Sweater quilt: expanded layout, batting and backing decisions

I’m continuing with the sweater quilt today.

After cutting all my patches, there was still plenty of sweater material left so I went back to Electric Quilt and added 10 inches to both the length and width of the quilt.

The design grew to 60" x 70".

The design grew to 60″ x 70″.

The two patches at the top right do not measure 10″ x 10″ or 10″ x 15″ because I made a mistake while cutting the one on top by forgetting to include the seam allowance. Note to self: stop being stupid.

For the bottom row, I lacked enough material for one of the patches, so it was cut smaller and the one next to it was cut bigger to make up the difference. In the end, I think that helped to retain the random look I wanted, so it all worked out.

I also wanted to share with you a photo of  my machine after sewing a row together:

Hopefully, this reinforces the reason I offered earlier to use the vacuum cleaner frequently!

Hopefully, this reinforces the reason I offered earlier to use the vacuum cleaner frequently!

Once all the patches were sewn together, it was time to think about finishing. I was surprised to discover that some blogger/sewers considered their quilt done at this stage; I wanted mine to look finished.

By now, the top was fairly heavy so batting was out of the question. In addition to avoiding all the extra weight batting would add, I didn’t want a finished article that would make you feel like you were being roasted at 350 degrees.

For the backing, fleece was definitely out, as was regular quilter’s cotton, which left flannel—until one friend suggested using a homespun.

After trips to several quilt shops in search of a homespun, I ended up purchasing a very masculine, medium gray flannel with a herringbone pattern—not my first choice, but unfortunately, a suitable homespun was not in my backyard.

flannel back

Next time: layering and basting.

For what it’s worth, here’s my take on all the rain we’ve had recently:

Complaints about all the rain we’re getting here in Colorado are increasing, and while so many residents have a legitimate reason to complain, the rest of us should be thankful for a few positives:

  • no more wildfires
  • lowered pollen count from 11/12 to 5/12
  • relief from the blistering temperatures we had as recently as a week ago
  • an elevated water table

Sometimes a slight adjustment in perspective can make a bad situation seem a little better.

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