Zakka Flower top…

…is done.  It took a lot of unpicking and sewing but it is finally finished.

zakka flower quilt topThis is one of the biggest quilt tops I have made, finishing at 70 inches x 85 inches.  I was struggling a little to wrangle it through the sewing machine at the end.

Zakka flower quilt top detail 2I actually struggled quite a bit with finishing this top because in the cold and flu haze of a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take the paper off the blocks BEFORE I sashed them.  Silly silly silly move.

Zakka flower quilt top detail 3It meant I had to unpick the sashing a couple of times to get the blocks to align properly.  But half a ton of Best Press, a trip to the store to pick up more Kona Snow and lots and lots of pinning later I got it all done.

Zakka flower detailThat just leaves making the back, basting and quilting to do… but I think I am going to take a break before I attempt the next steps.  I need to get my head around dealing with a quilt this big… any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.


44 thoughts on “Zakka Flower top…

  1. I knew this would be a fantastic quilt from the moment I saw the first few blocks. I really love it!

    The only suggestion I have is to use 108″ wide backing, maybe something like Spot On by Robert Kaufman, just to avoid having to wrangle the back seams.

  2. It is beautiful. My tip … take the backing, batting, and top to a long armer and let her wrangle it. That’s what I did with the biggest one I ever made, 🙂

    • Ah if only I could afford to send it out… But also it is for a dear friend so I kind of want to do it all myself. I know I will regret this sentiment but I have to give it a go.

  3. And all at once
    upon a quilt i saw a host of
    Zakka Flowers!!
    What a lovely quilt top. Sorry it was a struggle. Work on something else for a while and you will be in love with it when you go back to it. None of the stressfulness is evident and the flowers reflect your joyful spirit. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just did 2 not quite that big but real close.. as a novice quilter but long time sewer, I took the puddle approach.. I tried rolling one end/side but that just wasnt working for me.. puddling means a lot of wrangling that puppy around and around for what I was doing.. I made hubby a HD themed throw and quilted around each of the logos!! what was I thinking?? It looks really cool on the back, but man my shoulder was killing me till about 1/2 way through I said to myself.. dopey.. there is a reverse on this machine for a reason.. that at least greatly reduced the turning and turning..

    Yours is really pretty.. is it pieced or paper pieced??

  5. I’ve done a few that size. OK, advice. Don’t even think about spray basting. To baste it, don’t do it on the floor. It’s so large it’s hard get everything smooth, especially on carpet. Find a table long enough to take the width. Tape the backing along the top edge to the edge of the table. The fabric runs across the table and the rest hangs down, pulling it straight from the taped edge. Then tape the batting to the backing along the same edge, then tape the top to the batting, ditto. The weight of each fabric will pull the layers straight. Start pinning/sewing. When you reach the opposite edge of the table, peel up the tape holding the backing and draw the whole thing across the table till you have unbasted fabric again. Tape down across the fabric again and do it all again. If you use low tack painter’s masking tape it won’t leave a residue on the fabric or damage the table surface. And with quilts that size, I tend to do really simple diagonal cross hatching. Do the two longest diagonal lines first, rolling the quilt up either side. After that, every line is shorter and you’re on the downhill stretch! Rolling’s a pain, but it’s a lot easier on the shoulders to manage the quilt through the machine.

  6. This is really fantastic!! I can’t wait to see how it looks when it is finished! I’m sure it’s a challenge to quilt something this large on your machine at home (I’ve not yet tried), but I have no doubt you will tackle it beautifully, after seeing your prior work!

  7. There is a great class on Craftsy about quilting large quilts on a domestic machine taught by Ann Pedersen that I found really interesting! She goes through a number of ways to tackle a quilt this big, including techniques for split batting and split quilt tops. The former might be a way to handle this quilt–you basically cut the batting into 2-3 pieces, just sandwich the first one, quilt that, then add the remaining piece(s) of batting back in and quilt those sections. I haven’t tried it because I haven’t made a quilt that big, but I think she has great ideas.

  8. (Not sure if my first comment went through, so apologies for duplicates–)

    There’s a great class on Craftsy about quilting large quilts on your domestic machine taught by Ann Pedersen. She goes through a number of techniques including split batting and split quilt tops. The former might work for this top–basically you cut the batting into 2-3 pieces, sandwich the first piece and quilt it, then add the remaining pieces back in and quilt those. I haven’t tried this technique since I haven’t made a quilt this big since watching it, but they are definitely great tips!

  9. This is gorgeous!! I’ve only newly found your blog and I’ve only completed 5 quilts, my biggest so far was 60×90″…. I FMQ’d it on my domestic Janome. I am reading through all these tips to see what else I could be doing… I sweated under that quilt for a week when I quilted it!!

  10. Don’t let the size scare you! I’ve done a King-sized on my home machine. I like to tape it to my hard wood floor to baste. I find I have no trouble getting them to lay flat. I puddle the quilt into the machine, turn on my pivot feature, drop the feed dogs and let the needle dance! I have tall counters in my room, so I stand to quilt. I have way less trouble with my back, hips, and shoulders and neck than I used to. I wouldn’t try to quilt the whole thing in a day, your arms will be sore. Those flowers will be really fun to quilt. I love to paper piece as well. Way to go. Thanks for all the eye candy. Your projects are really wonderful!

  11. Lovely! I’m so impressed, as this project frightened me away. 😉 Just beautiful and I’m sharing on the Zakka 2.0 Patchwork Please fb page….

  12. Wow, looks beautiful! I think my city sampler is something around that size and was very stressful to quilt!! I think you’ll know better than me what’s the best way to go about it 🙂

  13. Kate is bang on with her advice. You know those cheap folding trestle tables you can buy at Bunnings back home? A lot of my quilting friends pull out those for jobs like this.
    I am sure you already know about ‘working in quarters’ so you are not trying to push too much through the machine’s throat space.
    I love the flowers. I really should finish hand quilting my single-flower cushion …

  14. You’ve outdone yourself, again. 108″ backing seems like a good way to treat this, and honestly, I would take it to a longarm quilter and ask for a woolen batt. It’s so beautiful and so large that I think you might regret trying to machine quilt it yourself. Bravo, good job!

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