Not that I’m anywhere near finished the main applique part of the quilt, but to get some of the fabric out of my cabinet and into production I decided to start making the striped border.
The border on the original 1851 quilt is made of heavy fabric with a paisley design on a dark blue stripe and a floral design on a light cream stripe – I would guess that it was furnishing or curtain fabric. Can you see the join in the bottom border where the maker put two sections together?
I don’t have anything similarly striped in the stash of old shirts I’m working with, so I am making stripes by sewing together strips of the darkest items (mostly trousers) and the lightest items (white/light blue shirts). The suit and shirt that my husband wore at our wedding are included in this border! (Now we need to buy him a new suit, pronto.)
After a long debate with myself I decided that I simply could not hand-sew what will amount to about 240 seams between the dark and light strips. I brought out my sewing machine. I had wanted this whole quilt to be sewn in the same way that the maker of the original 1851 quilt would have constructed it (ie, no use of freezer paper or any other applique tools they wouldn’t have had then), but this striped border actually didn’t require the maker to sew together 240 seams – they had about 10 pieces of striped fabric that they fitted together to make the border. That’s a lot less sewing! So I feel justified in using the machine. The applique will still be done with just needle and hoop as tools.
Except for the addition of a couple more pieces of applique, work had stalled on this project because of the holidays. Ever notice how you get completely sidetracked with new and different sewing projects during November and December? I made six Christmas stockings this year, in a bid to use up my stash of pretty ribbons, trims, and embellishments. I’m extremely pleased with them and it was a hugely fun project to do, but it took me ages to do each of them and guess whose didn’t get finished in time? Yup, my poor husband didn’t get any trim on his… but he still got some good presents inside. I’ll be taking them out before next Christmas to finish them (a few don’t have tassels yet and a few need more sewing and/or repairs where El Puppo, my parents’-in-law’s new dog, managed to sink her teeth in!)
More updates to come when I have sewn this stack of strips into a long border.
Hours logged to date: 77.5
Research: 15 hours
Blogging: 7 hours
Fabric preparation: 7 hours
Design: 4.5 hours
Cutting/patternmaking: 9 hours
Sewing: 35 hours