THREE YARDS, PLEASE

When I was growing up in the 50s, three yards of fabric could make about anything, garment wise. I remember standing by my mom at the local Anthony’s store when she would always say, “three yards, please.”

child's skirt from the 50s

child’s skirt from the 50s

This very wrinkled skirt is all I have now of those cotton skirts she would make for me. Later I made them myself. I so wish I had some of the other things she made for me, just as I wish I had kept a few of the things I sewed for my children.

This cotton is still so nice that I am thinking of taking the skirt apart and using it in a quilt!

Speaking of quilts, the first time I bought fabric in a quilt shop, the clerk asked how much would I like her to cut. She was a little startled when I said, “three yards, please.” It was a reproduction of a childs print from the 30s! What was I going to do with three yards of it?

Now that I am a quilt maker for some time, I can say less than three yards, but cannot seem to say more than three yards, like the 5-7 needed for a quilt backing.

Back for a Christmas quilt

Back for a Christmas quilt

Thus my quilt backs look more like the above photo. I just cannot say, “Five yards, please.” However, I will confess that while spending a couple days putting this back together, I kept thinking about all the pretty quilt tops I want to piece. Why am I wasting time piecing a back! I am sure my long arm friends also think, why did she piece this back. Now I have to get it on the frame just right. Then I have to deal with all this extra thread and seams! I will say that when I do this I do try to have the last lap of fabric a print and about 10-12 inches wide so that it is less obvious if it doesn’t quite get on the frame perfectly.

IMG_6690

Here is the front of the quilt and the two pieces went to the long arm yesterday! Yea! It is gone and I can work on something else!

I have already shared the five year quilt with you. I said I was going to tie it rather than invest the money in long arm work. I taped one side of the quilt down to the table. I topped it with batting and then the other side of the quilt. I crawled all around on the table to make the ties of serveral colors of matching yarn to make them inconspicuous. I am sure it was not a pretty sight, but I was alone!

When I untaped the quilt and turned it over I was so disappointed. The bottom side did not lay flat. Apparently I had streached the fabric when I taped the one side down. Now it bunched up. I wanted it to turn out nice so now I was going to quilt it myself. The bobbin was a thinner thread of a neutral that would fade into the quilt. The top thread was a dark color to blend in with the top.

Dark thread on light fabric

Dark thread on light fabric

The dark thread blended in nicely, except for on the light fabrics. Since my quilting pattern is Gig and Jag rather than smooth curves, the dark thread on light fabric had to come out! Hello seam ripper.

Side one

Side one

This also meant knotting every thread as it went back into the dark fabric. If you do not own self threading needles, buy them! There are times they come in handy.

side two

side two

Once I had the reversible quilt all edge to edge quilted in my unique Gig-n-Jag style, I was ready for the binding. No, I am not going to take the time to do a two fabric binding. Surely there is one fabric that will work on both sides.

label

label

It was worth all the time in making the quilt for such a deserving gal. This week-end she placed first in National Talents for Christ. Along with the learning experience comes a nice college scholarship. Congrats to Megan!

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