Thursday, September 24, 2015

Finishing the Wheelchair Quilt

Yesterday I showed how I took the idea Jake Finch shared in her book, Comfort Quilts from the Heart, and made it a bit different.

Now that I’ve finished quilting the quilt top, I’ll share how/what I did for the footwarmer (aka foot pocket)!

The single piece of flannel I had that would go nicely with the print (after straightening up the edges) was only 15 3/4” x WOF. I decided I would make it work! I was under a time crunch, remember!

I trimmed off the selvage from one end of the flannel.

I don’t work with flannel very often as it’s much too hot to touch, unless it is in the dead of winter! When I came across this piece in my stash, the thinness and stretchiness of it, and thinking how folks will be putting their feet in there, then the feet will be pressing against the wheelchair foot rest, I just thought it needed a bit more wear protection.

Remember the long “extra” pieces I cut off each row set, the WOF (Width of Fabric)? I stitched them together in rows, like I did the quilt front. After pressing the stitches to meld, then pressing the seams all going in the same direction, I trimmed, leaving as much as I could, which turned out to be only 11.5” by the WOF.

I placed the 15 3/4” x WOF flannel (minus one end’s selvage) down on my cutting mat, smoothing it out nice and neat. I then carefully placed the pieced section (right side down – if there is a right/wrong side to flannel, I didn’t see it!) at the cut selvage end. Careful not to stretch the flannel, or the pieced section, I began generously pinning across the top.

 Once I got to the end, and had all the excess flannel left, I trimmed it off.

It was then I stitched the two pieces together. I pressed the stitches to meld (using low heat as the flannel didn’t seem to like a hot iron!), then pressed the seam toward the flannel.

I flipped the pieced section over with the right side out, then matched the bottom raw edge, and sides, pinning together. You’ll notice I now have about a 2” red flannel “top” to the foot warmer. After pinning the ends, and bottom together, I then stitched within the seam allowance, just for it to hold together nicely. I also stitched across the bottom of the red.

Although I mentioned in a prior article, I don’t trim until I’ve stitched the binding on the quilt for the first time. In this case, I had to trim just around where I was going to attach the footwarmer. Again, I used lots of pins to keep it in place. I did go ahead and stitch it to the quilt, rather than to try and sew it along with the binding.

The quilt top measured 36.5 across, but after quilting, it shrunk up two inches! So I had to trim 1” off both ends of the pieced section for the footwarmer.

After stitching the footwarmer to the bottom of the back of the quilt, I attached the prepared binding like any other quilt.

When I held up the Wheelchair Quilt, I personally didn’t like the big gaping footwarmer. I decided to hand-stitch about 2” on the red part, dead center, with the same thread I used in the quilting.

Momma loves the way it turned out. I asked if there was anything she would / could see done differently in the future. She thought it was perfect!

Thank you, Jake Finch, for the inspiration!

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