Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wool quilt

I have been working on a wool quilt for grandson #8. I just finished it.

This is made out of thrift store wool sweaters. When I get them home I wash them in hot water and dry them. These are not felted a lot, but enough that the edges didn't fray when I cut them. For years I have seen in magazines and on-line the occasional wool sweater quilts and they all seemed to have bulky, puckered seams. I knew that I did not want that look so decided to butt the seams instead of the standard seam. Each place I started and stopped the feather stitching I knotted the threads and hid them on the back. (Bette White shows a cool technique that I might try next time :))
Once I chose the 3 sweaters I thought I could get to work together I over-dyed the yellow sweater with a stronger, brighter yellow. (It started out a very pale yellow.) I decided on the size based on the pockets in the lighter blue sweater and cut as many 6 inch squares as I could then I cut 3" squares then 1.5 inch squares. After laying them out I figured out what and how many yellows I needed. I also used the scraps to practice my seams and made a couple of postcards with them:

(I used all of the blue sweaters but have the back left of the yellow.)

The sweater squares kept creeping forward when stitching. First I tried a spray adhesive, it still moved. So I tried basting each piece down:
It still moved and those stitches were a pain to remove. So I used strips of steam a seam 2 under each seam, ironing it to a very thin interfacing, then stitched. It worked much better. After getting each block made I laid them out on the guest room bed.and rearranged it, and rearranged it, and played with it some more.
Then I went to EQ7 ( I love EQ7.)

 Then I sewed it together. THEN I tried to figure out how to bind it and quilt it. I thought maybe satin blanket binding.....NO that looked horrible. I even considered knitting my own binding....I went to Painted Pony 'n Quilts (a great quilt shop) and Tonya helped me select the only fabric even close to the right colors, a plaid.

 I decided to back it with thin-wale corduroy (since nothing else looked good- although now I think the plaid would have been fine). I tried to find a flannel but didn't. (now I've found a quilt shop that carries more flannel; Quilters Emporium in Stafford, TX)
 I added a border of yellow and cut the interfacing out from behind the blocks. So the back of the top looks like this:
In trying to figure out how to quilt this the pockets kept getting in the way so I got my magnifying light out and managed to pick them off. I gave the pockets to a friend to monogram the baby's last initial (no first name has been decided on) and the year of birth; '15. (Then after all the quilting I sewed them back on-the hardest part of the whole quilt!)

I would have liked to quilt a design that would allow the quilt to drape better but since I'm unsure of the strength of those butted seams I went with a tight baptist fan. The pin-wale corduroy on the back feels wonderful but the quilt is a little stiff. Next time maybe I'll leave the batting out.

This will be used for years. Unlike the baby quilts I've made in the past this will have a place on their couch every winter, at least as long as they live in a cold climate.
I LOVED trying something new and using some of my bin of to make one out of cashmere.....
When I asked for one more picture my son did this:

You CAN still see the quilt.....

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