Sunday, September 28, 2008

Preparing to quilt the story quilt

Due to a lack of pink thread, this quilt has been sitting in the corner of the diningroom for several weeks, waiting for me to get it together. The backing and batting are 2-4" larger than the top, pinned away from the seam lines and ready to go!

Always, always, always make a couple of quilt sandwiches of the top fabric, batting, and backing fabric. This allows you to practice a bit o' quilting before getting to the real deal. Check tension, thread choice, and correct needle. Make adjustments and write the information right on these pieces so you'll remember next time: needle size, top thread, bobbin thread, tension setting, etc. Use the exact same batting that is in your quilt. For this quilt I chose Fairfield's Bamboo Batting (50% bamboo, 50% cotton). It has a scrim which means it doesn't have to be quilted to death and it will emerge from the wash without much shrinkage and puckering.

First thing I'm going to do is stitch-in-the-ditch with a walking foot and Presencia 50 wt. 100% cotton thread (color #269) in both the top and bobbin (pictured left). When I move on to free motion quilting with the darning foot, I plan to try out the Mettler 100% cotton variegated pink thread (color #9847) in the top while still using Presencia in the bobbin.

Copyright ©2008, Sharon Baggs

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quilt from Modern Quilt Workshop

My 10-year-old wanted to make a quilt for our 2-year-old neighbor so we found this pattern from the Modern Quilt Workshop. It's a type of I-spy quilt using nostalgic prints; connecting blocks of horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines allow the pictures to tell a continuous story. The quilt was small enough to lay out on our kitchen table. First we put the backing fabric wrong side facing up, followed by a layer of bamboo batting (these are both 2-4" larger than the top), and smoothed the quilt top over these.

Starting in the center of the quilt, we used 1" safety pins to pin the center of every block. This bastes the quilt adequately while allowing room for your walking foot to clear the pins when you stitch-in-the-ditch to secure all the seam lines, the first step in quilting that anchors all three layers together.

Step two is to stitch through the middle of the green lines to give them some definition and keep them from "popping" up from the surface of the quilt. The final touch will be to free motion quilt some small loops in the pink background. The pink fabric has small dots so it is easy to quilt loops around them as a helpful visual guide. This is our quilting plan; we'll soon show you how it turns out!

Copyright © 2008, Sharon Baggs