Three Quilts Become One

The Packers quilt is nearing completion!

I finished the quilting on each of the three sections, alternating between green, yellow and brown for the spool thread (on the top of the quilt) and using green for the bobbin thread (on the backside). I love the textures that resulted in the different quilting patterns I used, which were all done with the walking foot. One of these days I'll try free motion- I swear! 

Then came my next challenge- attaching them all together to make one large quilt. My mother-in-law walked me through the basics over breakfast, and I gathered the main plan of attack: attach the front faces together, leaving the backing of one piece out to fold over and hand-stitch down.

I sewed the pieces together, doing just that. 

You can't tell from the front, but here's what the backside seams looked like: 

Preparing the pieces for this kind of assembly was a bit of a challenge for me. I normally just run my top-stitching right off the edges of the quilt (onto the batting sticking out, since it gets trapped in the binding anyways), but I had to be really conscious of leaving 1/4" loose on the long edges- especially the backing- to attach them together. That meant that I had to secure all my thread ends, since I tend to cut my thread a lot while quilting instead of using continuous lines. 

I learned a really good way to secure the top stitching threads a while back by stumbling across a blog- I never really thought about it before, but it totally makes sense! When you have to stop quilting in the middle of a quilt, you can't just snip the threads and let them go, because they'll unravel (unless you have one of those fancy machines that "secures" the threads for you... I'm not entirely sure if mine does or not, but I'd rather be safe than sorry!). Apparently you can pull both threads to the backside of the quilt, tie them in a double knot and then bury the tail inside the quilting with a needle.

After securing all the thread tails, I got to work finishing up the seams. I trimmed out one of the layers of batting in the seams to reduce the bulk, then made sure the extra fabric was trimmed down to about 1/2"- enough to fold over the seam and secure. Out came the needle and thread to blind stitch those edges down. My finger is definitely a bit calloused now. Ha ha. Perhaps I should invest in a thimble. 


Quark thinks this quilt is for him...

The binding has been sewn on as well now, and since I always hand-stitch my bindings on the backside, I've got a few hours of needle-wielding yet to go. My mother-in-law invited me to a "UFO Day" with her church quilting group, so that's what I'll be doing tomorrow while my hubby is away at a bachelor party! Hopefully finished pictures well be coming soon!


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