2018 Finishes

Thursday, August 4, 2016

President's Blocks Progress

My goal for this quarter with these president's blocks were to:
Finish the top: I did!
With all those seams and all those pieces, it measured 86 1/2" x 100 1/2" at the middle, the ends. This usually doesn't happen to me!

Our sweet golden retriever surveyed my finish and approved!

Piece a back: I did!

I prewash my fabrics to check for bleeding. I was glad that I did because this was the red that I used in the back. If I hadn't checked it, it could have caused havoc with all the white that I have on the front! It is a Cotton and Steel fabric that RJR fabrics produced. I bought a yard of it last summer with no purpose in mind. I just wanted to see what it was like to stitch! I used retayne and my second check produced no colored water which is great! I doubt that people prewashed the fabrics on the front so there may be more issues in the future. (I'm not planning to get the front wet!)

Retain is a color fixative for commercially dyed cotton fabrics.

The blue batik auditioned on the left really is printed with gold Christmas trees. I originally purchased it when I was on a halibut fishing trip to Alaska four years ago. I had planned to use the back; but, the front worked best in this arrangement and I needed more length so these two yards worked slick!

This batik bled also; but, I used synthrapol to stop that! Synthrapol removes excess dye from hand dyed fabrics.

It is rare these days to find a batik that has two different sides.

This back is pieced with blues from my stash. The Hawaiian  print on the bottom of the photo was the fabric I picked up when I first saw my blocks. I thought that I could use it as a border; but, I only bought two yards which wasn't enough.

The real work horse was the brighter blue fabric. I had four yards of it and I just knew it was going to be a border on the front. . .well, quilts tell their own story as they are being made. This one didn't want that blue fabric on the front! Unfortunately, there was a big flaw in the piece so I had to cut the flaw out. I guess cutting it, just added to the design!

The dark blue batik was what was left from sashing the blocks on the front. What you see pictured is 2/3 of the back. Picture a red stripe, then another lighter blue strip on the outside. I just don't have a place large enough to get the whole back in the picture.

I liked how it turned out! I also have the hanging sleeve cut and a pillow case cut. I often use a pillow case as a covering to store the quilt when not in use. If I'm gifting the quilt, it makes a wonderful wrapping! Plus, it makes a nice accessory to the quilt.

I have purchased binding fabric. I'm not positive that it is the right one. . .I was swayed by the $6/yd price!

Pin Baste it: I did!!!
Once I had completed the back, I pin basted it. I use Cindy Needham's method to baste which involves the kitchen table. Here is the back almost ready for batting.

Here the batting is in place and the top is ready to smooth into place. Cindy's method works well and it sure beats crawling around on my knees on the floor. I hope someday, I'll be able to crawl around on my knees again. Since my two arthroscopic knee surgeries, I haven't been able to kneel at all!

I pin baste the layers and use rulers to "try" to keep the lines straight. When that section is basted, I unclamp the back from the table and slide the fabrics to the next section.

I completed stitching in the ditch on the red and white sashing. I've even quilted a few blocks!   I don't know how long this will take as each block is telling me how I should quilt it.

This one said make some lines for the waves, stitch around the rescue buoy, stitch a free form 'X' in each segment. The person who stitched the block often quilted with sharp points in her free motion work so I've honored her a little more!

This one said provide a breeze at the beach.  I quilted swirls in the background. If I were lying on a beach, I could only do it if there were a breeze so that made me choose the swirls. I stitched on some of the red lines in the umbrella; made free form lines in the sold red and stitched around the polka dots in the swim suit. I added some gentle lines in the sand.

I had a hard time adjusting the tension; but, after too many hours of determination of wanting it right, I DID!

Tension can be a headache. When it is right, it is great!

This is the front of the block. I used rulers and a ruler foot to quilt the straight lines. I also quilted around each rescue buoy in the corners.

Only 39 more blocks to go!

I'm pleased with the progress I've made this far. I do need to finish it by the middle of October so that it can be hung in a show. Can I do it??


  1. You've made some incredible progress! I'm sure you can get it done in time for the show at this rate. That is one huge quilt! Thanks for showing how you do your pin basting. I've tried that before and had trouble with it, but I'll have to try it again sometime.

    1. Nancy, I don't know. . .I thought that over the last two days, I could quilt 12 blocks. . . .I quilted two!!! As for pin basting, the next time I do it on the kitchen table, I'm going to open the table to as long as will work in the space so I don't have to move the work so much. I think in the end that will make the process less taxing!--Terry

  2. I agree with Nancy you've made tremendous progress quilting your presidents top, at this rate you'll be done before the middle of October! I've mostly pin basted on the floor, I've only had one knee arthroscopic procedure, pin basting on the floor is not fun even with a foam kneeling pad! I'll try using the table next time. BarbCA

    1. Thanks, Barb. I am motivated to FINISH! I'm determined to be able to get down on the floor again. I've a long ways to go though. This aging thing is not for the weak!--Terry

  3. This is delightful! It's the kind of quilt that I think is fun to quilt. :D

    1. BJ--I'm quilting each block a little differently so it is a little like making 42 little quilts! I'm having FUN! --Terry


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