Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tic Tac Toe - January winnings progress

Sorry for the poor picture, but I'm very excited - this is the nearly completed flimsy of my January 2010 Tic Tac Toe winnings. There's just one row of 7 purple blocks not yet set with sashing/cornerstones to add to one end.

Don't look too closely - the cornerstones don't match. But that's fine with me.

Once the last row is on, it makes it 7 blocks by 9 - but actually it needs to be 9 blocks by 9 blocks. So I need another two rows of blocks at each side - another 18 blocks. I'll probably do them in the same colours as the rows, but all with coloured backgrounds and white crosses. Or maybe I'll do a bit of lettering. Am undecided.

I do want to ask some questions though - where's the best place to find out:

1. I've got some cotton to use as the backing, but I'm not using batting as this quilt is going to be my bedcover which keeps my duvet cover free of cat hair (Ivor cat only trespasses on other furniture in the flat if he's banned from the bed, so he gets to sleep on the bed, I only have to worry about hair on the bed), so it'll be washed fortnightly/ weekly, so needs to be small enough to go into the machine, and to dry pretty quickly. I have loads of safety pins to use to baste the two layers together - and will probably just sew up & down the sashing lines to quilt it by machine, but do I add the binding before or after I've quilted it?

2. How far apart do my quilting lines need to be? Do I need to quilt inside the blocks as well - bearing in mind there won't be any batting.

3. Should I put the completed flimsy in the washing machine (a) before quilting (b) before binding or (c) after it's all completed?

4. What else do I need to know that I don't know because it's the first time I've done any quiltmaking?

Hopefully someone will be able to point me towards an idiot's guide to making the quilt bit to completion on the net!



  1. Even if you don't use batting, you might consider a layer of flannel, just to give it a bit more weight and quilty crinkles. If you expect this to get heavy use and frequent washings, I'd probably quilt it as if it were a quilt made of three layers including batting.

    As for when to wash it, I wouldn't until it's quilted at least. I often bind my quilts before they go in the wash, though I know you can getting a nice flat result by washing it after it's quilted and then blocking the quilt.

  2. This looks great sashed with cornerstones! I was going to comment on the questions, but Sophie said everything already!

  3. So if I was quilting it as though it had batting - then I'd be doing inside the blocks also? (seriously never done anything this big nor quilted before).

    Can't block it, as it is, I'm not sure I'll be able to find floorspace big enough to pin it, I might have to go to the local park to do that bit - we're in the middle of a heatwave so the ground is nice & dry... Can't in my garden as I've started reseeding the grass and there's not enough space. One of these day's I'm going to plan ahead properly! I'll quilt then bind then wash. After I've actually finished it obviously.

  4. You could quilt this is so many ways that I think would work–I do hope others will jump in with their suggestions for you. If it were me, I would probably do a small free-motion fill pattern in the background of the blocks (and the sashing), so that the grids (and cornerstones) would pop. So, yes, if it were me, I would do some quilting inside the blocks. You certainly could quilt a large grid over the whole quilt (and the non-white fabrics would still pop). Because the blocks are liberated, I wouldn't do anything fussy, but you know what? Many of Gwen Marston's liberated quilts have VERY traditional (hand) quilting. Honestly, I think you could even decide to tie this quilt and it would be cute.

    What would everyone else?

  5. To quilt a lot or not to quilt a lot that is the question....Quilting is done to secure the two layers together. i usually start at the center and work around in a clockwise direction. I think stiching around the outside of each block will hold the layers together.

    If this is your first big quilt I would quilt it then put a binding on. I have seen some very precise quilters put right sides together stich around the outside (leaving an opening) and then flip it. Then they quilt. i am not exact enough to get the right size backing.

    Good luck.

  6. So many options to finish this lovely quilt. The only thing I would definitely do, is finish the whole thing before washing.

  7. I seldom had room for pinning so I took wrapping paper rollers and carefully rolled thhe backing onto one, the batting onto another and the finished top onto another. Then carefully align, leaving extra bcking and batting all around - then pin and roll onto a separate roller.
    Get the quilting done before the washing - no matter what other options you decide to do.

  8. The easiest way to "git 'er dun" (as my hillbilly relatives would say) would be to pillowcase it and then tie it instead of quilting it. To pillowcase a quilt, lay your backing and top right sides together and sew around the edge, leaving a space to turn it. Turn it and hand stitch the opening closed. Then use yarn to tie knots randomly about the quilt, securing the backing to the top. I've done this with a fleece backing for kids quilts. Works great.


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