Monday, July 16, 2012

A WIP for Russia.

As my wife and I are preparing for our trip to St. Petersburg, Russia to visit her family, the pile of gifts is slowly growing.  Like many other cultures, gift-giving is a big part of Russian culture.  Our family and friends are so generous and sweet, and this time I hope to surprise my wife's best friends with a quilt!  I chose a variation of the Greek Cross quilt, and am piecing it using Jennifer's (from Ellison Lane Quilts) Across the Sea Quilt-A-Long tutorial.  I have expanded the quilt to finish at around 94 x 82, so it will hopefully fit their bed.  I didn't ask them what size their bed is, as that would give away the surprise (maybe), but we think it's a little smaller than a queen size, so I'm sure it will be close (I hope)!

The fabrics we chose are a mixture of stash and new purchases for the project.  I'm using a natural muslin (meadowlark premium) for the background, and mostly greens, purples, and oranges.  Below you can see the first finished block.  The muslin looks blue in the picture, but it's not (of course :) ), and the fabric is 1001 Peeps.  Another adjustment I made to the tutorial instructions helped me save a little time (I think):  instead of cutting a square and four rectangles to make the cross, I combined the square and two of the rectangles into one piece of fabric (making allowances for the missing seam allowances...does that make sense?), which eliminates some cutting and sewing.  This alteration gives you one long piece of unbroken pattern, which I like anyhow, so it was a time-saver and a visual improvement (to my taste). 

So far, I have one block done (above), and the three strips which make up each cross have been pieced and ironed.  When I finish this post, I will begin assembling the three strips and complete more blocks tonight.  Oh, also I have to mention that I have started using spray starch (Mary Ellen's Best Press Spray Starch Alternative), and it has helped clean up my piecing, I think.  Fabric doesn't shift or stretch so much when piecing, and it smells like lavender!

Because I am pouring my free time into finishing this quilt, the baby quilt has once again been put on the back burner, but as this is extremely time-sensitive, I hope the baby won't be too upset with me :).

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