The top is done! I'm very happy with how the quilt came out. And I'm relieved that the quilt is almost done. My friend gave birth yesterday, so the baby will actually get to use it since the quilt will be on its way to him by the end of the week.
To get the quilt top ready for quilting, I had to sandwich it with the alpine fleece, which is the backing. Alpine fleece is a little thicker than regular fleece and washes well, but it is easily stretched, so I taped it to the floor to make sure that it was completely straightened out before placing the quilt top on it.
After I smoothed out the quilt top, I pinned the two layers together with quilting safety pins, which are angled safety pins that go through the quilting layers easily.
For once, I didn't change my mind! :) I kept the original idea of quilting straight lines across the blocks. Because my sashing was not all straight, I drew in all the quilting lines using a blue water-soluble marker.
The quilt ended up much larger than I anticipated, so I ended up only quilting the blue sashing. I decided to use gray thread because it picked up the colors in the black and white fabrics, and it also went well with the blue and orange fabrics.
What was surprising about this quilt is that I didn't use a walking foot to quilt. Instead, I used a roller foot, which is usually used to help feed fine fabrics like silks and chiffons evenly when you sew. Since my quilt only had two layers, I didn't want to use a walking foot because I don't have a good track record with it. Instead, I tested the roller foot on a swatch of fleece and fabric and it worked beautifully. I was happy to forgo the walking foot!
It took several hours, but I'm done with the quilting. Now the quilt is in the wash and I will finish it tomorrow when I put on the binding. Whew! Glad it's almost done!