Friday, May 3, 2013

Washing and blocking a quilt


You probably think I've been hiding under a rock for the past month as I haven't been active in blog land but I'm back now and I have a good excuse for my absence.
Remember this old quilt that's been hanging around unfinished for years?  If only I didn't have so many other quilty distractions, sigh.
I've been focusing on a deadline to get this quilt finished and had just over half the trapunto feathers to stuff. Oh boy, that was a big task  finally the day has come to wash and block the quilt before it gets bound. It's a job I don't enjoy but it was better than cleaning my pantry out.
 
I soaked the quilt in the washing machine first to get out all the marking lines. I spun it dry and then washed again in cool water with a wool wash detergent and an abundance of dye catchers.
I laid a flannelette sheet on the rug in the lounge room with the quilt on top. The flannelette works well to hold the quilt in place with minimal movement.
Next step was to square up the middle section containing the rings.
I made sure the diagonal measurements matched and pinned those points
The next step with help from the man of the house was to measure and pin every ring in the middle section and pin as I went. I matched the measurements horizontally and vertically.
After the center was done, it was time to double check that the rings were lined up correctly.
Out came the trusty laser levels. I really must shout myself a right angle tile level.
You can see that I used a large square ruler to get my 90 degrees sorted and lined the edges of the ruler up with the preblocked rings.
 
The next part was to measure my preferred border width from the edge of the rings.
In this case, it's 7 1/2"
Pin, pin, pin and it can stay there until dry which will probably be a day and a bit. I do have a ceiling fan which speeds things up.
When the pins are removed, I'll be marking my cutting lines for the border. I think it's best to do that on the floor while it's all flat.
The next stage will be to bind, sleeve and label. I've named this one Rings And Roses because I couldn't come up with anything better.
I have a nifty trick for the binding part which will be next. I'll lket you know about it next time.
 
Oh and by the way, if  you're at the Sydney quilt show next month, you'll see it hanging out with other quilts.
 
Here's a link to an excellent tutorial with step by step photos for blocking a quilt with borders that I wanted to share with you. You never know when you'll need it.
Quilt Me Happy (click)
 
Until next time, Janet


70 comments:

Terry said...

I've never blocked a quilt. Of course I've never made anything like this either. It looks fabulous! :0)

Carole~Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus said...

How interesting, I've never seen or heard of this technique. Must check out the link to learn more about blocking a quilt. Thanks!

Dorothy said...

Your quilt is stunning. I' m sorry I won't be in Sydney to see itin reality. Just beautiful, Congratultions.

Patchwork and Play said...

Yep, new to me too! How interesting! This is going to a winner, that's for sure! Stunning!

Kathie said...

oh my it is just beautiful you must be thrilled its done!
it was so worth all the time and effort you put into this heirloom quilt. Please make sure to take a picture and share with us at the show!
wish I could be there.
Kathie

Rose-Anne said...

Wow, stunning!! Nice variation on a traditional wedding ring pattern.

Mary said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I have only blocked a quilt once. This one is fantastic! I do have a question....when you use the laser and big square are you only squaring the 4 corners of the center ring section? It looks wonderful, Janet!

Mitt lille rosa syrom said...

Fantastic Marvelous Mindblowing - Congratulations!!!!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

wonderful looking quilt - I have never blocked a quilt - I guess I really don't care if it is perfect - yours looks perfect - congrats.

Maree: said...

Never heard of Blocking a Quilt just as well you had some Help seems a Big Job but Oh So Worth it Janet Your Quilt is Beautiful sorry won't see it at the Show but I bet it will get Many Praises...
cheers

Silvana said...

I blocked some quilts in the past. It looks absolutely fabulous!
Silvana

Frances said...

Wish I could be in Sydney to see it for real - it looks D-I-V-I-N-E!

Karendianne said...

Fantastic tutorial and beautiful quilt. This was a great post, Janet!!!!

Nyla said...

This is a beautiful quilt and I know your so pleased to have it almost done. You make lovely, museum quality quilts! Well done Janet!

Heather said...

So happy to see this quilt again. Good luck at the show -looks like a winner to me!

