First of all, the background fabric has arrived for the Batik Flower Garden Quilt, and is pictured above. I purchased three glorious yards of this 108 inch wide fabric from fabric dot com for this project. I think it is going to work beautifully with the burgundy bias binding that I will be applying, which is the same color as the hexagons pictured above.

Now for the math…

Over a year ago I did a post about shrinkage. I needed to wash a panel I had created to keep cool air in my living room and out of my hallway. When I washed that project I took measurements before the wash and after the wash because I thought that might help me estimate shrinkage of future paper pieced hexagon projects. My experiment showed me that there is more shrinkage in one direction than in the other. Who knew?

My previous shrinkage experience with my panel tells me that I can expect shrinkage of the Batik Flower Garden Quilt project in a width wise direction that will amount to one inch of shrinkage for every 22 inches of width. At the present time the quilt top is 80 inches wide, which means that I can expect 3.5 inches of shrinkage, 1.75 inches of which will be on the left overhang, and 1.75 inches of which will be on the right overhang.

My previous shrinkage experience tells me that I can expect shrinkage of this project in the length wise direction that will amount to one inch of shrinkage for every 18 inches of length. At the present time the quilt top is 92 inches long, which means that I can expect 5 inches of shrinkage, which must all come from the bottom overhang, as there is no top overhang.

It is actually a bit unfortunate that I faced the hexagons in the direction I did. Because if I had faced them in the opposite direction I would be dealing with the greater amount of shrinkage in the direction with two overhangs. My bottom overhang shrinkage would have been only 4 inches, and my side overhangs would have increased to 2.25 inches each making the shrinkage amounts closer in size for all overhangs. I’ll file that information away for future reference.

I could easily be done with this quilt top and baste it now, and it would look good. However, since I hope to create a skirt covering the boxspring to go along with the quilt, I definitely want the washed version to extend below the space where the mattress meets the boxspring. I’ve worked too hard to take a short cut now. Therefore, I am planning at least two more rows of hexagons along the bottom overhang, and at least one more row along the left and right overhangs. This means that I will not have this quilt basted in time to take to the Slow Stitching Retreat coming up in April. I will take it along to work on adding the final rows of hexagons.

The good news is that I now have extra time to work on pieces for the blog hop that I will be participating in very soon. I went to Pennington Quilt Works today and bought supplies for that mystery project. Stay tuned to see what I make.