8 Hour Quilt self-challenge

I decided to see if I could make a lap quilt that was NOT wholecloth - and was pieced - in 8 hours or less.  The many quilters who work full time or have full time commitments with family know how hard it can be to commit to a blanket sized quilt - heck even small blocks can be hard to finish with the distractions of life.  I am blessed to work from home and have the personal time to devote to my sewing machine, but it's still hard.

I found this blog - such a refreshing take on quilting!  And windy aussie lady pointed her readers at this pattern for a easy elegant quilt pattern.  This is such a cool idea, along the lines of classis Amish quilt patterns - take a reletively simple block and super size it.  In our age of fat quarters and snippets of time this is a perfect way to make a unique modern quilt.

I elected to go with a size to match the neon green fleece I had for the backing.  In keeping with the quick nature of this project, and wanting it to be useful in a variety of occasions, I eliminated batting.  It is the top and backing only.  That makes it suitable for a baby quilt, a car quilt, or a couch quilt.  Really this is a wonderfully utilitarian blanket.

Making the blocks 13 inches each, I then went thru my stash of fabrics.  I went with blues and greens and wanted to use fabrics I have had for a long time and not used.  Some of these are a bit sun faded, and have been hauled across the country a couple of times.  Which definitely means it's time to use them, not stare at them!  I went with a white background fabric to give the colors pop and freshness, and to use up some of the yardage of white I found - apparently I have gotten 3-6 yards of snow white cotton on at least 3 occassions, how odd!  I also decided to lengthen the quilt to make it more lap sizable.

For me the challenge of a block with HST (half square triangles) is always matching points.  Another nice thing about super sizing it is while the points are still there, it just feels less intimidating somehow. Putting the HSTs together and then sewing the rows was a 20 minute project.   Then I added the top and bottom white strips.

It was at this point I discovered my neon green backing was about 4 inches short in width.  Well, damn.  Thought and hunted, and thoughts some more.  I decided to piece the back with a strip of fleece discarded from another project.  A grey plaid I figured would add to the homey charm of this quilt.

Spray basted it all, which took about an hour to keep it all square and straight.  Then started the quilting.  Pulled out the L-bar attachement for the sewing machine rather than drawing the lines for the quilting.  Echo quilted the star petals and then the white spaces, then echoed that at 2 inch intervals.

I also elected to do rounded corners for the first time.  For that I felt I needed to use bias binding.  I normally use straight edge binding, not cut on the bias.  I hate wasting fabric and I am not fond of using fabric that stretches.  However, to give me the curve on the corners I wanted, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and try some bias binding.  To make it even more fun I elected to work with making a continuous strip of bias binding, which is an excercise in physics with fabric.  I used this tutorial which has a ton of info you can use for different bias binding needs.

Added this lovely dark green binding (on the bias) totally machine stitching it - and voila!  quilt all done!

This is a great project for a sudden need for a quilt - like a sick friend, or a unexpected baby announcement etc.  While I originally planned it for a spare baby quilt I am thinking it will go on my couch for my use instead!

"8-Hour Quilt"
March 2014
50" x 60"


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