Thursday, March 27, 2014

Country Threads Block of the Month 2013: The Big Reveal!

Last year I participated in two "Block of the Month" projects.  One of them was organized by Country Threads.  I posted pictures each month of the finished blocks along with my ponderings on how to construct the finished top.  The original layout had the blocks next to each other but I decided on a bit of sashing to calm things down a bit. it is:
I really like the sashing.  It also helped to even out my uneven block sizes.  Over the year my attention to detail improved and my block sizes became truer, but I still had a wide difference in the sizes of the blocks made at the start of the year.  The quilting is free motion on my home sewing machine and Sashiko around the borders.  This was only my second Sashiko project so my learning curve is still pretty broad.  I noticed that the stitching showed up nicely on the more solid border but was sort of lost on the border with more print.  Of course I decided to Sashiko after I had already chosen the fabrics and added the borders.  (And, to think that my boys  accused me of being an over-planner when they were younger!) Here are some close-ups to show you what I mean:

I used black thread for the quilting following a suggestion I read somewhere that using the same color as the sashing helps to reinforce the contrast.  It would not have been my first choice on some of the lighter areas, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result.  The backing (which I forgot to take a picture of) is a linen small scale plaid with one corner of black print because someone might have measured for the backing, bought the fabric and THEN decided to add the wide border leaving the yardage just a tiny bit short.

Here's a picture of the original layout.  You can see that I also changed up the border and a few of the filler blocks:
I also did the binding the traditional way: machine sew it to the front and then hand sew it onto the back.  I've always hated how long binding takes to put on, but this time I just planned for several evenings in front of the TV.  I had to learn the thread lesson yet again, though.  I thought that this hand sewing project would be a good time to use up some of my old thread.  But, alas, it isn't even good for sewing on binding by hand.  After becoming totally frustrated with thread tangles I went upstairs and came down with my good thread and the sewing went much smoother.
It really feels good to finally be able to say that I've finished a large project this year!!


  1. Oh, Nina, it looks perfect! I love the black sashing between the blocks and your red border. Congratulations!

  2. It looks lovely, and I certainly prefer the version with the sashing. Well done on getting such a large quilt finished. I actually enjoy sewing the binding on by hand. It's a quiet, reflective finish to the rather frantic time of quilting, and it gives me a chance to look at the quilt closely and enjoy it.