|Sashed and Ready for Borders... Maybe|
...However, I made the mistake of cutting all of my sashing strips to EXACTLY 12.5", which is what every block SHOULD have measured upon completion, and then easing the sashing to fit those blocks that finished slightly skimpier. My blocks were all within 1/8" to 1/16" of the 12.5" ideal, but that little bit of easing coupled with the finagling I did to get all of my teal points so sharp and perfect, created just the slightest ripple along the outer edge of my sashing. So now I have to clear off my big work table, take the quilt top down off the design wall, and do some measurements to determine whether I need to take any of the sashing apart and restitch it, or if I can correct for the ripple and steam iron everything flat again after I add the borders. I do know enough to measure the length and width through the CENTER of the quilt top for the borders. Maybe I can just straighten the outer edges, square the corners, add the borders and it will be fine?
Next decision: Batting, backing fabric, and binding. I've heard of black quilt batting made especially for black or dark colored quilts like this one, but never used them before. Supposedly they help the dark colors maintain their saturated appearance over the life of the quilt, without white batting fibers working their way through the quilt top. Looking online, I found two possibilities: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Cotton Polyester batting, which is supposed to be just like their regular 80/20 Premium batting except that it is black, or Quilter's Dream Midnight Dreams Black 100% Polyester "Select Loft" batting. Midnight Dreams is supposed to be just like the Select Loft Quilter's Dream poly batting.
Now, in the past, I've used Minky cuddle fleece for backing fabric and prepackaged wide sating binding on my baby quilts, and the parents and babies-toddlers-preschoolers have literally loved those quilts to death. Clearly it's a winning combination. For past quilts, I've just used a thin 100% cotton batting since the Minky fleece adds an additional layer of bulk and warmth, and I want the finished quilt to be drapable and very snuggly. But I don't see anywhere that I can buy a thin 100% cotton batting in black, and I'm not as opposed to some poly content since Minky cuddle fleece is also a polyester fabric, as is the satin binding. I did prewash and preshrink all of the fabrics in this quilt top to avoid the problem of a finished quilt where the top fabrics shrink and the batting and backing fabrics do not. However, I want to use the thinnest, least bulky black batting that I can find. If any of you have any direct experience with Hobbs 80/20 versus Quilter's Dream Poly Select Loft, please let me know in the comments which you would recommend for this project and why. I don't think my LQS stocks black battings, so I may just have to order some of each online and experiment with samples in person.
I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Happy Stitching!