Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Reflections on Dear Jane

I feel as though I've been making the DJ quilt for at least three years but was surprised to look at my first DJ post and found it was mid May 2013. That means it's taken me only one year and nine months from start to finish!

I really loved making this quilt and enjoyed every part of the process. The cutting and piecing was easy using the freezer paper method, the triangles were much simpler than I expected and even sewing all the sashings on at the retreat was a breeze.

I made about 80% of the real DJ blocks before deciding that the ones that were left were ugly or too fiddly so from then on I drafted or designed my own. The triangles were mostly my own designs or adapted from the DJ originals with several being designed by my quilting friends (I was running out of inspiration by this time and so threw paper triangles, rulers, applique templates and pencils at them and told them to draw something!) At this stage I cheekily added a kangaroo block to remind me where I made the quilt, which has horrified some but pleased others (this Aussie block is the favourite of my husband and daughter).

I won't post any photos of the whole quilt until the QuiltWest exhibition in May so watch this space...

Ok, so what do I do now? I might have to take up knitting...

Dear Jane Scallops 3

For those who want to know how I faced my scallop edge here are a few photos of the process. For full instructions go to Marci Baker of Alicia's Attic for her wonderful video on how to finish an irregular quilt edge. She shows how to finish a hexagon edge but it works perfectly for scallops.

Cut 4 strips the length of the quilt plus extra for mitering the corners. Measure the scallop depth adding 1/4" for seam allowances and bit extra for safety. Double this number to get the cut width. Press facing in half lengthways as shown above

I pre-quilted each scallop so that I would have the curved shape showing through to the back of the quilt (Marci stay stitched around her hexagons on the machine).

Lay the facing on the right side of the quilt with the raw edges matching and pin in place.

Turn the quilt to the back and, starting from the exact corner of the quilt, sew along the side of the quilt using a small stitch and using the quilted scallop line as a guide (I stitched just over a 1/4" away from this line). Make a pencil mark at each point between the scallops to show where to stop and turn for the next scallop.

Finish sewing exactly at the far end corner of the quilt and after each facing has been attached trim the excess fabric away and clip the inner points. Very sharp (Kia) scissors are essential for this and be careful not clip through the stitches.

See the video mentioned above to see how the corners are mitered (I pressed the 45 degree angle on each facing end but forgot to take a photo).

Turn the scallops inside out and press the edges. The facing will now be at the back of the quilt and can be stitched down along the folded edge, hand stitching the mitered corner using the pressed lines as a guide.

I trimmed a bit too much bulk from the first corner before turning it over, which made sewing the miter a bit fiddly. I didn't do that again, proving you always learn from your mistakes!

And here's the result...Much easier than I expected!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Dear Jane Scallops 2

Racing around the edge quilting the scallops. The end is in sight!