Friday, April 21, 2017

Challenge Accepted

So a friend called me a few weeks ago asking if I might be able to "enlarge" an existing twin-sized quilt so that it would fit on a queen-sized bed.

Challenge accepted!

I simply thought, "easy, peasy".  Find some coordinating fabric and add 18" on each side.  

And then I got the quilt in my hands. **sigh**  

The first thing I noticed was that it had been hand-quilted.  

Problem #1... I would have to charge an arm and a leg to hand quilt this.  

I pulled out my owner's manual for my Babylock and discovered that it has a stitch that looks as though it is hand stitched.  Game on!

I then started the search for some fabric.  I am about 5 years behind the times to be able to locate the blender/marbled green that at one time was everywhere.

I did some on-line shopping and found a large print green gingham that would coordinate with the existing gingham backing.  

But the other green that I found was to "emerald-y".  

**sigh** Okay, that will simply go into my stash for a future boy quilt using some of the frog fabric that I received in the gifted stash several months ago...

I then did what I probably should have done in the first place... I headed to my "local quilt shop" - I say that tongue-in-cheek because it is really just the Wal-mart fabric department... I selected a nice forest green that will work great.

My next challenge was the batting... My "go-to" batting is a fusible 80-20 blend, but the quilter had used a polyester batting.  This meant that I would need to use spray basting... **sigh** It is just a stinky messy process that gums up my needle.  

After removing the binding I realized that this quilt had probably been washed (and therefor the new fabric would need to pre-washed/shrunk).  After measuring and cutting the fabric to the length needed, into the washing machine it went.  And then the dryer.  It was then that I realized the fabric shrank 4+ inches! Ugh! **sigh** (again...) Okay, so now there will be a seam...

I attached the front and back fabric on the sides of the quilt that needed the "expansion" - just as you would for a "quilt-as-you-go" process.  I then inserted the batting, (sure wish I had taken pictures along the way... ooops!) spray basted them and then pin basted to make sure that everything stayed in place.  

I repeated the serpentine diamonds from the border of the quilt in the enlargement...

And then stitched in flying geese so that it would match the flying geese crayon section of the quilt.

The original binding had been a forest green, but with so much green it really seemed to need a pop of color... I had the perfect gold/yellow for the binding that matched the gold/yellow in the border around the apple center.

Despite the challenges and road-blocks that I faced, I over came and pleased with the finished, and now larger, quilt!  It could have been so easy to have told my customer that it just wasn't possible once I saw the quilt.  

It is projects just like this one that make me a better and well-rounded quilter.  Thanks Debi for thinking of me - and trusting me - to modify this special quilt. Not only challenge accepted... Challenge overcome!

Have you ever had to modify a quilt?  
Is there a different approach you would have tried?

With a little bit of thought and time (patience) you can always be successful... Don't get discouraged.  Don't give up.  You will be glad in the end... Guaranteed!

Happy Quilting,


See what other quilters are talking about at Quilter Blogs

1 comment:

  1. Wow! "Challenge" simply isn't a strong enough word! You are tenacious! And patient! I think you did exactly as one should. If I had to enlarge a quilt (although I haven't yet), those are the steps I would have taken. Give yourself a pat on the back....I hope the owner was sufficiently impressed and grateful.