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1 way to make a diagonal stripes quilt top

 

Welcome back, I hope you had a nice week and that you got some quilting done! Mom and I got busy piecing the back of the I Love to Knit quilt. I prefer piecing the back of the quilt, making a different pattern altogether from the quilt top. This way it’s reversible and I guess I can say there’s no top and backing? In any case, the quilting will be done in a way that will look good on both sides, but I’m jumping ahead…

Perhaps you remember the top from last week? It has straight strips across and squares at the sides almost look like a border.

 

Quilt top layout is symmetrical with quilt blocks matching up at the corners.
Quilt top layout is symmetrical with quilt blocks matching up at the corners.

 

It was in one of Jennifer Houlden’s blog posts, maybe last year, where I saw her make a diagonal striped pattern using an easy method. The idea is to sew strips of fabric horizontally then shift the pieced fabric on an angle and trim – voilà instant diagonal lines, this eliminates sewing on bias edges!

For the backing I made sure to use up as much of the leftover fabric as possible, and kept broad stripes, which further showed off the sheep pattern. The white fabric used on the quilt top, with the print of the ball of yarn and knitting lingo, also came in a black colorway and I used all of it on the backing, keeping the strips as long as the width of fabric. There’s more black fabric on the backing than there is on the quilt top, but the extra fabric I bought for contrast did the trick. The contrast fabric also made for great accents on the corners of the backing.

On the quilt top, the darker red script fabric made the white fabric pop, while the flower print popped when placed beside the black fabric which offered the eye a break from sheep. Baaha.

 

Contrasting fabric helps to make colors and patterns pop.
Contrasting fabric helps to make colors and patterns pop.

 

Once mom pieced all the strips, we ‘squared’ up the backing on to the quilt top, pinned it, and turned the edges over. We ironed the fold, which would then serve as a guide to cut the edges off.

 

Squaring up the backing on top of the quilt top.
Squaring up the backing on top of the quilt top.

 

Ironing the edges to create a crease that will serve as a guide for cutting the edges off. I love the way a bed can be a great ironing board!
Ironing the edges to create a crease that will serve as a guide for cutting the edges off. I love the way a bed can be a great ironing board!

 

Cutting the edge off using the ironed fold as a guide.
Cutting the edge off using the ironed fold as a guide.

 

I had only 2 fat quarters with a knitted print on it that I bought at a different time and place than where I bought the rest of the fabric! In any case, these were perfect to make a little border at the top and bottom of the narrow edges of the quilt – how perfect. I also had enough for the backing.

 

Sewing the knitted print fabric on the narrow edges of the quilt backing to match the front.
Sewing the knitted print fabric on the narrow edges of the quilt backing to match the front.

 

Next week, I’ll show you how I decided this quilt should be quilted, you’ll chuckle at the free motion quilting motif I used. The question came up long before it was ready to be quilted: do I quilt it at home, or send it out to be quilted by a long arm expert? Well several factors come to mind. Do I have the time to quilt it? Realistically, is it small enough for me to handle. At this point, it measures 52” x 61”, a nice and comfortable lap size quilt. I wouldn’t call this a good size to practice on, and this fabric is too dear and near to my heart to use as a ‘practice quilt’. Decisions, decisions, join me next week-end.

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2:  When to keep quilt blocks large

Go to part 4: How to turn a mindless quilt label into a spectacular one

Carla A. Canonico is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, QUILTsocial.com, and KNITmuch.com.

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