Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The second quilt is finished
Fittingly, I finished my second big flag quilt on Memorial Day! This is going to be a Quilt National entry so I won't show you the whole thing, but here it is awaiting its next-to-last seam, joining the blue union to the seven short stripes.
I have been constructing this quilt in modules, quilting them densely, then butting the edges and sewing them together into larger and larger expanses. I have been very pleased with this method of working because until the very end there has been no physical stress. Quilting in an eighth-inch grid would be horrible if not impossible on a huge quilt, but when you're only doing a piece the size of a placemat it's child's play (in fact, my 5-year-old grandson quilt helped quilt on one of the panels).
I knew there would be a day of reckoning when it came time to sew the last pieces together and feared that the last seams would be hard to do, but I decided to play Scarlett O'Hara and worry about that when it came. So yesterday it came. The next-to-last seam was fairly simple, although it went slowly as I had to shift the rolled-up bundle across my shoulder a few inches at a time.
For the last seam, horizontally across the quilt right under the blue union, I decided I needed help and enlisted my husband to stand behind me and hold the rolled-up quilt, feeding it gradually onto and over my shoulder as I sewed. (Behind the sewing machine, the quilt was supported by a card table so it didn't drag.) What a difference that made! And when you have only one seam that needs a helper, you can probably bribe a helper into helping. He probably wouldn't have agreed to hold my work for 25 hours or 40 hours or however long it takes to
quilt a huge piece, although it would certainly have made those huge quilts of the past a lot easier. This one is 98 x 59 inches, by the way.
So I am feeling rather giddy right now. I'll have a week of vacation, going to Auburn NY for the opening of the Surface Design Association show at the Schweinfurth Art Center on Friday. Then when I get home, on to flag #3.