
The kit for this quilt has been moved from my old house to the new one and finally to my Little Cabin in the Woods. I first mentioned this project here. When I last shared my progress the pre-cut fabric strips had been starched, carefully pressed and trimmed to size.
Since that previous post I have been very busy assembling the quilt blocks. The pattern is a scrappy log cabin. All of the blocks have a red center. Twenty of the center squares measure 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. The remaining sixteen squares have a center of 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″. The shop I purchased the quilt kit from was called Acorn Quilts. The author of the quilt included wool fabric to construct an acorn shaped applique for the center of each of the 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares. While I am sure the acorns were very meaningful to the pattern’s creator, given the name of her shop, I don’t share the same enthusiasm. I have elected not to include them on my quilt.
Also changed was the order in which the fabric strips were added to the centers. The instructions and the included photo told the quilter to add the dark fabrics on two of the log cabin sides and light fabrics on the remaining two.
The segregation of colors or shades creates an auxiliary pattern. While the original pattern or arrangement is what initially caught my eye I chose not to follow the directions. Instead I began each square by first surrounding them with one round of each of the required light strips, then dark strips. I repeated that rhythm one more time. The finished quilt top looks very different from the pattern but I am overjoyed with the outcome.
Recently I assembled the thirty-six blocks first into rows and then the rows into a quilt top. The quilt top currently measures 65 1/2″ x 65 1/2″. The top has been carefully pressed and added to my stack of quilts waiting to be finished.
The next step would be constructing the quilt’s backing fabric, but that’s being saved for another post.
Here’s a photo of the quilt top before sewing the rows together.
In May of 2013 I stumbled upon a quilt kit at Acorn Quilts (no longer in business). The kit included pre-cut fabric strips, one each, from the bolts of fabric the owner had sold her First Year in business.
The minute I walked into the store the quilt caught my attention. I made several trips around the shop absorbing all the colors and patterns; all the while keeping my eye on that quilt. Something about it had grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. Not wanting to make a hasty decision I decided it was best to ponder the quilt’s purchase.
My husband had traveled with me to the fabric shop. Upon returning to our car I shared with him how I had fallen in love with one particular quilt. Since it was now almost lunch time we decided to share a bite to eat at a local restaurant. As we ate our meal I couldn’t get the quilt out of my head. I just knew I had to have one.
Not surprisingly the first place we went after lunch was back to the fabric shop to purchase the First Year quilt kit.
On 6/5/2013 I published a post mentioning the quilt for the very first time. Other than moving the quilt kit from one house to another, not much had happened to it until recently. In February of this year I attended a sew day organized by one of the Madison quilt guilds. The First Year quilt was one of two projects I took with me. I ended up passing over the first project when I discovered the fabrics needed to be pre-washed. With #1 eliminated that meant the First Year quilt would get all of my attention.
I worked diligently all day starching and pressing the fabrics along with trimming 3/4’s of the fabric strips to size. Within a few days of returning home I finished cutting the remaining strips and even managed to get one quilt block assembled.
Since February no further progress has been made. As I find time to continue working with the quilt I will post updates. Thanks so much for sharing your time.