Kew Quilt Finished!!!!

On Tuesday I finished the quilting on the Kew quilt and I could not be happier with the results…..

This quilt is a great example of the “fabric doing all of the heavy lifting”!!!

I spent one night trying to figure out how to quilt it and tried several designs that used curves or other designs but in the end, I went with plain old straight lines…..

I started to just free hand the lines but quickly decided that, if I wanted the lines to be straight, I needed to do some marking and that I should use the walking foot!!!

I had to make a couple of adjustments to my machine set up for quilting this…..

Firstly, I really had a hard time seeing the needle when I was stitching in the ditch so I kept adding lights until it looked like an airport runway…..

Even with the extra light, I still found it hard to stay in the ditch. I also debated about what color of thread to use on the ditch stitching in the colored strips but finally decided on a red variegation…..

The other machine set -up change was actually a funny one. I had been religiously using the thread cutter when I was sewing the strips together and found it TOO easy to hit that button when I was quilting!! My solution was to put a piece of tape of the button so that I wouldn’t hit it…..

It reminded me of the “NO” note that the astronauts put on Apollo 13 to ensure that this one button wasn’t punched accidentally…..

The binding went on smoothly although I moved outside to the deck to have natural light to do the sewing….my eyes are really getting bad!!!!

The final step was to clip off a few threads. This always makes me nervous as I am SURE that I will cut a hole in the finished top!!! To do this I use these sweet curved, spring-action scissors by Tooltron…..

They give a super close cut.

NOW….for the exciting news. I have been thinking a lot about what to call this quilt. My neighbor said that it looked like a roller coaster so I had been leaning that way but I also knew that I wanted the word “Kew” in it. So, last night we had our guild Show-N-Tell Zoom meeting and I asked for helped with the naming. One of our members, Terri, got this grin on her face and suggested “Bridge Over the River KEW”!!


So it is official…..”Bridge Over the Rive KEW” is finished!!

Kew Quilt — Yowza!!!!

Yesterday I had one of the sides finished and was excited to see how the next side would work. Here is the process that I used to piece each side…..

First, I drew the design using “Golden Threads Quilting Paper”.

It is thin and easy to see thru for tracing a pattern and super easy to tear off after the fact. I also like that it won’t tear if you have to rip out and re-do…..ask me how I know!!!!

Anyway, here is the pattern drawn out…..

When I drew out the first side, I made the decision that, since the lines themselves were so wide, I would use the outside of the line as my design. This meant that the colored sections were a bit wider but I think that it worked well.

Here are the steps to paper piecing….

Line the fabric up with the previous piece that was already sewn in place, matching the marking to the circular line…..

I normally don’t pin but since these seams were long, I opted for a few pins along the way….

Now I turn the piece over and sew on the reverse side, following the drawn line….

Iron the new piece out…..

And then comes the magic….

I used a straight edge to fold the NEXT piecing line over……

Placed the “Add-A-Quarter” ruler over it…..

…..and cut along the added quarter inch…..

The result is that now I have a good line to follow when I place the next piece!!

This ruler makes Paper Piecing SO much easier and I will do a review of it in the next day or two!!

As the night wore on, I made a few mistakes, including piecing from the wrong side of the paper…..

….meaning that everything was reversed!! Fortunately I only did THREE seams this way!!

At one point, I used two grey fabrics together instead of moving to the next in the gradation. I will honestly say that I debated long and hard about whether I wanted to rip out those FOUR seams to fix it, but in the end, I did just that.

Sometime around 11:00pm I put the final stitch in the side and laid it out on the wall to see how it looked…..


Needless to say, I went to sleep happily dreaming of firework stripes!!!

The final step will be to join the three pieces. I have always been thinking about applique, but maybe I should try piecing???? I will have to think about that!!!

Kew Quilt Update

I had called this my “thinking” quilt because I thought that it would take a lot of brain-power and would probably take a long time to do. Because of some choices that I have made along the way……I was WRONG!!

The first decision was a biggie… keep it more abstract and not worry about obtaining the full perspective. I had talked about this in my last post but was still a bit concerned about it when I got to the bigger of the steps…..

