Once I opened the box and admired the awesome job, I knew I had to get to work. Since this quilt will be entered into our show next month, I wanted to block the quilt. Linda also advised blocking as sometimes dense quilting can skew things a bit. So I plunged the whole thing (raw edges, backing, and batting hanging loose) into the washer on the gentle cycle. Meanwhile, I mopped the garage floor, laid out a large, old quilt, and my husband found 3 fans. By the way, if you want to get some weird looks from your neighbors, let them see you mopping the garage floor! Once it had spun dry, I carefully took the quilt out of the washer, placed it in a clothes basket, and took it out to the garage and began the tedious process of laying it out, squaring it up as needed. I had measured the diagonals prior to wetting it, and they were not off by too much, so it wasn't necessary to really "work" it. One tool that really helps the process is a laser "square" level. It shoots out two laser beams of light at 90 degrees, so you can place it at a corner and work down both sides. (And really, the best tool for this process is a good pair of kneepads, because I spent a long time crawling around on my knees and the garage floor is hard!) There are some really good tutorials out there about the whole process. Anyways, I just got it all "finished" and turned on the fans to start the drying process when it started to pour outside. There was no danger of water coming in, but the humidity sure didn't help with the drying. We left it overnight and I was quite relieved to find in the morning that no centipedes or other local "friends" meddled with the quilt.
But I'm rattling on and you haven't had a chance to see a picture yet!
I used the fence idea from the other day again. I had to re-wipe it down. We feed the birds and they sure could show their appreciation by not leaving their traces on the fence!
Linda decided to use this pineapple motif in the corners and I am thrilled! It really makes that perfect Hawaiian touch!
An angle to show more of the quilting. I love the large spirals over the tiny geometric piecing.
To get a sense of scale, I put a quarter on the quilt in the above photo. The tiny squares finish at a half inch!
I really like the back, too! If I had thought about it, I would have gotten a plain backing that would show off the quilting really well, but I found this bright, fun fabric on clearance and I thought it would be the perfect foil for the tiny front piecing. I ordered the fabric and needed to piece it. It worked out that the proper length I needed matched up with the repeat of the fabric. In what was one of those serendipitous moments that you could never plan, I was able to perfectly match the backing. Can you see the seam in the photo below? If you look closely, you can see it running vertically down the middle. I was thrilled with how it came out, and even Linda commented on the match.
I got the binding sewn on, as you may have noticed, and this evening I finished tacking down the hanging sleeve and attaching the label. It is all ready for the show!