Now that I’ve finished the patchwork top of my American Civil war quilt, I can put together the layers, and do the quilting.
With big quilts, this stage can be difficult, as you need a lot of space to spread out the fabrics. My quilt is only 22 by 27 inches, so it’s not a problem! I did mine on the floor in my conservatory!
I put the backing fabric down first, wrong side up, then spread out the wadding (100% cotton heirloom wadding), then the ironed quilt top. Making sure there were no creases in the three layers, I put pins in every four inches or so over the top of the quilt to hold it all together. Then, with sewing cotton I made a grid of long tacking stitches over the whole of the quilt, with about three inches between rows, starting in the centre and working out to the edges.
As my quilt is small, I put the binding on at this point. If you make big quilts, you’d probably think I’m daft to do this, but I find that it works! The layers don’t shift much with a small quilt, so I can get away with it.
This is the back of the quilt – gorgeous fabric, isn’t it?
I put a few extra pins in to keep the layers together, and started quilting – by hand, with polyester thread. I didn’t use a pattern for this one – I just echoed the edges of the pattern pieces.
When all the quilting was done, I washed the quilt, and hung it up to dry in the conservatory, so that it started to have that old-fashioned crinkly look.
This is the finished quilt – it measures 21 by 25 inches. It has ended up looking quite different from the way I thought it would. And very different from the example in Carol Hopkins’ book. But I like mine, with more red in it than the example that I started out wanting to copy.
This is the one in Carol Hopkins’ book:
As usual, I’m not totally happy with my stitching – I wish I could get my stitches smaller and more even, but it’s quite a bit better than my previous quilt, so I’m getting there slowly!
This shows the back and front of the quilt:
I use my little quilts as mats around the house, and as covers for side tables – anything that looks a bit bare, really! And as soon as I’ve finished one, I want to start another one….!