Girl Next Door - Month 10 - Putting It Together March 01 2021 2 Comments
IT IS A PREREQUISITE OF MAKING THIS QUILT THAT YOU HAVE A COPY OF THE PATTERN GIRL NEXT DOOR BY LOUISE PAPAS FOR THE JEN KINGWELL DESIGN COLLECTIVE.
Charlotte (@Kirkenoll) here.
Time has flown by, and we are now in our final month of the Girl Next Door Quilt Along. In this post, I'll share with you tips and tricks for piecing the sections together and adding the borders. I will also take you through my process for quilting and binding.
Be sure to post a photo of your finished quilt top using the hashtag #GirlNextDoorQAL on Facebook or Instagram.
Follow the Quilt Assembly instructions in the pattern to put this medallion quilt together. For the shop sample, we chose to use a light yellow and white stripe fabric for our borders. I've also seen bright and bold borders which are fun too and provide a nice pop of color.
The Quilt Assembly section starts on very bottom of page 15 of the pattern.
The pattern gives you the exact sizes for each small border strip. But as I’ve discussed previously, I like to cut the pieces bigger and then trim down to exact size.
As you finish piecing each round of the medallion, give it a final press on a fluffy towel using just a little Magic Sizing to flatten all the seams nicely.
Previously while piecing each block, I verified the block size with the pattern. Cut the small border strips slightly longer and lay them out flat in the middle of the block folding back each strip along the edges.
Then line up these folded edges along the correct edge placement on the block and pin in several places easing fabric as needed. If one side is a bit bigger, then put that side toward the fee dogs when sewing which will help with the easing. Sew and press seams to small border then square the corners. This method also avoids sewing wavy borders by making sure the center matches the edges. Repeat this same method for all of the small strip borders.
Additional Piecing Tips:
- Border 1: When sewing the bottom of the picket fence blocks to the small border, sew with the side that has the most opposing seams facing you so that you can make sure you keep them flat and open.
- Border 2: Match the girlies holding hands and bottom of dresses. Make sure all the girlies are facing the center (don’t ask :-).
- Border 3: T113 joining block template should be 6.5 inches x 1 inch.
- Try to keep the house roof pointy when adding the joining blocks and top rectangles.
- Press seams toward joining blocks and rectangles to reduce bulk. Check for shadowing.
- The pattern drawing shows roof points on the center shop but there won’t be points like that.
Yippee your top is all pieced!
Trim loose threads on the back and check for shadowing on the front.
It was my pleasure to Big Stitch Hand Quilt the girlies using Sue Spargo - Eleganza Perle Cotton Size 8.
If you are interested in this method, read my Big Stitch Quilting Tutorial.
I used Quilter’s Dream Cotton Request White Batting to match the background fabric. Request is their thinnest cotton and drapes wonderfully. I also enjoy the Dream Wool if you would prefer that puffier look and feel.
Backing is a hot topic - use anything or get fancy? The first backing I tried was a bold print. It was really lovely but showed through to the front - oh no! Personally, I like to piece my backs for extra interest and to use up my fabric stash (I have a big stash). I wanted my hand stitching to show so I picked out all the light grey solids I had and pieced a big enough piece - it worked out great.
Baste as you desire. I baste on a covered 4x8 foot insulation board on my pool table using 505 basting spray. If you use spray, only spray the batting and not very heavily. Then press to set the glue after spraying on the front and especially the back smoothing it out from the center. Flip it back and forth several times to make sure it’s all stuck down with no puckers. Measure again to make sure it’s all squared up and block if necessary. Especially check that those corners are glued down and square.
Thread - a very important decision! I adore Sue Spargo - Eleganza Perle Cotton Size 8. Standard Perle cotton is good but Eleganza is processed so it doesn’t fray as much and just glides through your quilt layers. There are so many colors to choose from and they are just lovely! I chose neutrals for the main areas and a few colors that matched the fabrics for details.
Determining the Quilting Plan is a very personal process. First, I put the quilt on my design wall and then spend some time looking at the whole quilt. Next, I do some sketching on a line drawing of the quilt - see your pattern. For this quilt, I decided to use the ¼” seam lines shown thru the white background as my theme. Two perks are that you have a stitching guide in those areas, and once it’s quilted, those seams won’t be as noticeable. To mark the ¼” lines that I couldn’t see clearly, I first tried a Hera marker to make a crease in the fabric. If that didn’t show enough, I used a chalk liner. The following pictures are details of how I quilted each block. My goal was to keep it simple but make sure the coverage was even. I didn’t want the quilting to be too dense because this is a quilt that should be snuggled, and I wanted it to be soft. I’m not going to kid you...this is a big quilt 72 inches by 72 inches. It took a fair amount of my time (don’t ask how long :-) to hand quilt, but I really enjoy the process and get to binge watch Netflix at the same time. As always “quilt as desired”.
For the center school house block, I followed my plan and stitched all around the house and then around each roof, window and door. I also stitched all around the outside of the block. I considered doing some stitching in the background but decided it wasn’t needed.
I wanted the small border strips to get noticed so I double ¼” seam quilted them. When I do the stitching fairly close, I like to line up the stitches so it looks neatly done. It's not a requirement, of course, but it looks nice that way and isn’t hard to do.
Figuring out how to simply stitch these picket fence borders was not simple! After several more complicated drawings, I came up with this simple design stitching the background vs the pickets and was able to continue that stitching all the way down the row.
I stitched around flower corner block and echoed the pieced flower, stem, leaves and center square.
The girlies were a little more complicated to figure out how to quilt simply.
- First, I stitched around the heads and top of the arms all along the whole row.
- Then I stitched around the bottom of the arms, dress and legs all along the whole row.
- Finally, I stitched a triangle inside each dress with matching color thread to keep the dress from poofing out.
Like the flower corner block, I stitched around the whole block and echoed around the dog. I also added matching double stitching on the collar to stabilize the dog and because it looked cute.
Like the dog corner block, I stitched around the whole cat block and echoed around the cat. Similarly, I added matching double stitching on the collar to stabilize and embellish.
For the shop block, I stitched around the shop and around the inside of the roof and outside the window and door.
For the house block, I stitched around the house and around the inside of the roof and outside the door.
I stitched around tree corner block and echoed the pieced tree and trunk and twice around inside of tree to give it texture and to keep it from poofing.
This is what the back looks like all done. Notice how the quilting is mostly evenly distributed without any big poofy sections. Not perfect of course, but if your quilts are perfect how will anyone know it was made with love by a human hand?
Jen sent me this really cute big dot fabric (Circulus by Jen Kingwell for Moda Fabrics - Charcoal) for the binding, and it’s just perfect. I’ve started making my bindings ½” and big stitching them closed. I love how solid the binding feels, how it looks and how easy it is to do. I considered the washability at first, but I made a few charity/baby quilts and washed them with no problems.
- Cut 3” binding strips for the whole perimeter of your quilt.
- Press strips in half and sew a standard mitered binding but with ½” seam.
- Roll the binding over the ½” seam and make sure it goes past the seam line so the big stitching from the front will catch the back. I iron ¼” Steam-A-Seam fusible to keep it in place while I stitch, but some people use clips or pins.
- Miter the corners in the standard way, but they will be ½” also.
That’s all folks! I’ve never written a QAL like this before, and it has been fun seeing what everyone has created during these months. I hope you have found the rotary cutting measurements and/or tips useful. Please keep sewing and finish this sweet quilt for yourself or someone special. Please also post pictures of your quilt tops or quilts! Be sure to use #GirlNextDoorQAL.