This is the machine-stitched pink quilt top as of last weekend.
5 rows stitched, another 7 to go. I’ve found it tough going, and am amazed afresh by what amazing things people proficient at machine stitching (unlike me) can do. Rows 1 and 2, I would say about half of the corners met. Stupidly, I then decided that as the stitching foot is 1/4 inch wide, and always seemed to coincide with the lines I’d drawn, I would then not draw lines on the backs of the squares in row 3. When I sewed it onto the other two rows (this was done a few weeks ago, I’ve lost track) the corner success rate was about the same as first time round, so I repeated it for row 4. Big mistake! The whole thing ended up being about half an inch out, so I had to unpick it all, identify where in particular it went wrong, unstitch a couple of squares from each other, and put it back together again. Better, but two squares are joined together with each having a 1/2 inch seam! For the next row I re-measured all squares, but all were fine, and drew lines on. They still didn’t match the row above, but I worked that out before joining the two rows (phew), so only had to unpick one join. Had to reattach it with one of the squares having a 1/2 inch seam, though, which isn’t good. Weirdly, when I joined the two rows together they were almost all exactly right at the corners, I think just two were off.
You can see here the horrible stepped effect mismatched corners caused in some of my rows:
Also the joys of trying needle-turn applique for the first time! That’s really hard, too… I couldn’t manage the invisible stitching and didn’t really understand the bit in Linda Clements’ book about putting in the stitches at right angles to the fabric, so followed a YouTube video which shows the lady putting in tiny little stitches right up close to the line. I think I picked a difficult shape to start with, though, and it looks jagged where it should be smoother. Still, practice makes perfect, and I don’t think the aunt I’m making this for will mind.
This is the last row, with the improved corners:
I’d like to do more like these, and so actually make good use of my nice sewing machine!
I did all the pinwheels before laying out the design, but am doing the applique as I go along, to make me feel like I’m making progress and have a bit of variety in what I’m doing. I’ve decided to do applique flowers on alternate rows, so am only doing 6. Two done, one just started, and 3 to go. Those I can at least do on the train; when I’ve been doing things on the machine, it’s frustrating having to leave it behind and go out to work!