Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Quilting

I've been working on my quilt. You know, that same one I've been working on for what seems like forever? Well I did a pieced back on it and I will NEVER do that again. I hated sewing all those strips together and I hated pressing all those seams open (so many seams..) and then when I sandwiched my backing, batting and top I had trouble getting the backing to be nice and flat. Then I had no idea what color thread to use in the bobbin since there are so many now on the backing.

When I did the sandwiching I was about to scream and throw this thing out the window. First I taped the backing to my kitchen floor, smoothed on the batting, and then the top. I started pinning and realized it was really hard to pin without scratching up my floor. Plus about halfway through, I realized my batting wasn't smoothed enough. So I took it all out. I decided to use my cutting table so I set that up, taped and clamped the backing onto it (it's not big enough so I had to do it in a couple of sections-it was only about 6-8" too narrow so it wasn't a huge deal). I had trouble with the clamps, which seemed to be JUST exactly the size of the table when fully opened. I finally got it on all smooth, put on the batting making extra sure it was smooth, and started pinning. I was about 99.9% done when I noticed in one spot that the top was over the edge of the backing. If I hadn't done a %@#@# pieced backing this wouldn't have happened-my backing wasn't a straight line at the ends so it was harder to see that the top wasn't exactly in the right place. Then I noticed that if I had only paid attention, it was obvious that the top was waaaaay over on the other end and I had a ton of extra space. It just needed to be shifted of course. So I took out all the pins again (did I mention these are SAFETY pins??) and finally did it right. My fingers were sore.

That night I did some practicing with a fabric samwich and monofilament. First there was gray thread in the bobbin. I had to figure out the correct tension so the bottom thread didn't show between the stitches on the top. Guess what-the holes between the stitches look gray so it was impossible to tell. So I switched to dark blue. Not much better, actually. Finally I realized that a dark color was just a bad idea all around so I used pink. Much easier-figured out the tension.

Today I did some of the quilting. Let's just say I need a lot more practice stitching in the ditch. But the monofilament is clear so it didn't show a whole lot. I did all of the longer seams so tomorrow (which is actually today since it's so late) I will do the across seams. That will be the real test of my patience-to see how many puckers I get going cross-wise. I'll try to post a picture of the backing tomorrow but I don't want to post the front until it's all done. Once I get the quilting done I need to put on the binding. I also want to free-motion quilt in the borders so I'm sure that'll be a trial.

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