Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Lots of Parrots


The only downside to using a great big print on the back of a quilt is that you just can't slap two pieces together and call it a day. A print this perfect deserves to be matched. For that to happen you need extra fabric. The parrots had a 22" repeat.

Normally I do work like this on the floor, but it occurred to me that using the design wall would be much easier and more efficient. I pinned the fabric to one side of the design wall, using a plumb line to make sure I had it nice and straight. I let 6" fall over the top, since that's my my longarm quilter requires on all four sides. Next I allowed for 6" at the bottom and cut the yardage into two pieces. Then I lined up the second piece as best I could. I didn't need to line them up perfectly. You can see the excess that overhangs on the right side. I trimmed the bottom right side, and took everything down, matched the birds, pinned the edges and held my breath.

I carefully stitched along the printed edge. Where the white bird met the edge, I drew a line in pencil so I had a line to follow.

I sewed about 24" to check my alignment. It wasn't quite right, so I ripped the seam out, realigned the fabric and did it again. This time it was better, so I pinned the length of the fabric and sewed the entire length. When I unfolded it, it looked perfect to me. Due to the variations in the printing and the fact that it is fabric, you can't always get it 100% perfect all the time, but this is an example of if you've got it really close, nobody can really tell unless they are really really looking.

I spread it out on the floor to check, then trimmed the excess fabric. It looked great to me. I used black thread to sew the two halves together. I knew it would be perfect for everything until it got to a white bird, but I figured no matter what thread I used it would be wrong at least part of the seam. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and take your chances. This isn't a show quilt, and this isn't rocket science. Occasionally an attitude adjustment is needed. Perfection is nice but isn't really all that important in quiltmaking.

Now the quilt and the backing are neatly pressed and folded and ready for Janet-Lee to do her magic.


Linda Swanekamp said...

I always find matching the backing fabric a true hold your breath excercise. You did great. It helps you bought enough fabric.

Karen S said...

I was wondering if the seam allowance was sewn into the backing (?) Are you concerned about the fabric pulling, or not laying properly?
Thanks! I love the bird fabric.

Just Ducky said...

You've done furry well Miss Lynne.

Nancy J said...

This says, you can never have too much fabric, that is a very long repeat, The last time I made curtains, they had a same colour floral design, and I did manage to get them lined up, Love the way you pinned, it looks fabulous.