Friday, January 23, 2015

Susan's Quilt: Tales from a Slow Sewer

I spent the entire MLK quilt weekend assembling a king size quilt top for my sister-in-law, Susan (Mike's sister). It is a  good thing that I like my sister-in-law, very, very much! It was also good that I had my Brown Bagger quilting buddies to keep me company!

I've been promising to make Susan a bed quilt for several years. She picked out this design, Jungle Rain, in 2011 and I ordered a kit from Hancock's of Paducah. Unfortunately, I dilly-dallied, and right before I got started last May (2014), Susan bought a king size bed! I knew that I didn't have enough fabric, so I chose a new pattern and continued on. I finished all the blocks by Thanksgiving and I showed them to Susan. She was thrilled.

I know that I am a slow sewer, and I was not naive enough to think that I'd get all 240 blocks (they are 7 inches, unfinished) assembled into a king size quilt top (16 rows, each 15 blocks wide) in one day, but I was kind of hoping that I'd be done by Saturday morning...
There are 14 shades of green batik in Susan's quilt. The little pink things in the picture are labels to help keep the colors in order. It's a very simple pattern -- a block with sashing on two adjacent sides, similar to a half Log Cabin. I decided after making all the blocks that it would be "fun" to color sort them on the diagonal. Since I came up with this brilliant idea AFTER I made all the blocks, it wasn't that simple. I had different amounts of the 14 different color green prints since some of the fabrics came from the kit I had purchased and some came from my stash.
This is the quilt diagram that I drew before the quilt weekend. It took me two hours to draw. But having it as a visual reference, since I didn't have a gi-normous design wall,  made putting the quilt together quite simple.
Day 1. On Friday, five rows have been assembled by 4:50 p.m.
Progress on Day 2. I have eight rows assembled by 2:57 p.m., on Saturday.
Day 3. On Sunday, at 5:35 p.m., the top is done. It is 97"x104".
Thankfully Susan doesn't want an outer border.
I came home on Sunday night and found that Mike had made
Italian Wedding Soup. I think that it matches Susan's quilt.
I know that quilting is not a race, and that I'm not competing against my Brown Bagger friends. However, I want to know: How long would it have taken you to sew this together? Am I incredibly slow, or is my sewing time average? In my own defense, I did pin all the row junctions, every block was squared off to a perfect (or nearly perfect) 7 inches, and all my seams are pressed nicely on the back.

Now I have to piece the backing fabric...

Thanks for visiting! Linking up on Friday to TGIFF, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts. And I just found a new linky party, Fabric Frenzy Friday!

Pugs and kisses,


  1. I love how the greens change across the quilt. I think that putting together that many blocks in one weekend is quite an accomplishment. Most of my quilts have fewer blocks and large open spaces (that require little or no piecing!) so that I have room to add more detailed quilting. Even so, I think a king size quilt would take me at least a full weekend. So you are not slow at all in my book!

  2. I am a slow sewer. LOL that word looks funny. Your quilt is beautiful though.

  3. Great work! This is a huge weekend project. Congratulations! I love the layout of lights to darks. It's stunning!

  4. oh does it really matter how fast you are? You're doing it for the love of piecing and the people you make them for...also keeping track of placement adds a degree of difficulty. I would sew them quickly, then notice the middle one was tipped wrong, have to unsew it, then repiece it in with maximum effort and time. So there. LeeAnna

  5. A king top in a weekend, even a long weekend, seems pretty quick to me! And your top is just lovely. I do love green, and this is a beauty!

  6. I either sew slowly or rip a lot. I choose to be a little slower.

  7. Slow and sure wins the race. Or at least that's what I tell myself when I'm taking months to put a quilt together! Your quilt looks very impressive, which is inspiring because I've got my own green and white King sized quilt on the go. If I can piece the blocks in a weekend (and then get someone to feed me soup!) I'll be very happy!

  8. Love the green shading - that was a big job to get the quilt all pieced together. Your SIL will love it, I'm sure.
    And surely it's better to be slower and careful, than fast and make mistakes.

  9. King-size anything takes a lot of time, and you had to get everything in the right row - diagonal at that! It looks great, but don't hold your breath on how long it will take to bind, even if you do it all by hand. Work on your upper body strength! Great, timely work.

  10. Love how the quilt turned out! I love greens. Ha! Your right your soup fits right in with the color scheme of the quilt. I'm sure it would have taken me most of the weekend to sew the quilt together too. King size is huge!!

  11. It's beautiful! I'm pretty sure it would have taken me at least that long to put it all together too. What a lovely gift for your sister-in-law!