Sunday, February 5, 2012

Finishing Flimsies

What in the world is a flimsy?  Webster defines flimsy as: lacking in physical strength or substance.  In the quilting world, the word 'flimsy' is quickly becoming known as an unquilted quilt top.  When you think about it, an unquilted quilt top is flimsy and it does not get its subtance until it is layered with batting and backing. 

I have a group of friends that I quilt with.  We mostly do applique but recently our conversations starting shifting toward finishing flimsies. It was apparent that all of us had numerous flimsies that were either stuffed in drawers, hanging on hangers or stacked on a shelf.  The more we talked about them, the more we thought that it would be good to dedicate a day each week just to work on our flimsies and thus, Flimsy Fridays was born.

Pat Inspired Me
The first flimsy I have chosen to finish is a basket quilt I made from blocks that were swapped this past fall.  This quilt is named, 'Pat Inspired Me,' after my good friend, Pat Harrell who is always there for me and on this particular occasion helped me come up with a way to put these baskets together into a quilt top or flimsy.

Even though I am still recuperating from hip surgery, I found a way to start marking a quilt design on this quilt using a large sandboard and tracing my design using a stencil ~ all done propped up in bed.  I didn't finish all of the marking this past Friday but will soon and then it is time for basting the backing, batting and flimsy together.

I have always admired the work of Sharon Schamber and with good reason as she has won the 'Best of Show' award at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky several times.  Sharon is a generous woman and creates You Tube videos to teach various techniques.  I recently viewed one on basting a quilt and found it to be a very accurate, inexpensive way to keep the layers straight and tight while basting. 

Sharon breaks this into 2 parts, which is really nice because it allows you to fully understand all of the steps.  All you need for this method of basting are prepainted trim boards cut to a little larger than the width of your backing fabric.  You can find these at your local hardware store, Lowes or Home Depot, and they are very inexpesive.

I am looking forward to trying Sharon's way of basting.  I plan on hand-quilting this quilt and believe that Sharon's way is much better than using the temporary adhesive spray (which is very expensive) or using safety pins (which often times leaves puckers).

Lastly, today is the Super Bowl here in the USA.  Die hard sports fans live for this day at the end of the football season every year.  This year the game is between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.  I am a Chicago Bears fan and since they are not playing, I will not watch this year.  From what I know about these teams, both are deserving to be in this championship game and may the best team win. 

I am sure the game will be exciting but for me a more exciting version of the Super Bowl is what quilters call the Fabric Bowl and many quilt shops on the Internet as well as brick and mortar shops throughout the USA are having special sales.  So for those of you who are planning to go out and take advantage of these sales, watch out!  It may get rough out there!

Wishing you a week of finishing your beautiful creations . . .

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