Friendship Square Finish!

Just before midnight on March 31, I put the last few stitches into my latest finish  Just on time, too! A friendship square mini quilt marks the 5th and final finish for the first quarter of the 2017 Finish-A-Long, which closes today! Click HERE to see my complete Finish-A-Long list.  The funniest thing about this quilt, is that it began its journey in the summer of 2015, one year and 8 months beforehand!

This quilt has been sitting around unfinished for 20 months! It started out as an opportunity to participate in a friendship square swap with some ladies at our LQS, Kindred Spirits.  The 2-inch HST’s were made using a paper-piecing technique by Edita Sitar of @laundrybasketquilts.  She sells the HST Paper for accurately piecing 700 triangles for about $10.

I decided to participate, and made 8 sheets of the triangles (32 triangles per sheet).  I brought them in and waited a few days for my goodies.  The ladies at the shop needed time to take our ready-to-press-open triangles and divide them evenly, giving each participant the same number of triangles that they brought in, to take home.  I came home with just under 300 triangles to play with.

Deciding on a layout was a challenge because the fabrics were completely random, and everyone has a different interpretation of dark and light. Some blocks were equally dark on both sides, others were bold colours, and I didn’t  have equal numbers of the different colour options that were available.   I tried different ideas such as making smaller, somewhat cohesive blocks, but settled on attempting to arrange everything on point and make one huge block in the end.

This quilt came together quickly because I was trying to beat the clock to enter the contest that Kindred Spirits was having–A prize of the Laundry Basket Quilts book,”Friendship Triangles” and an extra pack of the triangle papers.

I  managed to get the quilt top done and rushed in to the store to beat the deadline, feeling a bit bad that I didn’t get it quilted before the cutoff.  When the deadline rolled in, I laughed because I was the only one to attempt to enter the contest!  I won by default with an incomplete project!

Shortly thereafter, I pieced the backing from some scraps I had, and started quilting.  I originally had chosen a motif with points that run through the tip of each HST where the bulk of the seam allowances were overlapping. It looked a bit like onion bulbs.  As un-luck would have it, something went wrong:  The 5 layers-deep points on the HST’s were causing some drag with my foot, and everything was off-square.  There were skipped stitches everywhere.  I obviously wanted to cry about it all.  I was so discouraged, I put it aside for a year.

Then, thanks to the joys of summer, I found some time while travelling to New Brunswick, as a happy passenger.  Tearing out all of those stitches was a pain, but I was so glad to be at a point where I can start over and finish this little quilty-poo!

I can definitely say, that the FAL prompted the finish this quarter. I picked a motif that doesn’t cross through the bulky seam allowances multiple times, cleaned my machine and carefully adjusted the foot to hover over all the lumps and bumps before proceeding.

I tried to think of a way to methodically avoid those nasty bulky points, so I chose a linear loopy design.  It’s not nearly as pretty as my original design, but I was able to finish the quilting in about 4 hours with no skipping and shifting!

Next was to choose a binding.  I found this leaf print from my Mother-in-law’s scraps. I had just enough to go the whole way around.

I have no planned purpose for this baby, but it is done.  It measures 36.5 x 44 inches.  It might look nice on my bedroom wall…  we shall see!


Thus concludes the Finish A Long 2017!  Stay tuned for my new list!!!