Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finally, the finished quilt!

I love the way this quilt turned out! It wasn't a difficult pattern or overly challenging, but anytime I actually finish a quilt, I feel good. Most people probably don't realize how expensive all the materials cost, and how much time really goes into making one. But, it's something that will last many, many years and will fill that person's life with warmth and love - at least that's what I like to think! Quilts are made to be used. They are the best kind of art - the functional kind.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hand stitched binding

This is one of my favorite parts of quilting. I like to hand stitch the binding on, because it gives it a clean finished look. It takes longer, but I already put so much time into it, so why not do it right?
It's really relaxing (unless you are scrambling to get it done before a baby shower) because you can sit and watch a movie and go into auto pilot. I would recommend a thimble though! My fingers were not happy with me by the end.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Quilting, continued...

I decided to go with free motion quilting on this quilt. I haven't done much of this, and it definitely takes some practice to feel really comfortable AND get good results. I have a Bernina sewing machine, and I have the #9 foot, which I used for this technique. It's different from other feet in that it doesn't sit on the fabric, and it also doesn't guide the fabric. You put the feed dogs down on your machine, and this allows you to have full control over moving the quilt around. This allows for more freedom, but also means that you have to have control over your movements! You control the speed, which means you control stitch length.

I didn't really have a plan when I started quilting. I was thinking swirls that would resemble a flower. As I was going, I started adding the scallop/petals. I love the way it turned out - and gave up on thinking it has to be perfect.

In many ways I felt this technique was much quicker than stitching in the ditch, or straight line stitching. It allows for more creative expression, and allows for the quilting to become a design as well that compliments the piecing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Quilting

I'm so glad to be able to have hardwood floors in my apartment. Not only do they have a lot of character, but they are the perfect setup for preparing to quilt. I use masking tape to tape the back of the quilt to the floor. This allows it to stay nice and flat and helps to eliminate bunches in the fabric.

I start in the middle on the long side, move to the other long edge, than start in the middle on the short ends. I slowly move my way out until it's all secure.

I lay down the batting, and than the quilt top, making sure each is smoothed out. Than I use safety pins to pin it all on place, holding all the layers together.

After it's all together, I un-tape the back layer, and it's ready to be quilted!