Friday, February 6, 2015

Flimsy Finish--I think

Whew! It's Friday, and I just finished a flimsy. At least I think I did. I'm still mulling it over. And I'm not crazy about the term flimsy, but I like how it sounds with "finish."

This is the quilt I showed pieces of earlier this week. At that time it looked like triangles put together in diamonds. Now it's more of a zig zag. The quilt pattern is Gently Down the Stream by Christina Cameli from Quilter's Newsletter Fat Quarter Quilts from Fall 2014. 

Washed out picture. The sun was shining until I finished sewing. Then it got dim in the room, so I had to use a flash. Boo!

The instructions with the pattern say to trim off half of the side triangles (diamonds) and make the edges straight. But there is another pattern in the magazine that keeps the jagged edge, and I've also seen a quilt tutorial by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts that I like, and I was seriously considering doing the jagged edge instead. 

Two problems with that idea: First, if I bind the quilt the way it is, the sides are asymmetrical, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. To make it more even, I'd need to add a row of diamonds along one side and another row to either the top or bottom. And that would be tricky because I'd have to strip piece the fabrics in a certain way to keep the fabric patterns going in each pair of triangles. (Hmm... that first problem sounds like three problems to me. Oh, well) Second, when I was doing a final pressing, I realized that all of the diamonds on the right side have the same or similar fabric in them. So much for balanced colors--and I walked by that quilt a million times when it was on the design wall and even looked at it through the "far away" end of binoculars and never noticed until it was sewn. Should have taken a photo and looked in gray scale. Chopping off the sides would help fix that problem somewhat, I guess.

Now this next paragraph is sort of just for me, so I remember what I did if I make a version of this quilt again, but feel free to read if you'd like. I know that pressing seams open is a trend in quilt making now, but I'm kind of old fashioned and am more comfortable pressing seams to one side. I like the "click" of nesting seams when I sew and I think they make my work a little more accurate than it would be if I didn't nest (but not always). When I joined the first two rows of this quilt I thought I had it figured out, but I didn't and matching all those strips was kind of challenging. So when I laid out the next two rows I really worked to figure out how to press my seams. When I did the strip piecing I had ironed all the seams away from the white strip. (You can see those strips here.) I had to change the direction of ironing on some of the triangles when I joined them. Here's what I did to figure it out:

I laid out two rows and numbered the triangles by their positions, 1, 2, 1, 2 in the first row and 3, 4, 3, 4 in the second. Then I messed around with pins and found out the following:

Triangle 1: press toward the white strip
Triangle 2: press away from the white triangle
Triangle 3: press away from the white strip
Triangle 4: press toward the white triangle

When joining triangle 1 to 2, press toward triangle 1; when joining triangle 2 to 1, press toward triangle 2. When joining triangle 3 to 4, press toward triangle 4; when joining triangle 4 to 3, press toward triangle 3. Sounds complicated, but maybe the picture helps.

Sewing worked out pretty well, but I did have to pay close attention to placement of the strips in the triangles. I became close friends with my seam ripper on one row when I chain pieced the wrong edge of the triangles. 

I'll be mulling this top over for a bit to see what I want to do with those edges. I have lots of the fabric left and am thinking of making another more scrappy version without matching fabrics in the pairs of triangles to make the diamonds. Maybe I'll make this quilt as the pattern directs and then make a jagged-edged one for the second quilt and the extra width and length. 

So there you have my finish. Here's one last little thing. I ordered some fabric this week. This is what the package looked like in my mailbox (well, except for the fabric that I took out). 

It was a pretty stuffed envelope, with 8 1/2 yards of fabric, but still. There was no note of apology from the postal service. I have no idea if it happened in transit or by a mail carrier who tried to shove it in my mailbox instead of bringing it to my door. At least the fabric was okay!

I'm linking up this week with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.


  1. I think it's looking lovely! The white strips make it very fresh and crisp, and the design of the triangles/diamonds give it almost an art deco feeling? Really nice.

  2. What a beautiful quilt top. I like the white strip in every block. And I like my seams to nest as well.

  3. This is wonderful - it sure came together quickly. Or at least it seems like it did to me! This pattern is so pretty but I think it would be confusing to assemble it right. You did such a good job. Just caught up with your last couple of posts. Lots of pretty fabric to play with an a couple of (free) books. Not bad!
    Have a good weekend. I will be doodling designs to quilt in those black triangles of mine. I think it will be a good way to practice something a bit more intricate than my usual. 😊

  4. I think it's stunning, it reminds me of the ripples you get in the sand after the tide goes out. If it were me I would go with the asymmetry and the zigzag edges as part of it's charm. Or what about sort of under appliquéing a border on so that it sits on top of it, that way you keep the zigzags intact but had a quilt with straight edges?

  5. Lovely work - I'd straighten the edge if it were me - or at least add a border that evens it out. I've made two hexagon quilts, one I filled in some of the gaps, then trimmed; the other I added extra border bits as triangles. Maybe you could do that with the white?
    Well done!

  6. Beautiful flimsy, I love the design and the prints that you used.

  7. This is so beautiful. Your piecing is so neat. When all the seams match so beautifully, you cannot call it flimsy. It is fabulous.
    I would not want to cut off any part of this gorgeous top. May be add setting triangles to complete the straight edge.
    In any case, it will be a lovely quilt. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Preeti! I've been walking past the quilt since I posted about it. Right now I'm leaning toward cutting the edge to make it straight on this one, but I'm sure I'll make another (or more!) and then I might finish the edge differently. The pattern is so fun and now that I've figured out how to nest the seams, it goes together quickly.

  8. Beautiful! I really like the interspersed white in the quilt.


  9. Gorgeous Quilt. I really love your choice of fabrics and how it has turned out.