Monday, March 16, 2015

Cross & Crown Completion

I finished my "snow days" project that I started in February. I bought a copy of McCall's Quilting magazine at Barnes & Noble (having allowed my subscription to lapse, deliberately, in an attempt to cut down on paper, I immediately went out and paid magazine stand prices...), and immediately fell in love with Sandra Clemons's design in the March/April 2015 issue.

I had ordered this lovely fat quarter bundle of Lakeside Gatherings by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings for Moda Fabrics during the holiday sales from Judi Madsen's site Green Fairy Quilts, and I'd been itching for the right project to cut it up. These colors are actually my daughter's choice in decor, but as much as she keeps trying to claim this quilt, it's for me and my master bedroom. Our old log cabin quilt is sad and tired.

There are only three prints in this yellow in the line, so I decided to feature them in the centers of all the grays, navy blues, beige and black. These tiny 1.5" squares were fun to cut from the three fat quarters I had in the bundle.

 I made a test block to see how long it would take me to piece the quilt. It took over an hour for one block, so I thought, "Oh, well, it'll speed up when I start chain piecing!" Shows you what I know.

I cut a huge stack of 3.25" squares to make all the quarter-square star points. It turned out I'd cut enough from my bundle (even after eliminating all the lightest fat quarters) to make my quilt, plus a lap quilt for my daughter, assuming I get around to making 20 more blocks.

This is the first quilt I've pieced from beginning to end on my "new" Featherweight, Amelia. My sweet hubby found her on Craigslist and flew me to pick her up in our airplane on an adventure one morning a couple of months ago, then tuned it up for me. It's handy being married to both a pilot and a mechanic...and all-around genius.

I chained five blocks through together, and it took about six hours. "That can't be right."

So I decided to piece twelve blocks at once...and thirteen hours later, I thought, "Why isn't this going faster?!?"

Okay, so now I'll do 28 at one time! Surely I can do that in no time...

At least we were snowed in fully, so I felt no guilt when I sewed for two days my pajamas.

Finally, I had 73 blocks sewn, so I played around with the layout, and started putting them together in rows with 1.5" lattice between them.

I have no complaints about this machine. This Featherweight is a rock star...but the operator has to be smart enough to notice when the bobbin runs out. I was so spoiled. The bobbin holds SO MUCH Aurifil thread that I felt like I sewed forever between winding a new bobbin.

I used up my extra pieces as some "leaders and enders" when I was sewing, and ended up with several nine patches, four patches, and extra parts leftover. I can't wait to see what else I make with this line of fabric. It's just so pretty and fun to sew with!

Finally got my top together! I was between customer projects (don't forget I also quilted ten customer projects in this same span of time!), so I decided to quickly slip my own quilt into the frame over the weekend...

I purchased this "Baptist Swirl" pattern a few weeks ago, and I haven't been able to convince any of my clients to choose it for their projects yet, so I decided to use it on mine. I love the traditional with an edge of modern the little swirl in the center yields. It quilted up like a dream. I began quilting on Friday the 13th (because I'm not superstitious) and ended on Pi Day! I got my binding made, and ready to go, but saved that for Monday afternoon.

Okay, here's the thing. I either make WAAAAAY too much binding, or not nearly enough. It's been a long time since I pieced "not quite" enough binding. So, I cut another strip and pieced it in...but honestly...what a pain.

I prefer to topstitch my bindings now, after 23 years of hand stitching them on the back of the quilt. It seems silly to finish by hand when I've machine pieced, machine quilted and machine bound the whole thing. So now I do it all by machine, and it's that much more durable for the washing machine. I just use a few straight pins to hold everything in place as I stitch up to the pin, going about 3" at a time. My quarter inch piecing foot on the Featherweight holds things well enough. I was determined not to pull my Bernina out for even the binding on this one.

 My version of Cross & Crown finished 87x97" and was pieced with 72 9-inch Cross & Crown blocks in Lakeside Gatherings line of fabric (Moda Fabrics) on Kona Snow with Aurifil 2021. I quilted it with bamboo batting, Dit Dot Flannel on the backing, with Glide Lemon Ice thread in Baptist Swirl.

Thanks for checking out my pictures! Please feel free to follow my Facebook page at Island Time Quilting or to follow my Instagram or Twitter at lwmillsap.


  1. Looks great! I also do bindings by machine, much more sane.

  2. A beautiful quilt. I love the colors that you chose.

  3. Beautiful quilt. I just downloaded the pattern. Love the quilting pattern, just may use it on mine. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Where can I download this pattern? I love it and it would make the perfect gift for my daughter and son-in-law.

    1. The pattern was in the March/April 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.


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