Tag Archives: machine quilting

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.

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Filed under In Process, Modern Quilting

The Project From Hades

You wouldn’t think that quilting a lot of straight lines on a quilt would be difficult.  Well, I sure didn’t, but have found out differently.  Let me back up a bit.  I sewed a top pretty much copied from the Trajectory Quilt designed by Megan who blogs at Monkey Beans.  At the time I just had a picture to go by, so I guessed how to put it together.  Since then, Megan has developed a tutorial so it should be easier for you to make.

Constructing the top wasn’t hard even though I did it quite differently than Megan, and I had fun combining fabric for the backing.  The problem began when I pin basted the whole thing together with batting.  The problem is the batting, I think.  (Of course, operator error is always a possibility.)  I’m using a poly batting called Soft and Bright.  It’s a bit heavier than the cotton batting I usually use, but this is a 60 inch square lap quilt so extra warmth is good.

I’m used to the batting kind of sticking to the top and backing, or at least being chummy with them.  This poly batting seems to repel the top, similar to magnets when you put the like poles opposite each other.  As a result the top is acting like “do I know you?” with the batting, despite the pins.  I’ve been re-pinning the top after every few inches of quilting to deal with the creep, and who knows where it will end.  And the batting is stiff, heavy, and difficult to manipulate.

Now, I’ve quilted a few tops in my time, so I’m not a beginner. This “simple” project is taking me down a peg or two.  And I’ve quilted only a fifth of it so far.  Excuse me while I go repin this monster again.

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Filed under In Process