These last two weeks I pieced and quilted this quilt for Quilts of Valor. I try to make one every year, but I may have missed last year.
After it was pieced, though, I found a problem. The stars lay flat enough, but the negative areas were billowing in the breeze. Apparently, the trouble was with the main background fabric, off-white with printed white stars. I received it as a prize during a sew-in. It must have been a very inexpensive fabric, and did it ever stretch as it was sewn. Whew!
To correct the problem I did several things.
- I sprayed the areas with water and steamed them. It didn’t really shrink them much, but it directed the fullness toward the centers.
- I cut the borders to the “correct” measurements, rather than measure the quilt. I always do this, but this time it was really importan t.
- I spray-basted this quilt on my Ping Pong table, pushing and tugging until the borders lined up along the edges.
- I quilted between all the blocks using my walking foot. I don’t do this religiously anymore, but this quilt sure needed it.
I used the same orange peel quilting I had used in the last quilt. I have already planned to, because I thought the “stars” in the negative space would look good, but it really proved to be the perfect motif for controlling fullness. The curved lines directed the fabric toward the center, and then against the seamlines, where I eased or tucked it in.
And flatness ensued. It looks pretty good, aside from some minor tension issues. I’m happy to donate this quilt.