I have to say, this was the most fun I’ve ever had machine quilting! I’m not sure why it was such a breeze but it could be that I switched to a #16 needle to do the quilting. I think it made a big difference. Not even a hint of a pucker on the backing. As smooth as can be. The stitches were just beautiful. I wish you could feel the texture of this quilt – I couldn’t keep my hands off it once it was quilted.
I combined Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in flax with assorted green quilting cottons. I love sewing the look of linen with colored fabrics. I prewash all my fabrics before quilting and the Essex linen is so exception. I prewashed it and thoroughly dried it and ironed it. I don’t want any surprises after it’s washed as a quilt.
The backing on this quilt is the totally amazing Background Notes by Zen Chic for Moda. I love, love this fabric. It’s mysterious and interesting and I love how it complements the linen on the front of the quilt. I have a thing for text fabric. Look at all that yummy handwriting:
I used a stitch length of 3.5 to quilt this. Like I said, I was mindlessly quilting with a #12 needle in the last few weeks and noticed every once in a while I was getting a skipped stitch with my walking foot. So I consulted my Janome manual, saw that they recommended a heavier needle when machine quilting and so I switched to a #16. How did I no think of this before? It made a big difference. If you’re using the same size needle for piecing as well as quilting, try switching.
I cut 4″ x 17″ strips and sewed these together then subcut into 4″ strip sets and assembled 16-patch blocks. Each square, after sewing, was 3.5″. There were 12 squares across and 16 squares down (three 16-patch blocks across and four 16-patch blocks down).
Here are a couple of photos of the finished top before quilting. I think it’s fun to see how the look totally changes after batting is added and quilting is finished:
The binding I chose was Square Elements in Lime. I tried out a number of fabrics, but I thought this complemented the quilt the best.
A nice mitered binding is so fun to sew:
I used Warm and Natural batting, which I prewashed and dried. Again, I don’t want anything to shrink. I used to like that look a long time ago but now I don’t want much puckering or an antique look in these quilts.
The finished size of this quilt is 42″ x 55″. It makes a nice throw size for on the sofa. And here’s why it’s The Shire.
I can’t wait to start my next quilt, but I’m waiting on fabric and the place I ordered it from must have put it on the slow boat to China because it’s taking forever! I hope it arrives tomorrow.
It’s a busy month but as always, I hope you’re making something!
As usual, check out Lorna’s linky post here!