8.6 Home Sewing Front – Hurricane Top Finish Part 2

October 17, 2010

This week has been bad for time for me, but I’m carving out a little bit of time to finish the post I started with a week ago.

I left you at the center of the quilt top finished. Which was a year ago. 

… Progress in the last year….

This quilt I had done a lot of calculations for.

 The offset seams and semi-onpoint setting meant that I had to measure several of the edges of the center diagram. 

One side ran 7 and a half inches, the other side ran 10 and a half.  It’s okay, and expected in this setting.  No my math wasn’t wrong.

I knew that the setting triangles wouldn’t be the same size, so I decided to float my center in a larger area of color to avoid a right angle 45/45/90 required triangle for setting triangles. 

To achieve this, I designed tetrahedrals to put on the edges of this center, and I would cut off (block the quilt) the edges at the borders.

 There were several parts of this quilt that weren’t calculated. 


I don’t know.

You see the border in the corner?  Black, white, black.

And an interesting ‘celtic type knot’ in the corners.

My original design had 1 inch finished size border to match the 1 inch black and white pattern of the blocks.

But I got nervous when I was cutting the border pieces. 

“What if I would rather have 2 inch borders instead of 1?” … having never cut this long of borders before, I had those thoughts and wanted to ‘play it safe’. 

By roughly measuring how much I was going to need and then cutting and sewing two inch borders after adding a good few feet to the length of the proposed border.  You can always cut it down later, but it is much harder to put it back afterwards.

Which was too dominating.  It drew the attention too far away from the center.  I showed my 2 inch borders to my brand new sewing group and they agreed with my first instinct.  1 inch border.

Seam ripping two very long seams with a medium stitch length down four different pieces of border took FOREVER.  But it made a nice ‘handwork project’.

Then I sewed up all the borders again at 1 inch finished size.

Meanwhile I sewed on all these setting tetrahedrals (4 sided 2-D objects) and was just waiting for the space and opportunity to cut everything down to the right size.

I was a little worried at this point of the ‘natural lean’ built into my center of my quilt because of the ‘offset on-point’. 

So I HAD to have a good table and take a lot of time measuring or I was going to constantly wish that the quilt was done correctly.  My ‘apartment sized geico house’ wasn’t going to cut it because there was just NOT ENOUGH table space.

Finally, a sewing day with ladies.  At the quilt shop with lots of table space and not a ton of people to occupy the space.  perfect.

At this point I sewed and measured the borders ON to the quilt.

Now I was thinking about sewing all 12 of my border corner blocks.  I precut the blocks at my sewing day, which made paper piecing unreasonable. 

I wanted a good visual, so I took the information from my lesson on how to print a block from my EQ7 class and drafted the corner blocks, printed them out, and pieced them traditionally.


Once I got on a roll on these blocks, I wasn’t going to stop until I got the top completed.

Here is my audition with the rest of my border fabric (before sewing together).  And my binding fabric.

This isn’t the best picture of the quilt completed, but it’s as good as this house is going to get.  As you can see, a quilt pattern I bought last year/early this year is sitting on top of the quilt.


I think both the inner squares and the blocks are getting this pattern quilted on the top.

I call this quilt hurricane tracking. 

  • To me the design reminds me of hurricanes spiralling inward, surrounded by water. 
  • The borders have a grid feeling to them which reminds me of latitude and longitude lines that you see on weather maps. 
  • And the binding reminds me of the colors on a temperature map.

I think I may try to quilt with weather patterns on the outer borders, but what exactly, I don’t know. 

I do have my middle design picked out and I may just get that done before making hard fast decisions on the rest of the quilting design. 

I have also pictured feathers on the edge too … since I have so much edge and borders here to play with.

Oh and I found the perfect backing for this quilt.

Dark yet colorful, matches the binding I had picked out, and best of all very very busy so my quilting doesn’t show.  But I was cheap and didn’t want to pay for all the backing I would need for this monster. 

So I have about 2/3 of the back figured out and want to piece the back a little bit.  I do have 2 leftover squares, but I doubt I want to keep them as part of the backing.

I have asked how much thread to buy for quilting, and the answers I was getting was about 1500 yards. 

Now to decide which color thread – blue, black, white, grey, or multicolored. 

Once I decide on a color, I can purchase and start practicing machine quilting on some of the leftover blue.

All and all, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of this quilt, from the block design to the border fiasco. 

I think it is actually a good intermediate quilt which is not bad for my first really large quilt top.

I am OH SO glad I didn’t get hung up on the ‘oh no I can’t do what I want because I don’t know how’ phase for this quilt. 

The blocks in the corners may not work bythemselves, but I could copy the border treatment on another quilt if I wanted to do so. 

And inset seams don’t seem so bad.  Neither does the math, neither does squaring up blocks, blocking quilts, and unripping seams. 

I am glad that I have a high contrast design, but that I kept it reigned in a little bit so that I have some much needed ‘rest space’ for your eyes. 

My original design had blocks/sashing and alternate colors, but this works so much better.  It flows better. 

The blocks themselves are the ‘pop’ value of this quilt, and I love the floating feeling of the center, in addition to the connectedness of it all.


  1. The corner detail is perfect!

    Judy B

  2. This is a stunning quilt! You have definitely put a lot of planning into this quilt. I like the quilt stencil. You should consider putting this quilt in a quilt show in your area. Can’t wait to see your additional postings on your quilt.

  3. I love it – can’t wait to see it all quilted.


  4. I love the choice of the quilting pattern for the squares! And your corners are amazing. I’m thinking you might need to start selling patterns as an outlet for your creativity.

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