Sunday, June 12, 2011

Emergency Quilting: Stacked Coins

A little over a week ago, I needed a teacher gift.  Like, now.  For K's other teachers, I had made small quilts, but I hadn't started one for Mrs. First Grade.  What could I do?

I got out Last Minute Patchwork and Quilting.  There, under "8 to 12 Hour Gifts", was a wonkily cut Stacked Coins quilt.  Surely I could complete it in, say, 24 hours tops?  I hightailed it to the quilt store because I did not have time to diddle around with scraps.  Fat quarter bundles, baby.  Yeah.

I cut the wonky coin strips and tossed them like a salad before I realized you were supposed to leave them in piles and sew them in "random" order by choosing them deliberately.  Also, I cut half the fat quarter bundle into the wrong size coin strips so had to put them away for another project and was left with only orange and yellow fabrics for this quilt.  But it all worked out okay.

The finished panels:

Cut into strips and arranged into rows:

The sewn quilt top, basted (I used over 1,500 pins on this small quilt top -- I am slow, but I am learning to be thorough!) and ready to be marked.  I used a Clover chaco liner, which was great except that the chalk would rub off and I would have to re-apply it right before I quilted an area.  If I were doing it again I would use my Hera marker.

Three things I learned about quilting from this project:
  1. Buy the very best batting you can afford.  It really does make a difference.  Really thin cotton batting is a dream to work with, and it was perfect for this quilt.
  2. The tension on the machine needs to be adjusted up, not down, at least in the case of my Kenmore.  Adjusting it down leads to loosey-goosey stitches on the back.
  3. I only ever want to machine-quilt with my Kenmore, unless I am using a longarm.  That machine is a real workhorse!

The finished quilt -- washed and dried, it crinkled so beautifully that the imperfections in my quilting melted away and it looked really gorgeous.  I am totally making one of these for myself!


  1. It is beautiful! It almost looks liturgical. No wonder last week was so busy.

  2. Except, you know, with an O in there...

  3. this is a lovely gift. My grandmother made quilts, they are great keepsakes.