Friday, April 5, 2019

Mission Impossible: 24 Blocks Completed -- Halfway There!

Okay, you guys -- I just set a timer for 30 minutes because I don't want to fritter the day away writing a novel (again).  However, my mom and I reached my week's goal of finishing half of the blocks for Lars's Mission Impossible: Graduation 2019 quilt yesterday and I couldn't wait to show you how cool those blocks look up on my design wall:

24 Out of 48 -- We're Halfway There!
SQUEAL!!!!  I included the messy ironing board and step ladder in that photo as scale references, so you can appreciate the impact of those big 12" blocks.  (When I sew four blocks together to make an X or an O, each of those will measure 24".)

None of these blocks are sewn together yet, but it's exciting to see them filling up more and more of the design wall.  What you're looking at is the top half of a quilt that will finish at 72" x 96" before quilting.

Twenty-Four Lars-of-Ours Actual, Physical Quilt Blocks On My Design Wall
Although, and this is what I adore about my EQ8 design software -- the computerized design rendering is such an accurate depiction that it's difficult for me to tell which images on my computers are the software design renderings and which ones are photographs of the actual completed blocks on my design wall.  That is an awesome thing, since I'm estimating that the construction of the quilt top alone will come in around 175 hours of labor, without even factoring in the time it takes me to load it onto the longarm frame, quilt it, and bind it.  It is really a blessing to be able to use technology to be 100% certain about my design choices BEFORE investing all of that time and money into a project.

My EQ8 Computerized Design Rendering of Mission Impossible
See what I mean?  No surprises ever again with a finished quilt not looking like I expected when I planned it out at the beginning.  It's a glorious thing.  I've said it before and I'll say it a thousand times again -- EQ8 is the most important tool I use for quilting besides my sewing machine, and worth more than all of my other notions and gadgets combined.  

At this point, all 48 of those foundation paper pieced flying geese arcs have been completed.  In addition to the 24 totally completed blocks on the design wall, another 11 of the outer curve pieces have been sewn and are just awaiting the machine appliquéd inner curve piece.  Yesterday afternoon, when I saw that we were going to hit my weekly goal a few days early, I picked apart the first machine appliquéd block, the one where I attempted to appliqué the geese to the purple background rather than appliquéing the purple piece to the geese, and I redid that block so it's just as lovely as all the others now -- and now all of the seam allowances are pressed towards the purple in every block, too.

Of course, in order to lay these blocks out on my design wall, I had to take down the vintage quilt top that is currently mid-repair.  That one has been percolating in the back of my brain while I was sewing these Mission Impossible blocks together, and my plan has been revised.  

Vintage Quilt Top Repair In Progress
I took the vintage top off the wall thinking that I would use fusible seam tape to hold tears in the existing loosely attached foundation fabric together during "reconstruction" and requilting, but when I got it off the wall and looked at the backside again I decided that it was in such bad shape that it was causing more problems than it was solving.  I started removing it.

Foundation Backing of Vintage Quilt Top
I'm calling it a foundation backing because this white fabric was between the quilt top and the batting in the original tied quilt and the quilt top is attached to this fabric intermittently and irregularly, with seams that are about 4-6" apart in some places but in other places the backing is loose for 12-14" without any connection to the quilt top.  It's not a single piece of fabric, but appears to be several different items sewn together, like an old dress shirt, an old apron, and an old flour sack cloth maybe?  The white fabrics are not the same weight, weaves are different, and I suspect that there is a polyester blend in one of them because the quilt top has shrunk much more than the backing fabric throughout most of the quilt, resulting in these areas where the backing has deep creases and pleats.  Moreover, the quiltmaker did not remove the seams and hems from these cast-off garments before sewing them into the quilt backing, so there are bulky seams in odd places in the backing/foundation fabric that do not correspond to seams in the quilt top itself.  Those would be unpleasant surprises every time I ran into one of them while quilting, and so I started carefully clipping away as much of the backing fabric as I could with my duck billed appliqué scissors, the same ones I use to remove the backing fabric beneath completed appliqué.  Since SOME of these seams are holding the quilt top together, I'm just snipping as close to the seam lines as I can without cutting the thread of the seams themselves.

No Going Back Now...  Removing the Foundation Backing
But I'll have to tell you about how that's going another time, because my timer just went off and my 30 minutes of blog post writing is up!  Time to get back to sewing Mission Impossible blocks!
I'm linking up today's post with:


·      Whoop Whoop Fridays at
·      Finished Or Not Friday at


·      Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


·      Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts 
·      Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
·      Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
·      Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag:
·      BOMs Away at Katie Mae Quilts: 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

so glad that the quilt is cooperating with you and that it looks like it will get done in time - it looks great on the wall!

Sue Daurio said...

oh my those blocks are incredible!!

Tracie @ Riceford Streams said...

Wow, that will be an amazing quilt!

MissPat said...

The flying geese arcs literally glow on the wall. and the purple background shows much better in the real thing than the EQ mockup. This is going to be magnificent.

Lakegaldonna said...

The graduation quilt is amazing. Love the 3-d effect!

chrisknits said...

Yay for meeting your goal!! It is going to be such a gorgeous quilt! And I second the EQ rave, I just need to bite the bullet and upgrade from the Mini!

Chris said...

Yay for you!! You have designed and are creating an AMAZING quilt! I'm awed by it's complexity. You are one brave and talented lady!! Looking forward to it's completion and pictures of Lars receiving it.

KaHolly said...

Wow! Is this ever going to be a gorgeous quilt! You and your mom have one lucky graduate!