Were these larger posts (circled in orange) going to look bad if they were a solid piece? AND, if I didn’t have the stair points that stick out (circled in green), would that interfere with the visual aspect?

Rather than piecing it both ways to see, I turned to my computer and used digital fabric to cover the edges and see how it looked (Michael’s suggestion!!!).

This was the center section that was ALMOST complete (I had pieced and un-pieced the next section 3 times and had given up for the night)……

It even shows some of the “stair points”.

And, this is how it looked after the digital “trimming (note….I will not trim the actual fabric quite this thin)!!……

When you look at them side-by-side, I just don’t see enough difference to warrant the extra time and energy…..

Does that make me a bad person????

So, I went upstairs, sewed on the last set of stair strips and the took my rotary cutter to it and trimmed all of the edges off!!!….No going back…….NEXT!!!

Now it was time to start thinking about the sides…..

I quickly realized that the “glass” sections should mirror the “glass” sections of the middle……ie they should be grey and should change in value as they move up the piece.

I had in my mind that the smaller strips would be in colors with the color changing as it came to the curved lines in the photo, but had no idea about what colors to choose. This is where providence stepped in!!!

While I was looking for possible colors, my eyes landed on this piece of fabric……

I had a yard if it and wondered if it might work, alleviating the need for ME to do the gradations as it came to those curved lines.

The only way to find out was to try it so I drew out the pattern and started piecing. When I put it on the wall, I was pretty sure that this was what I wanted…..

…but once I had the entire side done, I was positive about it…..

Tomorrow we will look at the process of piecing the other side….mistakes included!!

Kew Quilt – Taking the easy road

As I mentioned in my last post, I had started piecing the easier of the “stair-steps”….ie, the ones that didn’t have any visible dimensional aspects. I quickly came to the end of those easy ones…..

….and had to make a hard decision. DO I make the piecing super complicated and have all of the dimensional elements as the stair moves back up OR…. do I keep it simple and let the perspective speak for itself.

Guess what I picked!!! I decided to keep things simple, knowing that I can re-do it if I am not happy.

Also, I started thinking about adding the dimensional elements with paint or thread during quilting. Those sound like good reasons don’t they……don’t they????

Anyway, at the end of the afternoon’s piecing I was about half-way finished with the “upside” and, so far, I am happy with how it looks……

Since I have decided to keep this part easy, I REALLY have to start thinking about the sides….they are coming sooner than I expected!!

Kew Quilt – Fabric Selection

Okay….pattern is made. Now comes the fun part of choosing colors. I will say again that it is so sweet to be able to see all of my fabric at one time…..

….especially those that don’t fit naturally into one color family.

When I was telling my friend Linda about my ideas for this quilt, I said that it was going to be abstract with bright colors. But, as I thought more about it, I just wasn’t sure. Here are some of the questions that went thru my mind…..

  • Make it abstract with colors?
  • Solids or prints?
  • “Crazy” print in the windows?
  • Gradation colors coming up the sides?
  • Gradations in “steps”?
  • Gradations in “windows”?

As I pondered the last two questions, I came to a decision that I really wanted to do gradations in the steps and windows. As I looked further at the design, my resolve became even firmer AND I decided that I wanted to keep the center section in blacks and greys. I can always add some color to the outside rigging, making long strings of color….but that decision can wait!!

Now I needed to put together the gradations of blacks and greys. I started with grey and made a layout of what I “thought” was a good gradation…..

Normally, I would look thru these with my value finder….

….but for some reason it has gone missing!!!

Instead, I took the above photo and edited it to black and white…..

Okay….I see a few that need to be moved.

After repeating this procedure several times, I came up with a decent gradation…..

Next, I did the same thing with the blacks…..

Since the gradation will be from light to dark with BOTH sets of fabrics, I needed to put them side by side to see how they looked…..

The final step was to use the Q-Pins (that I reviewed HERE) to mark the fabrics so that I can keep them in the correct order…..

NOW comes the REALLY fun part… am I going to put this top together???