Herding Chickens

sewing notquilts

sewing notquilts

This post is part of a series about sewing NotQuilts. If you’re unfamiliar with this method, The NotQuilt series begins here. The link below takes you to the Cat Notquilt project.

More time has passed. I’ve sewn all the way around the comforter, about 2 or 3 inches in. I’ve unpicked the remaining offending patches. I’ve laid out my fabric for the backing.

quilt backing

quilt backing

Sadly, the three pieces I’ve chosen won’t cover the entire back of the comforter. The layout looks best with the big chickens running right down the middle, the appliqué fabric running down the sides, and the brown Pennsylvania Dutch fabric as strips under the appliquéd fabric.

cat notquilt

This leaves plenty of bare original fabric. I’ll have to dig around in the stash some more material, and unearth another piece with chickens or some other bird on it. Cats like birds so thematically, this will tie into the cats on the front.

Since I’m going to sew on the chicken material last, I have to sew on the other fabric first. In order to not sew on more fabric than I need to, I laid out the chicken material and then drew, with my red fabric marker crayon, lines indicating how wide the chicken fabric is. That shows me what has to be covered.

At this point, Dear Daughter, who is taking the pictures, pointed out that the chickens would look better if they were centered top and bottom as well as side to side. I may do that, depending on what else I find in the stash. Centering the chickens top to bottom as well as side to side would frame them nicely and look like I planned it all along.

Sewing the Quilt Backing

After all of this folderol, I actually sewed on the first sets of backing fabric. To do this, lay out the comforter on your clean floor with the back side of it facing up. Remove stray pets. Spread the comforter out as smoothly as possible, and then pin on the backing fabric pieces. Smooth out the wrinkles as you go and use plenty of pins to secure the fabric to the comforter.

After I pinned on the first two appliqué-style pieces, I carried the comforter back downstairs and sewed them on using my longest stitch setting.

So I trotted upstairs and laid the comforter onto the carpet. I marked out where the chickens didn’t go and decided to sew on the Pennsylvania Dutch birds along the sides. This fabric was a very old piece that was given to me. It is about 36 inches wide so (of course!) it doesn’t line up with the appliqué strip, nor is it long enough to meet them.

I will have to sew strips to cover up where they don’t meet. And, I will have to sew strips on both sides to meet the chicken fabric. The PA Dutch fabric got pinned on and is now waiting downstairs to be sewn down.

By the way, when pinning down fabric, go through all of the layers: fashion fabric, comforter backing, comforter batting, and comforter face. This secures the layers so they don’t shift much when you sew them in place.

Also, do not pin the fabric into the carpet. This is bad.

That’s where we stand. We have two strips sewn down, two pinned down and waiting to be sewn, and a trip coming through the stash to find another two yards of fabric that coordinates with the other choices.

See you next week!

Cat Quilt 3

cat notquilt