Friday, April 26, 2013

Quilting batiks

I have just a few squares to quilt on a batik quilt featuring many of the free motion designs I've used over the years. Each print features a different design:
 Meandering Triangles

Echoed Swirls

Wiggle Worms (thanks be Diane Gaudynski)
Molten Lava

Leaf Print Outlined + Meandering Leaves

Leaf Print Outlined + Echoed

Teardrops (L) + Flower (R)
Clamshells (above) Meandering Starbursts (below)
Echoed Freeform Feather
Wavy Grid
Curly Swirls
View of the backing fabric and feather stencil design
Backing laid over front border & binding
Sarah will have this on her bed when she comes home from Indonesia next month, where she has seen the men print batik fabric. She also taught me the proper way to pronounce "batik". The k is silent and there is a heavy accent I can't quite emulate. Lots of her clothes have been made from batik this past year and she's bringing home some remnants! Yes, I'm excited!
Copyright ©2013, Sharon Baggs

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Washing a Quilt

After Hannah disassembled the day bed upstairs and rearranged her room, she left a pile of bedding for me to contend with. Among the items is Sarah's quilt that she made in 2002, a purple and yellow twin sized quilt (Pattern: Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs).

I decided to give it a soak and spin through the washing machine. I don't put a quilt through much of the machine's agitation/wash cycle because I am able to manipulate the dials and shorten the process. This helps the fiber in the fabric of the quilt to last longer, especially for those quilts that are getting daily use.

First step is to fill the washing machine with warm water. As it it filling, add some quilt soap. I use sodium lauryl sulfate which is a hard white soap that softens with heat. I open the jar of soap and let the machine's water fill the jar and then I dump it into the machine. I do this a few times to liquify enough soap, equivalent to about a tablespoon of soap. You can also spoon a tablespoon of the hard soap into the machine and the warm water will melt it.

When the machine has filled with water and begins to agitate to mix the soap, I push in the machine's button to stop the agitation. I lay the quilt in the machine and submerge it in the water. Then I let the quilt soak for about an hour. Then I move the machine's dial just a bit to the right, pull the dial back out so the machine will spin out the water. It then refills for the rinse cycle. There is agitation in the rinse cycle so I skip that and turn the dial to the final spin cycle. A minute or two of agitation is fine but putting the quilt through the entire cycle will eventually cause the quilt to wear out.

Once the soaking/spinning is complete, I put the quilt in the dryer on extra low heat for delicates and dry for 10-20 minutes. The quilt will not be completely dry but it will be dry enough to finish air-drying over a couch, chair, or bed. Just rotate the quilt until it is dry. On a warm day, air-drying outside will work well. Use a sheet to cover an outside area and lay the quilt on that. Just be careful if there are pets around. Avoid hanging a damp quilt to dry; it can be easily distorted this way.

Copyright ©2013, Sharon Baggs

Monday, April 1, 2013

Boston Commons Quilt--Revisited

After a week of determination and effort, the Boston Commons Quilt is finished! It was a project my friend, Felicia and I began two years ago. See the original post here.

Felicia did much of the stitching-in-the ditch of the center design. With the wool batting, the squares puff up nicely. I chose a simple cable design for the pink inner border and quilted a free form swirl design in the dark outer border.

I began with stitching-in-the-ditch along either side of the pink strip. Since the pink inner border is a focal point where the eye is visually drawn, I like to quilt a simple motif in this space. Also, there is some lift with wool batting, so a quilted design shows off the quilting. The cable template used here is designed by Harriet Hargrave (HH20- 1-1/4" 3cm Simple Cable). I used a washable blue marker to mark the design and removed the marks after quilting by dipping the border in water and wiping with a cloth. I used a walking foot to quilt the cable but it could be free-motion quilted as well.

The binding on the quilt was the same fabric as the backing. I cut 2-1/2" wide strips and pieced them together on the diagonal. Here's a view of the four corners completed.

To touch up some white spots on the fabric where the dye lifted, I colored those in with a blue Zig permanent marker, acid free, used for scrapbooking.

I'm thrilled to be able to give this completed quilt to my friend and get to the next quilt in my "to-be-finished" pile.

Copyright ©2013, Sharon Baggs