Ladder of Success was designed by Judy Martin who just happened to be editor of Quiltmaker magazine at one time. We receive the quilt design about 2 months before the magazine comes out. We don't always get all the pictures or I just didn't pay attention when I printed out the instructions. I always print them in black and white and put in a sheet protector so I can keep all the pages together. Can you guess that I am prone to misplacing things?
This is one quilt where you really need to pay attention to the layout and the blocks. Here's a mistake in the sashing block. RIP! Notice the sticky note there? Yep, I make copious notes about things. Originally I was going to make it as a baby quilt or lap quilt. Once I decided to go for the twin size I had to go back and figure out how many of each of the pieces I needed to make.I chain pieced a lot of units -- it goes so much faster. And, I try to keep just little dabs of thread between each unit so all I have to do is snip the units apart. Have I mentioned I am a loose thread freak? Yep, if there is a 1/2" or more thread hanging off of a seam, I trim it. No wonder I am a fairly slow sewer! But, I have learned to bring the chain to the ironing board, position, iron and then quickly clip. It does save time for me.
Did I mention this was a fairly big quilt? Yea, it went right off the design wall. My design bed option is downstairs which I try hard not to use unless absolutely forced to. Hum, would that count for aerobic exercise?
Here I am auditioning some alternate ideas for the 2nd border. I wanted to repeat the colors of the 9 patches in that border but they just didn't look right to me. I finally settled on the small four patches that were in the sashing. (Yes, what was I thinking to use the small four patches??)
After a field trip to Sharon's house I was able to decide on the borders which are a bit different from the pattern. The wonderful swirly print is very old and I had a limited amount so my measurements really took that into account and what looked balanced. All I have left of it partial strips.
Once the top was done I had to evaluate the stash for backing. I honestly thought I would have more than enough of the purple to use for the back. NOT. I decided to use a wide back. It turns out it is cheaper than buying yards and yards of regular width quilt fabric and much easier to not have to seam.
Next up was loading it on Ruthie, the long arm, and quilting. I used the Baptist fan groovy boards. I think it adds a nice curve to counteract all the squares.
It took me a few days before I could get a picture of the finished quilt -- too cloudy and rainy. Finally on a bright sunny morning I took the quilt outside to photograph. Hum, it wouldn't stay on the fence so I could show all of it. So after the fence pictures I took pics on the ground from the deck which was slightly higher. Kona is guarding it from squirrels.
I'm excited to start on the next Scrap Squad quilt. I've even bought fabric for it. It shouldn't take long and I am already in love with it. Hopefully it will make up as quickly as I think it will. Stay tuned!
Happy Quilting All!