Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Work in Progress Wednesday and a tip




I've finished the machine quilting on my Australian circles and am doing a little handquilting inside the circles to highlight some of the motifs. That is almost finished too. Here's my Christmas gift quilt ready to quilt. I think it's pretty, although I worry a bit that it looks more like a quilt for a seven-year-old "princess" than an elderly lady. I'll just have to hope she likes it.

When I started to cut the backing yesterday, I discovered that I was short of fabric, and so remembered hearing at my retreat a couple of weeks ago about John Flynn's technique of using a bias seam in the backing. This allows you to use less fabric; so with nothing to lose, I tried it, and it worked.

Here's the process: You cut the backing fabric on the bias from corner to corner, making two triangles. (They're actually longer and skinnier than this, of course. A real blogger would have taken photographs of the fabric spread out on the living room floor, but I didn't think of it!)


Then you slide one triangle down enough to give you the width you need for your quilt and sew the bias seam together. And that's it.



John Flynn claims that the bias seam doesn't stretch in the quilt, and in fact the bias actually works better in a long-arm machine. I'll report again if there seem to be problems developing later, but for now, I'm pleased. I used a yard less fabric than I would have needed for a vertical seam, and there is almost no waste, just little triangle-shaped tips. I also don't know how to calculate the amount of fabric you need. I didn't see the show, and the friend who did, didn't remember. Maybe someone else knows.

18 comments:

The Carolina Quilter said...

I love the colorful quilt and I'm sure the recipient will as well. Also, thanks for the John Flynn bias backing tip. Never had hear of that one but it makes perfect sense and the backing seam would be evenly distributed throughout.

dee said...

Hi Kay, I just love that quilt! It is so cheerful and happy looking. I don't remember the age of your recipient but the closer I get to 60 the more colorful and jazzy I seem to like fabrics. I've been working lately with fabric that is BRIGHT &, especially this time of year, it just sings-like this quilt

The Calico Cat said...

http://www.flynnquilt.com/freepattern.html

keep scrolling till you get there!

Kay said...

Thanks, Amy! That formula is what I was wondering about, but it's not for the mathematically timid, is it? I could have used the instructions for folding and cutting too. It would have been better than the floor.

jenclair said...

Kay, the quilt is marvelous and anyone would be delighted with it! Thanks for the backing tip, too.

Rian said...

I'm sure the lady will love this quilt! It's so lively and gay!

Cool tip--who knew! What a great idea.

Fruit Jar Nicky said...

We've had the John Flynn technique demo'd at our guild. It's such a cool trick! High five to you for trying it.

Dianne said...

Love the pinwheel quilt, Kay. I'm about to get my new sewing machine and the first quilt I work on will be my As Time Goes By pinwheel quilt. I've begun thinking about how to quilt it and not coming up with anything wonderful. How are you going to quilt this one?

Great tip from John Flynn...I'll have to check that out!

Jeri said...

Clever tip! Thanks for sharing. And I like the brightness and sweetness of the pink pinwheel quilt. I hope your gift-ee does too - I bet she will love it!

Jules said...

At some point in time, the 80 something year old lady was a 7 year old princess. The quilt will make her smile.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

I love it! Thanks for the John Flynn tip. That was new to me, too. Next stop is his website.

kjquilts said...

Great idea for backing...I'll have to try it. Of course your quilt will be liked, even loved I'll bet!

Allison said...

The quilt came out great and she will love it!
I, too, thank you for that great backing tip...

Jane Ann said...

Smacking my forehead and uttering a huge "duh" here. Great tip!

Oh, and great pinwheel quilt! She's gonna love it. (And you.)

Deb H said...

Interesting idea.

I'm sure a little old lady would love this quilt!

I'm anxious to see the circles finished!

Sorry to hear of your bad luck with the Rowenta. My old one lasted 9 years. With many hours of running, & 2 repairs that only cost me the shipping. I've decide to buy purified bottled water for the new one, to see if it'll last longer. I think the minerals in our water may have shortened it's life. Who knows, maybe that's what killed my dishwasher too!

Hedgehog said...

What a cool idea for the bias backing! I'll have to give it a try.

Debra Spincic said...

Great quilt! Be sure and let us know your friend's reaction.

Shelina said...

I'm so glad I found this again Kay. I plan on using this method of bias backing for my Evening Stars quilt.