Thursday, May 14, 2015

and done!

The Epic College Map Quilt top for Thing 2 is finished! I spent much of last week churning out 200 flying geese blocks assembly line style, and then last Saturday I started playing with the layout of the blocks and ended up finishing the entire top :)


I had it in my head that 198 flying geese blocks (finishing at 3" x 6") were needed for the borders, but I really only needed 98. As I sat on the floor Saturday positioning the blocks I kept wondering "why does it seem like there are way too many of these?" Ummm... because there were too many! When designing the pattern I had intended to use my Sizzix dies to cut all of the pieces which included 196 background fabric triangles - aha! That's how the extra 100 got stuck in my mind! But then I decided to use the Eleanor Burns flying geese method (shown below) because there is no triangle cutting involved and very little fabric waste. So the lesson here is always check back with the pattern before cutting - and that no matter how long you've been sewing there is always something to learn!


Now for the fabulous 4-at-a-time-super-easy-and-accurate flying geese method that I used - you'll need a "Quilt in a Day" Flying Geese ruler.  There are two sizes available; mine makes blocks 1.5" x 3" or 3" x 6".  I'm using a Frixion pen to mark my fabrics because the ink vanishes when you iron it, but you should definitely test this on your fabrics first!


To make 4 flying geese units that finish at 3" x 6" cut one 9" background fabric square and one 7.5" main fabric square.  Place the background (grey) fabric square right side up and mark the center diagonal line.  Place the main (pink) fabric square right side down over the background piece and mark the center diagonal line.  Center the main fabric just by eyeballing it, but make sure the diagonal line matches up with the background.  Pin in a couple of spots to secure.


Now sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line.


Cut on the diagonal line.


Press each unit with the seam allowance toward the background fabric.


Place the two units right sides together with the main fabric pieces opposite of each other.  DON'T NEST THE SEAMS - align the outer edges of the two pieces.


Mark the center diagonal line on the top unit as shown and pin to secure.


Sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line.


Cut on the drawn diagonal line.


Make a small snip in the center of each seam allowance to aid in pressing the seam allowances correctly.


Press the seam allowances toward the background fabric again.  Here is a shot of what your two pieces should look like from the back and front.


Align the marked triangle on your Quilt in a Day ruler with your block as shown.  (Those little tan dots are sandpaper disks I stuck to the back of the ruler to help keep it from slipping around on the fabric.)  Trim the excess fabric along the right and top edges of the ruler, then pivot the fabric and ruler so you can cut the left and bottom sides.  If you have a rotating cutting mat on hand definitely use it for this step.


And from two squares of fabric you now have four perfectly sized identical flying geese blocks!


I repeated this process 49 more times to get my 200 blocks (even though I could have stopped at 24 repetitions - hehe!)



200 flying geese ready to go!


This is the background fabric that Thing 2 has chosen; it's from the Waterfront Park line by Violet Craft for Moda.  Line drawings of bridges in white on navy - perfect for a Civil Engineering major :)


Monday morning this is off to the quilter!  I probably won't see it again until mid-July, but I'll be sure to share photos of the finished product before it heads to it's new (dorm) home in mid-August.  Oh, and she loves it.  She really loves it :)

Final stats:
  • Quilt will finish at 66" x 93"
  • Applique center finished at 42.25" x 81"
  • Side borders to applique section (added before flying geese) finish at 6" x 81" and 5.75" x 81".  These borders were not pieced - they were cut on the lengthwise grain to avoid seams.
  • 6.5 yards of background fabric is probably what is needed to make this quilt without sewing an extra 100 flying geese.  7.5 yards is what I actually purchased and cut. 
  • Flying geese units were made from applique scraps and quarter yard cuts.  Fabrics used include several Studio E Peppered Shot Cottons, a few P&B Textiles blender prints, as well as AMH, Parson Gray, Juliana Horner, and Denyse Schmidt prints.  



Friday, May 1, 2015

applique finish line

And the applique work is finished!! My neck and back are so very thankful :)

Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland and Novaya Zemyla (shown below) took a total of 26 minutes to stitch.  I had originally cut Novaya Zemyla as the shape on the right in this photo.  But after spending so much time stitching around all the tight curves found in Asia and Europe I took a few liberties and simplified the shape to make my job a little bit easier.  Wikipedia tells me that this archipelago is the easternmost point of Europe and that it is a northern extension of the Ural Mountains in Russia.  Since the Ural Mountains are generally recognized as the dividing line between Europe and Asia I chose to include it as part of Europe.


North America wins for the continent taking the longest time to applique. The main part of the continent took 1 hour and 31 minutes.


And the islands of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories took another hour and 17 minutes. Again I took some liberties here with the island silhouettes to make tracing, cutting, and stitching do-able.


South America is my new favorite continent - only 17 minutes for this one!


And lastly I added the largest islands of Japan and the Philippines in 27 minutes. Whew!


I took this photo to give you an idea of the size of this quilt center. Those are my pink converse shoes, and I'm standing up on my tiptoes hovering the camera at eye level to get almost all of the quilt top in the photo.


North America: Free Spirit Vagabond Parquet Moondial by Parson Gray
South America: Cotton and Steel Stampede in Navy by Sarah Watts
Africa: Caterpillar Dusk Woven Stripe by Kaffe Fassett
Australia: M and S Textiles Dancing Flowers in Black by June Smith
Europe and Greenland: Art Gallery Oval Elements in Eggplant
Asia: M and S Textiles Bush Plum in Black
Background fabric: Andover Fabrics Moonshadow Formica Grey by Kim Schaefer

Total applique stitching time: 7 hours, 10 minutes (goodness it felt like so much longer than that!)

The Mercator projection was used to create the silhouettes of all the continents and islands shown on this quilt.  On all map projections, shapes or sizes are distortions of the true layout of the Earth's surface. The Mercator projection exaggerates areas far from the equator. In case you are wondering what that really means, here are some fun facts about it:
  • Greenland is almost as large as Africa on this map, but in reality Africa's area is 14 times greater and Greenland's is comparable to the country of Algeria's alone.
  • Alaska takes as much area on the map as Brazil, when Brazil's area is nearly five times that of Alaska.
  • Finland appears to have a greater north-to-south reach than India, although India's is actually greater.
So yeah, the quilt top is not completely accurate, but it's easily recognizable as a map of the world, and we are okay with that :)

Next up: 198 flying geese units for the quilt border!

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