Good news! My sew-jo has returned and in the last week I’ve made a ton of progress on Emma’s Ten Square quilt. I finished piecing the top last Friday night. In the photo below, I was using one finished row to make sure the width is right. It hangs down this much on both sides.)
I spent an hour on Saturday night basting all my layers together — which was no small feat. I’ve had success lately basting quilts on our HUGE kitchen island. The width of the island is always bigger than the width of my quilt, so I let extra length hang off one side while I baste the top half, and then switch to baste the bottom half. It’s not a perfect system, but being able to stand up is so much easier than crawling around on the floor.
For this one, I was really pushing the edge of what our kitchen island can support. The island was only a couple inches wider than the quilt, and the length was so long that I had to baste in three sections. Nonetheless, I got it done well enough. (I spray baste, so the pins you see below are really just a fail-safe.)
In the interest of striking while my sew-jo was hot, I used batting and backing that I already had in the house. The batting was a double-size package of Quilter’s Dream and that turned out to be juuuust long enough for this quilt (which is ~95″ in length). I usually like to have a bit more wiggle room around the edges but I’ll make it work.
For the backing, I used 2 yards of Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe Wide. I can’t even remember what I originally bought that fabric for, but it worked well here. I wish there were more fabric options that came in large widths like this. Pieced backings are always nice, but you know what’s also nice sometimes? NOT having to piece a backing! Ha.
I’ve been showing Emma my progress along the way, and she seems pretty excited — when I showed her the basted version on Sunday morning, she immediately asked to lay down on it. Of course I obliged!
I started quilting on Sunday night and did a bit more last night. I’m sewing four sections of diagonal lines 2″ apart that all point towards the center of the quilt, sort of like a big X. This is the first quilt I’m making on my new Juki TL2010Q and I am LOVING it. It sews so fast! There’s so much throat space to work with! (I did have an issue with my walking foot though — the exact same issue mentioned here. Instead of trying to fix it immediately, I’m just using the standard presser foot.)
It’s going to take me at least 2-3 more evenings to finish the quilting, but if I can get that part done by the end of the week, I might be able to get the binding on and have it on Emma’s bed by Sunday night. Wish me luck!