15 October 2017

Q is for quilting skills

When I was 29, I spent a year working in Montana and due to a variety of circumstances, I had no living expenses except my car payment. I was able to save A LOT of money that year. So for my 30th birthday, I bought myself a plane ticket to Australia for a month. One of the souvenirs I brought home was a duvet for my bed and a couple of duvet covers, a plain purple jersey one and this one:


It's still near and dear to my  heart, but it's been sitting in the closet for years now. Last year, I was thinking about making quilts for my kids during our cold New England winters, and the idea came to me to make this into a quilt - lay it out with batting inside, quilt it, and sew it shut. I decided this would be my first test run for learning how to do free motion quilting. 

Last week, I literally crawled inside the duvet cover to lay out the batting smooth, and then pinned it all. Got it set up on my machine, and within 60 seconds of starting to sew, I had managed to get the fabric wrapped around the free motion foot, snagged in the machine, and snapped off the needle. Right.

Rule 1: GO SLOW.
Rule 2: Don't let the fabric get bunched up near the needle.

Picked out the stitches, and started over.

I was going to do swirls all over, but we see how that went so quickly. I think I'll backtrack and learn free motion quilting swirls on something substantially smaller ...

I just traced around the edges of the flowers, and didn't add any other quilting except an outline all the way around the edge of the quilt to make sure the batting stayed all the way out to the sides.


Don't look too closely at the flowers because heck yeah, this was a wrestling match between me and the sewing machine, and it's not very pretty. I'm being quite generous to myself to call this a new quilting "skill." The fabric isn't smooth at all - there are tucks and bulges all over the place. But from a distance, it works. JK, who is 4 and has claimed this for her bed, doesn't care. She just knows it's purple, and it's a quilt that Mommy made. That's good enough for me too.

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