Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quilting variety

I've been quilting which, when I consider how hot and humid it is in Japan right now, seems like a very foolish past time. But I have things that need to get done so I keep an electric fan pointed at me and quilt. I spice up my life by either quilting upstairs... on the sewing machine, or downstairs... with my quilting hoop. I guess that shows that I'm leading a pretty quiet life these days.

Upstairs I have my Hopscotch Butterscotch Quilt from Bonnie Hunter's Adventures with Leaders & Enders book. I enlarged it a bit to make a bed cover for the local Ronald MacDonald House. As usual, the quilting is giving me headaches. I was too much in a hurry to draw simple quilting lines so I threw the quilt on the machine and started making flowers. So far so good. BUT, I should have stitched-in-the ditch first and quilted in the flowers afterwards. Once all my flowers were in I started using a walking foot to stitch-in-the-ditch along the lattice, but that didn't work at all. I don't have much luck with a quilting foot. It seems that the top and bottom pull more and I get folds and wrinkles. I spent one day ripping out all the walking foot work and went back to the free-motion quilting foot.

The free motion foot allows me to direct the quilt freely along the line and I get very few wrinkles, but the stitch gets jagged as I start and stop. And the stitch length isn't very even. A perfect job this isn't, but it is the best I can do. Hopefully I can get the binding on this weekend.

My downstairs project is the Tessellating Cats quilt. Again I was in a hurry to start quilting this and didn't mark any lines before basting. WRONG move! The cats got quilted quickly but I really wanted them to stick out so I've been quilting a grid on the background yellow. (I'm putting in lines as I go.) I don't know if I like the grid or not. Often times a grid just makes it look like I went out and bought pre-quilted fabric! And after all this work! I could have mixed hand and machine quilting and gone for stippling but I wanted to be a purist and keep this project all hand quilted. I'm paying for the decision in the amount of time I'm putting in.

I sure wish it would cool off. (I know... I said that yesterday too.)

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