Karen said...

I don't remember ever seeing this quilt before. It's amazing, beautiful, unbelievable, incredible, perfection, and would love to come live in Florida with me :). This is why you are truly one of the best quilters I've ever "known". Wish I could come to your show, congrats on a fabulous quilt.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Your quilt is so gorgeous! Love the border.

Sharon said...

beautiful job, I haven't blocked a big quilt, but the one I'm hand quilting will need to be done. I have a year or so to figure it all out!

Marie said...

Oh Janet, this is the first quilt that I saw on your blog so it's like a homecoming for me. It is still amazing and a wonderful testament to your incredible talent. They will be thrilled to have this at the Show - just wish I could see it in person!

Janet said...

Congratulations Janet!! It looks incredible! You must be so pleased to have this major project finished. I can only imagine the patience required for all that trapunto. I'd love to come to Sydney and see it in the show.

Lurline said...

Best of Show I bet!
Love and hugs on an exquisite piece! Lurline.

Dixie said...

Thanks so much for such an interesting post. I have never even thought about washing and blocking a quilt before its bound, but your directions are great! Nice to see you back, and I bet your beauty is a winner at the show!

gracie said...

What a beautiful quilt. I guess those dye catcher sheets really do work!

Mary said...

It's a beautiful quilt. Blocking makes such a positive difference. Great job.

mary

taylorsoutback said...

With all the effort and preparations you put into your quilts it is not surprising how gorgeous they turn out!

Your applique around the double wedding rings takes this classic design to a whole new level.

It will be stunning on display!

B J Elder said...

Thank you for the great step by step how to as well as a view of your gorgeous quilt top! Wish I were in the neighborhood to attend the show!

Maxine said...

What a beautiful quilt. Your work is excellent. How did the loose batting behave during the soaking and drying process? I tried blocking a rather large quilt one and ended up with some of the batting being destroyed.

Yumm yumz by patticakes said...

That is one of the MOST unbelievably beautiful quilts! I wish I could see it in person!

Bravo!!!

Oops-Lah said...

I have never blocked a quilt in my life and it has been interesting to see how it's done properly. What a beauty you've created. If it would be up to me, it would win first price (or whatever it is they give out for quilts). Stellar work!

audrey said...

Absolutely beautiful! I have never blocked a quilt before. Very interesting process.

Stephanie said...

An obvious labor of love. Truly gorgeous!!!

Rachaeldaisy said...

When you mentioned the deadline I crossed my fingers and hoped it was for the Sydney Show! Yay!! I can't wait to see this amazing quilt in real life! Thank you for telling us how you block your quilts.

Miranda said...

Just love it! I like the way you're using all those colors...amazing!!!! Greetz from the Netherlands

Nic said...

Wow, this is simply stunning.
I've not heard of blocking quilts before. Just knitting. It makes a massive difference with lace, does it do so for quilts too?

Melanie said...

Very beautiful. Your information is coming at the right time, too, as I'm working on a similar quilt. Looking forward to seeing the stuff on the binding!

Julia said...

Oh Janet, you know I love that quilt...
Of course it will be best of show, I'm so happy your entering it...if I could I would come to Sydney just to see it.
Julia ♥

Quilt Hollow said...

It's stunning for sure! I'm sure will win!

YankeeQuilter said...

Gorgeous! And thanks for the tips...I'm pretty bad about blocking the quilt. I do it for wall-hangings and smaller items though!

Lori said...

So pretty Janet! Do the pins go right into your floor?

Shirley said...

Stunning. It has my viewers vote from afar. Simply beautiful Janet. Congratulations and thanks for the tutorial.

betweens said...

If i were there it would be my first vote as well best in show by a mile, incredible heirloom!
Love love love this quilt and the hard work you have been able to post for us. Thanks so much for your tutorial, you are right we may need it.

Missie of Hallbrook Designs said...

That quilt is so beautiful! What a beautiful design. Your color choices are perfect and the quilting is wonderful! Should be a show stopper!

Barb said...

Your quilt is just lovely!
Thanks for the tips on blocking and link
Good Luck at the show!

