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Honoring a Friend

Two years ago, a member of our quilting bee died of cancer. She was an enthusiastic quilter, and left lots of fabric and unfinished projects behind. Her family didn’t know what to do with them, so our bee took care it. One of the unfinished projects that Sue left behind contained 5 large New York Beauty blocks, 13 small ones, and many of the fabrics used to construct them. The bright colors appealed to me, so I took them home, and thought I would make a KISS quilt with them. (You know, Keep It Simple, Sister). I cut matching large squares of fabric to piece the large blocks together in a nine-patch. That was simple, for the last time.

I found a small piece of black and orange check in my stash, perfect for a border around the large blocks. However, since it was only about 1/2 inch larger than I needed, it required very careful cutting and piecing. OK, on to the small blocks. I decided to use them for the next border, but obviously, 3 blocks on each side were not going to anywhere near be enough. I added triangles around each edge to make the blocks larger, then short strips between them to make them longer. That worked. Then I added a bright orange border, but was I done?

Nope, I wasn’t. The quilt was a really awkward size at that point, not even big enough for a lap quilt. Guessed I needed another border. And the only border that seemed appropriate was pointy triangles. So I drew out a paper-pieced border for each side, stitched them, then removed all the little triangles. When I added them, plus another orange border, it was finally finished.

Sue's Legacy quilt

Sue's Legacy quilt

Now to baste it for hand-quilting. Usually when I baste a quilt, I stretch the backing, batting, and top, and pin the edges first, making sure they are straight and corners square. Didn’t work. All those bias edges in the border would not behave. So I modified the basting by squaring up each border from the middle out. I used a big right-angle ruler to pin each border where it belonged, then filled in the rest of the quilt. See the photo below. (I’ll show you how I quilted it in the next blog.)

Squaring the quilt for basting

Squaring the quilt for basting

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