Saturday, January 19, 2013

Class 140: Rail Fence Project Quilt

In class 130, it was this statement that confused me here. "For your first 2 projects, we present a choice of 2 small quilts.."
I understood that to mean that in this class, being presented 2 choices, I would choose just one of them, just like in the previous class. However, after reading lesson plans over and over, I've decided that it was important to do this Rail Fence project. I'm not at all sure we were supposed to skip this quilt. So, I went back and did it.

I bought my fabric at Hobby Lobby, a local craft store.  I am not happy with it.  The edges fray way too easily, and I have strings everywhere. When I tore the fabric to line up the grain edge, it was so far off, that I didn't even come close to buying enough fabric, so I had to go back and purchase another 1/4 yard of 2 of the fabrics.  Here is an example of how much fabric I lost in the store's bad cutting.

I'm getting much better with the accuracy of the seams and cutting though. It isn't perfect, but I'm getting there. My lines are perfectly lined up with the yellow strip at 1 1/4" and I have exactly 1 1/2" on the outside strips except for just a smidge in the middle of the right side. That may be a messy iron job.

I had never chain pieced an entire quilt together.  In the very first project, I had a hard time not clipping the strings before I moved on to the next row.  With this project, I was more comfortable with it, and I really appreciate how the method described keeps my blocks from getting turned and getting confused as to which way is up.  However, I do still struggle with keeping it moving smoothly across my sewing table and evenly under the needle. I've never had so many rows to move at the same time. Notice in the picture how they are all chain sewed together. Anyone have any tricks/tips?

I've also learned to appreciate that I don't have to pin!  What a pleasant surprise.

Here is my finished piecing I completed just this AM. I have the fabric for the borders, it is the tonal purple for a thin inner border, and the large print for the outside border. But, I have to wait for later to finish it.

Overall, I think the colors worked to bring out the rails.  I wasn't too picky in choosing these fabrics since I don't have any plans to do anything with these practice projects. The loose threads about drove me crazy. They came out the front all over the place and I had to spend some time cutting them off.

I'm thinking that even though I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on these learning projects, the quality of the fabric may just change the settings and way I do things in the future with real projects and nicer fabric. At least I can turn on some soothing music and enjoy my room. This is a Craigslist find and it works perfect for my little space. (Both the Ipod, and the Ladybug player!) Someday I'll have Dave put up a shelf and it can sit there. For now, my ironing board is plenty big.

And now I am all caught up blogging with my current place in time.  Next up is a whole class on drafting!


  1. You are doing an excellent job! Sew perfect! Sorry to hear you did not get lucky with your fabric hunt. It does take time to develop a stash... but guys don't grow one overnight either! (hah, ha!) Love your quilting pics and your drawings. Keep up the great work.

  2. Thank You Lorna. I'm enjoying the journey. Even the lack of stash makes it an interesting part of the process. I dropped on over to your page. Some day I'll get to make fun stuff like you do :)