Teresa said...

I LOVE THIS QUILT! I think I saw you working on this when I first stumbled onto your blog. Congrats on making your show deadline...it's a winner for sure. I would love to see this one in person.

And thank you so much for the blocking tutorial...I need that so much. I have to admit I am scared of washing quilts. I prewash my fabric and quilt/mark oh, so carefully to avoid this step. I need to get over myself.

Your work is so very inspirational. Good luck at the show!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Mona said...

I just love Your quilt. The color and all the roses....Just Beautiful. Hugs from Norway.

Nifty Quilts said...

This is a real masterpiece! It will be a huge hit at the show! Thank you for the instructions on blocking. I've never done it, but thought I ought to learn.

Crispy said...

Oh Wow Janet, this quilt is gorgeous!!! It's always been one of my favorites of yours. Thank you soooo much for the link on how to block a quilt. I never bother since mine aren't entered into shows but that may change in the future.

Crispy

Iclal Bicer said...

çok şirinler ellerinize sağlık. :)
http://dantel-yap.blogspot.com/

Mimi said...

There's a lot of beautiful work in that quilt!

mbroider said...

This is very beautiful!!! These days i am going through a lot of quilting tutorials, and am itching to start quilt. I need to get all the supporting tools (including the sewing machine!!)

Jessica said...

Yay Janet! I love this quilt! Wish I could come and see it in Sydney, please post pics!

Annemieke said...

Very very beautiful and impressive! I would have loved to see it for real in Sydney.
Groetjes
Annemieke

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Wow Janet. I think we should take a moment just to be amazed by the beauty of your quilt! WOW! I've heard of blocking knitting, but not a quilt -- that's amazing!

Thimbleanna said...

And P.S.. I'm very intrigued by your mention of adding the borders after it's quilted and blocked. I do hope you'll show us the entire quilt when it's finished!

Lou said...

Absolutely beautiful! We always make the trip up for the Sydney show (I live in Victoria) as the quilts are always of a wonderfully high standard. I look forward to seeing a blue ribbon attached

Sue-Anne said...

First of all, your quilt is beautiful Janet! congratulations on getting it finished.

I have heard the word "blocking" before but had never realised there was so much involved!

imquilternity said...

Wow... that's a lot of work and that's after the quilt has been made and quilted. :) It is an absolutely stunning quilt. I would love to see it in "real life"... I'll bet it takes your breath away. Such gorgeous work.

Rose Marie said...

Beautiful!

Kate said...

Great Job!!!
Still under my rock with 3 sides of the final border yet to quilt. I seriously doubt I will have time to wash and block mine!

Look forward to seeing you at the show. Your quilt looks totally fabulous.
k

Tim Latimer said...

LOve this!!!

momto1 said...

What a gorgeous quilt, and how lucky those people at the Sydney show are to get to see it. I'm a first-time visitor to your blog, but this won't be the last visit! Your work is stunning.

Carole S.

Cathy said...

Absolutely incredible! I so wish I could see it. Perhaps it will come to a Melbourne show one day?! xo

Aunt 'Reen said...

Wow, that quilt is absolutely GORGEOUS! I love all your applique' work and beautiful fabric choices too!

I never blocked a quilt before - your tutorial was terrific! Thank You!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

It's absolutely stunning!

Taryn said...

Your quilt is gorgeous. I was trying to wrap my head around your blocking instructions and wish I could be there to peek over your shoulder. I am very bad at the blocking part and many of my quilts have bits of the edges lopped off. I must take a look at the tutorial you linked to.

Nat Palaskas said...

Rings and Roses is gorgeous. No word to describe it! - Congratulations - Hugs
Nat

E. Ericasta said...

Love it ... Fantastic work <3

Cheers, heidrun

Chookyblue...... said...

and all this effort was worth it since your got Best of Show........massive congrats.......you are such a talented/busy quilter this is so deserved........

Celia Ambrose said...

Stunningly beautiful! What a fantastic labor of skill. WOW!

Penni Domikis said...

This is one of the most beautiful quilts I have seen in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing.