Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Twilight Garden - Finishing Your Top

Putting it all together

Well, If you have been following along, month by month, with me, then you know our patterns have some issues.  I was hoping that the final assembly would just go together smoothly, and for the most part it did.

Like any other sampler quilt, there are always adjustments to be made, and this quilt is no exception.  I would like to give you just a fool proof set of instructions for assembling the blocks in this quilt, but I believe whatever cutting dimensions I supply would work for some of you, but not for everyone.  I think you have to be open to adding in a little more sashing, or cutting some sashing pieces a little narrower, to make things fit properly.

My approach was to lay out all my blocks in their approximate locations.  The quilt is assembled in 4 rows, and your goal is to make each of those 4 rows the same width, so everything fits properly.
The first thing I noticed is that one of the three blocks on my bottom row (the Twinkling Stars block) was not as tall as the other two blocks. Not sure why, but it really doesn't matter. I just added another row of the 1" finished scrappy squares to the bottom of the block and that brought it up to the same height as the other two.
From measuring the width of all the blocks, I gathered that my middle row of blocks was going to be the widest row, so I sewed the blocks in this row together, and used this as my target width for the rest of the rows.  The bottom row was narrower than the middle row by about an inch, so I added another row of the scrappy 1" squares onto the right side of the row. Then it matched up nicely.
The row of piano keys goes above the middle row of blocks.  This is an easy row to size. Simply measure the target width of the middle row and sew together that many piano keys.  They are each 
1 1/2" by 5 1/2" so each key will finish at 1" wide. For my quilt I used exactly what the pattern says, 39 keys.

With the bottom 3 rows assembled, all we have to do is adjust the width of the 2 black sashing strips in the top row so it finishes at the same width.  For me, I had to cut these sashing strips at 2" x 12 1/2" rather than 2 1/2" wide as the pattern stated. but with this simple change, the top row fit perfectly.
After sewing all the rows together, it was then a simple matter to add borders.  I chose to add a very narrow border of solid black before adding the next border of red.  My red border is made exactly per the instructions, using all the leftovers of red fabric from my kit. I then added the outer border using the charcoal stripe fabric with woven stars.  I purposely cut this border along the length of the fabric, partly because there is less stretch to your border if cut this way, rather than across the fabric, and also I like the stripe pattern better this way.

 Even with the pattern issues, the majority of this quilt came together with little difficulty.  I really do like the way it turned out, especially adding in the very narrow border of black.  It frames the center beautifully.
I will be custom quilting this top, as i think it will enhance the quilt a great deal. Unfortunately, I have a fairly long queue of tops to quilt, so I won't be getting to this one for a while.   I have selected a print fabric for the backing as I think it will be a little softer than the yarn dyes used in the top.  My binding is already cut out and prepared from the same fabric as the outer border.

Thank you for following along as I constructed the Twilight Garden Quilt.  I hope you are as pleased with your version as I am with mine.



  1. Hello, Steven! Thank you very much for the lessons on this wonderful quilt! I finish the assembly and I'm already thinking about the stitch. I have some questions for you? Will you lash on the sewing machine or with your hands? Stitch will there be a seam along the edge of the application or will there be some other drawing? I'd like a little more detailed story about the stitch or look at the finished quilt!

  2. Hello МАРГАРИТА. I believe you are asking about the finish quilting stitches once the top and back are layered. This can be done in many different ways, by hand or machine. I am a machine quilter and have a large "long arm" quilting machine. So I plan to quilt my top using that. I want to do custom designs on this quilt that will be in keeping with the blocks. I will likely outline my applique and quilt the area around the applique to make it stand out. I will also do some stitch in the ditch quilting (quilting right along the seam lines) on some of the piecework, with perhaps some filler designs in the background areas. These filler designs could be meandering (like a jigsaw puzzle) or crosshatching, or many other designs. I also plan to do a swag of feathers around the outer border. I hope this gives you some ideas. Unfortunately, I have several quilt tops that are in line to quilt before I get to this one, so I will not have any photos of this quilt with finished quilting for a while, but I will post photos once I have completed it.

    1. Steven, thank you very much for the answer! I understood your ideas. I, too, have paused in my thinking, I like to pause before an important stage. We say: the master decorates the pause)))) I love the machine stitch, but I really like to shake hands, especially Japanese fabrics. Therefore while I think, I reflect, probably I will wait your blanket. In the meantime, I look at the blanket, enjoy and rejoice that I decided to sew it.