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.  


  1. well done. Even if I had the help I could not envisage undertaking something that size.
    from a very sunny northern Ireland

  2. I'm a new follower/ discoverer of your work and really enjoy reading your posts.
    This is very intriguing! Will look forward to seeing the whole revealed in due course! I'm trying to picture how you did the seams, by butting the edges- clearly not right sides together. Did you zig zag over the butted edges?

    1. Camilla -- I'll post a tutorial on how I did it.