Little Birds and Spring Lake Quilt
by Barbara Carlon Follow

It’s finished! My new quilt is on the bed! It’s been a laborious but enjoyable project that I’ve been working on for several months. After the holidays, I pulled it out again and set up my machine for free-motion quilting, enlarged my sewing space by adding a table behind the sewing cabinet, and then covered both with a large piece of oilcloth. This allowed the 72″ square quilt to glide and rest happily on it’s surface.

I used a Supreme Slider on top of the oilcloth for easier quilting.

 My featured fabric is from White Tree Fabrics, a curated fabric store with a wonderful assortment of patterns, notions, and amazing fabric. The featured fabric is by Tilda. I used an assortment of prints from the Spring Lake Collection. I included the little bird fabric, to add a bit of whimsy and a pop of color. I decided to use a pattern that I found on the McCalls Quilting Sew-Alongs called “Show Case Your Fabric“. The pattern comes with a movie that walked me through every step of the process. That was just what I needed!  

After I cut all the pieces, I made the snowball blocks and the rectangle blocks.  I shuffled the blocks around  until I was happy with the final arrangement.  My dog, Heidi, gave her approval after the top was finally pieced.

The next step was to make the quilt sandwich. This is hard to do on the floor (for me anyway). So, when I had the opportunity to join the local quilting group for a Sew Day, I was able to use two big tables set up side-by-side. I used masking tape to make sure the backing fabric was smooth and secured to the table. Next, I placed 100% cotton batting on top of the backing and then the pieced quilt top on the batting. I used spray adhesive and quilt safety pins to hold all the layers together.

Binding with a decorative flange

I liked the binding method. You use 1 1/4 in strips for the binding, and 1 1/2 in strips for the flange. The strips are sewn together, seam pressed, and then folded in half. The flange fabric faces up and is sewn to the back side of the quilt. When you fold it over to the front, the binding fabric covers the edge and just a tiny edge of the flange fabric extends out. You can machine stitch in the ditch, and it turns out wonderfully! This is the biggest piece that I have ever free-motion quilted, so I didn’t want to try anything too complicated. I decided to do an overall pattern of “ripples”. I guess that would describe it. My quilting is not perfect, but it certainly  improved after I achieved a good rhythm. While I didn’t keep track of all the hours I put in to make it, I did keep track of the free motion quilting work. It took 8 hours! Don’t worry, I did it over several days, but even so, my neck and shoulders felt it.

Thank you, White Tree Fabrics, for the opportunity to work with you!

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