It’s been an intense two weeks for me: a week-long visit to see my son in Maine followed by almost round-the-clock work to hit a deadline.
“Black and White Whole Cloth” is finally done and now has a name: “Morning Breeze”. I’ll be writing on occasion about the making of Morning Breeze.
Once it was finally done it needed to be squared up. (I can’t share full-on photos until it shows.) I wanted to make sure that it hung well and was properly centered. Since it is a whole cloth quilt, I could not rely on piecing lines to set my center, corners, etc. So I grabbed my very simple laser level to help me.
A laser level is a very useful tool -it is the longest “straight edge” in your quilting tool box. When you have a long edge, like the 70” length on this quilt, you’d have to stack rulers to get down the entire length if you weren’t using a laser level. Some error or wobble is likely to occur. With the laser, this will not be the case-it’s dead on accurate for the entire length.
I set the center of my quilt first. Before I even began to quilt this piece I had carefully marked my center and sides. But, when you QTD (Quilt The Dickens) out of a piece, those lines are going to go wavy on you after quilting. On this piece, the sides fluctuated quite a bit after quilting. I used my laser level to set a perfectly straight line down the length of the middle of the quilt-all the rest of my lines worked from there.
I marked the center with a blue wash-out marker.Then to set my top and bottom edges I used my 22” square Omnigrid. I snuggled it up against that marked center line, then put my 36” skinny Omnigrid next to that to set my bottom and top edges.
My table sloped just a little and the laser light was higher than the surface of the quilt at the far end. So I just stuck an index card at the end and used it to show where the laser was pointing. I snuggled my ruler up to the point on the card and marked my side.
This whole process worked really well for me and the quilt is dead-on square. The laser helps this process a lot!
As an aside, my laser level only projects one line-it was $15. For a bit more-around $40, you can get one that will project 2 lines at a 90 degree angle for corners. That would be really useful and I’ll probably eventually get one of those.
Also, I had a disastrous moment with this marking pencil. I heavily marked what I thought was to be the side of the quilt. Because the quilting distorted the edges I originally marked, my sides ended up about an inch outside the lines I marked. Yikes, that meant those heavy marks were showing!
I had to get them out. My first attempt was with Dawn soap-an excellent grease cutter. I did not know the content of this mystery pencil but I thought it probably had some wax, so the Dawn was a logical choice. It did not make a dent in the stain.
On a whim, I tried Fels-Naptha, an old-fashioned laundry aid that my Mom used. With some light scrubbing with a soft tooth brush, the stain came right up-yessss! It feels good to be done. Now I just have to figure out what I’ll be working on next. I’m itching to do some garment sewing….