Monday, November 14, 2016

New Quilts - Primo Plaids Bedding Ensemble

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.

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