I decided to make the Primo Plaids quilt since I spied this quilt last summer on a website. I love stars and love flannel so what a great combination and quilt for me to try to make. I tried to get the free pattern first on-line...couldn't do it. I tried to figure out what the size of the stars were....12 inch (finished) stars. I just wanted to find some plaid fabric too...couldn't find much of a selection during the summer. So I waited until I saw the kit on-line. I actually saw the blue version of the kit on two web sites, well...I knew one was SLOW in the delivery to my home and the other was a bit faster so I went with the faster on-line retail store to get it to me sooner. Believe me, it was not cheap. I found out why when I opened the package when it arrived. The fabric is woven cotton, very thick and I thought to myself, what have I gotten myself into? I have never sewn with this thick fabric before; does it actually fold over when I try to iron it?
This is the free pattern that was included with the fabric. I really, really like the blue flannels. I thought it would be easy to do but I have a few suggestions if you decide to use the plaid flannels by Marcus Fabrics. I will tell you my observations later in this post.
Each block is 12 1/2 inch (unfinished) square. The kit has enough fabric to make the quilt which is 94" x 94" for a good-sized queen bed. I believe there is extra fabric to make the two pillows, instructions are included in the pattern. I don't know for sure yet but I will let you know as soon as I get to the end to see if there is enough fabric to make the pillows.
Of course, the fabric is a bit "stretchy." That worried me this morning when I started to cut the fabric. I worried also about the directional nature of the plaids. I chose to ignore it while I was making the first block. I just wanted to get through this process and see what I could do to improve and streamline the making of each block. I sometimes do not use the first block that I make because it does not look quite as good as the subsequent ones.
My tips: First, I kept all of the fabrics at my cutting table. I usually cut at the table (in my dinning room) and move everything to my sewing machine area nicely folded and take it back and forth as I need more fabric. I decided not to do this as to not stretch the fabric. Second, I used my longer and stronger flower-head pins to keep the fabric in place while I sewed. My small fine needles were difficult to see in the thick flannel and I was afraid that I would hit one of them or bend them. Third, I also used water to spray on the cotton when I needed to fold the fabric. I am was initially nervous about using a spray starch or the Mary Ellen's Best Press. I may use Best Press, I think it will be okay. Whenever I make stars, I always use Deb Tucker's ruler, Wing Clipper. I tried it and it was not as easy as using regular cotton fabric. I will try it again. Hopefully it will work better.
Oops, I forgot to mention that I have a Janome Memory Craft 7700 QCP. Fortunately, it has a built in Dual Feed option. I actually purchased the quarter inch foot at Rosie's in San Diego. It helps immensely when there are think seams to sew through. I decided to use this foot because of the added thickness of the flannel. I have never had a problem whenever I use it. I have my regular sewing foot that jumps because of the thickness or continues to sew and not move. If you this sort of feature on your sewing machine, I recommend that you try to use it.
Well, that is it for now. I will try to let you know if I encounter other problems.