Thursday, October 9, 2008

Story quilt: the order of quilting

Hannah displays the progress on the pink quilt she pieced. Together we worked on the quilting. Here's what we did:

We domestic machine quilters "stitch in the ditch" to secure the seam lines before free motion quilting. A ditch is created by pressing seams to one side resulting in a high side and a low side. Use a walking foot and stitch so the machine needle sinks right into the low side of the seam. If seams are pressed open, stitching in the ditch is difficult because there is no ditch.

After using the walking foot for the first quilting lines in the ditch, I will sometimes switch to a different foot. The #10 foot for Bernina machines has an edge foot that rests right in the ditch. I used it here to stitch around the inner border.

After the grid of horizontal and vertical lines were quilted, stencil motifs of a butterly, flower, and heart were marked with a blue washable marker in some of the pink squares. After quilting and binding, remove the blue marking with COLD water.

A beautiful loopy heart border stencil fit this border perfectly. First I marked the corners and moved toward the center. Sometimes the spacing has to be eased in to make the design fit and sometimes it needs to be resized through reducing or enlarging the drawn design on a photocopier. This time it needed no altering. The variegated Mettler 100% cotton 50/3 used on top was paired with Presencia solid pink of the same weight and ply in the bobbin, stitched with a 80/12 machine needle. When you need to stop quilting and reposition your hands, it's best to stop where the design lines cross over, such as the bottom of the heart design, to insure a smooth stitching line.

A green binding was chosen to match the green story lines of the quilt. The strips were cut 2-1/4" on the straight of grain. Stitching the corner closed on both the front and the back keeps the corner crisp and neatly finished.

Copyright ©2008, Sharon Baggs

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