Thursday, October 8, 2009

Muddling my way through.

I've been machine quilting like a madwoman.  It's time for a cup of tea and a blogging break.  Please allow me just to ramble a bit.

  • Although I only intended to stitch-in-the-ditch around all the squares in this quilt top, but after seeing the result, it seemed like the bigger squares looked too  plain, so I decided to add a quilted circle to the center of each.  I didn't have to go too far to find something to use for a template to make my circles.  I just picked what was handy.

  • I am having a love/hate relationship with the batting I'm using. I bought an 80/20 cotton blend batting which specifically states on the package that it has a "wonderful drape", and it certainly does.  It's also fairly easy to push through and around the throat space during quilting.  But, the soft drape is likely due to the fact that there is no scrim to this batting, so it is slightly fragile and also VERY linty.  So much lint that my black fabrics look grey.  Thankfully, a quick brush with the lint brush removes the problem, but seriously, look at this picture of Before and After the lint brushing.

  • Would I use this batting again?  Yes.  I do love the way it allows for the quilt to drape.  After the quilt is bound, and a good lint brushing is done, the lint will be gone and the resulting quilt will be very cuddly.  I'm glad I bought a second package to use for the Coral Reef quilt I'll be quilting next.  I just won't be wearing the black turtleneck this time when I quilt it.

  • I divided this top into four sections that I  quilted separately, and I'm in the process of working out how to attach them all together in a single quilt.  There seem to be many schools of thought on exactly how to do this.  I'm taking them all into consideration, and forging my own way.  Is it a lot of extra work?  Yes!  However, I think the big difference is that it is not a struggle.  If I had sewn all four pieces of the top together and then quilted it as a whole, I would have been struggling the whole way.

  • When working with these larger pieces, quilter's pins are invaluable.  The smaller common pins just wouldn't hack it.

  • I have a problem with tensing my shoulders when I machine quilt.  In the past, a long session of quilting would have resulted in really sore muscles the next day, but this time?  Not so much.  It turns out that throwing a ball sixty million times to a dog who wants to play non-stop Fetch is good for building up the shoulders. 

  •  Trying to make a post using bullets is a lot harder than it looks.  Please ignore any inconsistencies. It's all about content, really, right?

Now back to quilting...

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  1. I have not tried that batting yet. It sure did leave a lot of lint but as long as it comes off easy OK. I would be interested in how you put the four sections together. I may have to try that because shoving a big quilt through that small opening is very annoying, not to say tiring.

  2. Glad the lint came off easily, it sounds like it makes a wonderful quilt. Isn't it hard quilting without a quilting foot (walking foot)? I've never tried that. The foot for free motion on my machine is clear so you can see where you're going but it doesn't grip the fabric. I want to know how you put the pieces together too. I've done quilt as you go but that involved using strips of fabric.

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  4. I feel the pain in your shoulders. I'm running into a lot of that, too. I try to get up at least every hour for 10 minutes, but sometimes I get so involved, I forget. And I pay for it the next day. I'm using a bamboo batting on my current project and had the same lint issues. I finally folded the backing over the front and pinned it down. That contained the lint, but I'm still constantly brushing off lint that got there before I had that idea. Quilt well. Lane

  5. Trying to wrestle a big quilt through a small sewing machine is why I have at least 2 UFO's that are only partially quilted. What a pain! Karen


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