Settling In For The Long Haul

Somehow I always forget it’s not a good idea to quilt a large top when the weather’s hot. All that fabric and batting draped over one’s person doesn’t promote cooling. But, it’s pinned and I’ve begun. The working title is Bumblebee. I mentioned this project a while ago as one I actually followed a pattern on.

Bumblebee pinnedI’m fortunate to have a friend with a very large table and the generosity to share it for pin basting large projects. This top measures 60 inches by 80 inches, which is huge by my standards. I used to work on the floor, but my knees have let me know that’s no longer an option.

I began sewing my stabilizing quilting on a hot Saturday, and plan to peck at it a few lines at a time. My sketchy quilting plan is horizontal and vertical lines that will form a kind of plaid on top of the piecing. Here’s the thread colors I’ve chosen so far. Right now I’m quilting with a winter white thread, and may try a few black/very dark gray lines as well.

Bumblebee threadsThe batting I chose is Quilters Dream poly request loft (the thinnest.) For a lap quilt I like the lightness and suppleness of this batting and it’s very easy to sew on. I realize that I won’t get as much texture with the poly after washing, but the weight trumps appearance for me.

The backing consists of three large hunks of clearance fabric, sewn with the feather panels on the outside. I know the feathers fabric was designed by Lonni Rossi, but can’t recall who did the one with the bitty squares. While they don’t go with the black/white/yellow theme of the top, they do go with each other if you squint.

I have no deadline for this, so it will be my mindless sewing project when it’s cool enough to drape over my shoulder.

11 Comments

Filed under In Process, Modern Quilting

11 responses to “Settling In For The Long Haul

  1. Pingback: Sometimes Cuddly Beats Showy | The Snarky Quilter

  2. I just did a lap quilt for a friend. I’ve been doing art quilts exclusively for several years. I forgot what was like doing a larger size, hot in the summer awkward and just plain hard work. I’ve gotten soft.

    • Just wrestling the quilt sandwich for one pass with a walking foot makes me feel as if I just hauled very heavy pails of water up a steep hill. I had to laugh when I read on an art quilter’s blog that the smaller sizes of pieces at Quilt National this year may reflect the aging of art quilters who no longer can wrangle large quilts.

      • So true, all that pulling & shoving & twisting wears you out. But on the other hand,when I do an art quilt, I’ll end up spending tons more, because I always see just “one more” little detail and can”t stop myself, because there’s always one more little detail you’ll see, that would would make it even better. All those little details add up to a lot of time.

      • I hear you on that “one more thing” but it’s so much easier to make that addition on a 36 by 36 inch quilt than on a large one. And my laziness will sometimes kick in and say, “that would look really nice, but do you want to sew that 80 inch length 16 more times? Nah.”

  3. patty

    Anytime you need to use my table you are more than welcome! It keeps me on my toes to keep the table cleared off instead of using for a dumping place until I need it.

    • I really appreciate your kindness, with your table and other items as well. I’m pulling together all my silks and velvets in purple hues to see if I can develop a quilt with them.

  4. Pam

    I think at this point we are all looking for some cooler weather and a little lap quilting. Fall is my least favorite season, but it does have its advantages! Looking forward to following your progress . . .

    • Fall in Ohio can be lovely, with that crispness in the air. I won’t talk about winters, though they’re good for quilting. I’ve now finished the stabilizing stitching and am figuring out the next color of thread to use.

  5. I’d sooner die than have a quilt draped over me right now. Do you have super-strong AC?

    • Our AC works fine when it’s turned on. My husband hates AC, so it has to be a really hot day before we turn it on. I’ve learned to do my sewing in the morning as the afternoon sun can really heat up my sewing studio.

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