Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quilting Again

Ah, to finally quilt again. How I love all of the joy and frustration it brings.

After work, and after grocery shopping, and after eating lunch, I decided I really needed to finish the quilt I planned on giving to our pastor and his wife for their upcoming baby shower. Another look into my stash revealed there was just no way that I would be able to utilize any of my browns or pinks so I instead opted for one of my muslins that I typically only use as backing. I love the look of natural cotton muslin a lot, and I really like how soft it feels after washing, so a majority of the quilts I make are backed in it. Actually, all of the baby quilts I make are.

Anyway, I grabbed a pile of larger-than-scrap-sized pieces, cut them into wide strips (much wider than I originally intended, but the quilt itself was smaller than intended, so, yeah, just go with it) and began sewing the border on. Once the border was on, I cut out the backing and embroidered my name and date as a way of signing the piece. Now it was time to sandwich the quilt and start quilting it.

My original plan was to do like I do with every other baby blanket I’ve made, which is sew three sides right sides in, pull it right side out, sew the fourth side and hand tie with embroider floss. However, I was feeling rebellious. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to do something adventurous. I was going to do some free motion quilting. I set my machine to the correct settings to do so (in theory, that is… it’s an OLD machine) and using a scrap sandwich tried to maneuver the piece into a free flowing dapple. Let’s just say that between my machine not wanting to cooperate and me feeling completely inept, this just wasn’t going to happen, at least for this quilt.

Perhaps I need to recheck Mary’s blog ( for her tutorial on Free Motion Quilting again. Or perhaps my 1963 Singer Touch-N-Sew Deluxe Zig Zag Model 600 Sewing Machine is just not up to the challenge. Then again, it could very well be operator error. Either way, I will be practicing this technique as often as I can. So I instead opted to do straight line stitching on the diagonal on every other square, folded over the backing and used that for the binding. Now that I’ve got this big blank space around the quilt, I’m thinking some decorative stitching might be in order or even some hand quilting. We’ll see just how much time I have between work, a soccer game, more work, cupcake prep, more work, making cupcakes, a family event, church and then the baby shower. Huh. Perhaps I won’t have much time to finish this after all.

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