Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blog Hop Party Pindows Tutorial Part Three

So far in our Pindows tutorial we have created a basic pinwheel block from HSTs (Half-square triangles), sashed them into a windowpane block of four pinwheels with 1.5" sashing, and now it's time to sash them all together into a finished top. 
For this we'll use the 2.5" sashing, sewing in two rows (as we did for the windowpane block), then sewing the two rows together with sashing between them, as below:
Just as when finishing the blocks with the smaller sashing, pin more than you think you need to, giving extra care to the seams.  Personally, I press my seams into the sashing (away from the blocks), this way you see the seams as a white border within the sashing, but they are much, much easier to quilt through, over and around. 

When you have your sashing completed between your four window pane blocks, use the additional 2.5" strips to create a border around the whole piece, which will finish your top like this: 

And congratulations - You've finished a 40.5" quilt top!  And as soon as it's actually quilted, you'll be able to use it to keep your legs warm, or gift it to an inquisitive toddler.

You should use a minimum of 45" square batting.  Fortunately, some batting salesperson many years ago decided that infants in cribs need a quilt that was batted at 5' long by nearly 4' wide (obviously a man - every woman out there knows you're hard-pressed to find a baby who comes out longer than two feet!), so it is easy find pre-packaged batting that will fit your need for this quilt.
You'll also need a backing fabric that is wider than the quilt top, at least 45" as well, all though 50" might be easier for a first effot.  If you're quite confident in your basting and quilting you can get away with a 45" width-of-fabric that is not pre-shrunk.  As the charm squares weren't pre-shrunk you will have a bit of shrinkage in the top, so a little in the backing won't go amiss. 

To the process of basting:  essentially you are just laying out your backing fabric (face-down), your batting, and then your top (face-up).  Since this is a smallish top, you may likely have enough table space to lay it out; if not, use whatever well-washed smooth floor is available.  I have the good fortune of a collapsible craft table, the top of which (with my cutting mat) is just slightly thinner than jumbo binding clips, so I can clip my backing to the table to keep it taught while I'm working with the other layers.  If this isn't an option, then masking tape or painter's tape will do to keep the backing straight and taught on your surface.  Also, if you're using an antique dining table you should put down your cutting mat or other protective surface before you go digging pins into it . . . 'cause that could leave a lot of explaining for you!
backing clipped to craft table
 After securing your backing, evenly spread out your batting, and then your top.  Depending on the type of packaged batting (if that's what you are using), you will have creases or folds that will need to be gently smoothed out.  Lay all the pieces out so that your backing and batting are a few inches wider than your top on all sides, don't line up two sides of your top evenly with two sides of the backing and batting. There are two reasons for this: first, there tends to be some shifting while you quilt and you don't want your top running off the batting as you work; second, I'm going to recommend the short-cut of a back-to-front binding.
layered quilt ready to baste
 Basting (v) - pinning the dickens out of a quilt sandwich in hopes that the backing won't crease and the top won't lump between now and when you're finished.

Once again, there are as many ways to baste as there are quilters, and the good news is the quilt police have been on strike since the stuffed polyester applique craze of the 1970s and nobody is going to show up and tell you you're doing it wrong or that you are an embarrassment to all the good decent quilters in the world.  You're only wrong if your method doesn't work for you, and it's only an embarrassment if you get up from your table to answer the door and realise you have basted part of your blouse to the quilt.  If this is your first quilt and all you have are straight pins, then use those - you don't have to go out and buy curved quilter's safety pins.  Be careful, though, as you are quilting, since those points will seek out every opportunity to scratch, jab, stab, and other wise would you as you are quilting. 
finished quilt sandwich, basted with curved safety pins
 Personally, I am quite fond of the curved safety pins, so that's what I've used for this project.  That's all for today - go enjoy your dinner!

If you haven't yet entered for a chance to win a kit to make this quilt, and you're reading this before the end of the day on Monday, 3 Septebmer, click over here to enter for a chance to win. 

For additional steps in this quilt top:
Part One
Part Two

For tips on this quilt:
Part One
Part Two

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