Wednesday, October 28

How not to quilt...

Me and my Autumn Quilt  have arrived at my least favourite part of making a quilt: the actual quilting itself. I have not been a very adventureous quilter in the few quilts I made. Usually I 'stitch in the ditch' along the seam lines. I once tried some free motion quilting but I'm still a bit scared of it. Not sure my simple sewing machine is up to more advanced quilting stuff either. I have a hard time pushing any quilt larger than a lap quilt size through the machine too.

A while I ago I bought Material Obsession, a lovely book about quilting. Besides several pretty patterns it also covers the basics of quilting, including hand-quilting. I thought maybe hand-quilting might be the right thing for me. It's seems to me it's like doing a large embroidery or something?

Anyway I started unsuccesfully quilting my Autumn Quilt this morning on my sewing machine. It looked terrible. It turned out I forgot to change the foot and the needle to the special quilt ones. I'm also not convinced the thread I'm using is quite right for the job either. : / Hopefully I'll be able to sort it all out (but not today) and move on to my favourite bit of the whole process: hand sewing the binding on. :)


  1. I love how hand quilting looks, but don't have the nerve/patience to do it, and hand binding may bee my least fav part of the process, funny how that can be so different!
    Keep up the spirit, I'm sure you'll get the quilting right :-)

  2. I'd love to learn hand quilting - would this be a good book for a total novice? I only do embroidery at the moment but would like to expand into hand quilting, even just small lap quilts or hangings.

  3. Thanks Isa, I decided to give it another try this weekend!

    @awesomeave. The book is full of nice quilt projects but I think all of them are large. And the bit about hand quilting is maybe one page so I don't think it would be the right book for you. I think there are a couple of smaller quilt projects in Denyse Schmidts book. Sorry I can't be of more help, I'm so inexperienced with quilting (but you probably knew that from reading this post).

  4. Frustrating. I have to start some quilting today too, so I will have the unpicker at the ready!
    I've always wanted to have a go at handquitling. Have you got the Last Minute Patchwork Gifts (something like that) book? There's a quilt that just uses a whole piece of fabric and the quilting is done around the printed design.

  5. I know which book you mean but I haven't got it (unlike most of the popular sewing books of recent years...) I rather enjoy the piecing of the quilt top so I don't think I would choose to use a whole piece of fabric as my quilt top. But quilting around a design on a fabric does sounds like fun. I suppose that can be done on a smaller scale too.

  6. Oh yes, it would take forever to do a big quilt. A baby sized one would be good. Like this -

    and this -

    I did manage to finish my quilting yesterday ( don't fall over in shock!), now for the binding - my favourite part also. :-)

  7. As for me- I like the quilting (machine), but a bigger quilt can certainly be challenging. One help that I make use of, is to have my ironing board to the left of my left arm, running straight back ,and at the right height, to support the weight that is to the left. I also lay vinyl (placemats) on top of it, so the quilt will slide along better.Then, ahead of the needle at work, I really support with my hands to avoid drag. Sometimes, when the roll under the machine head is larger, I let the end of it down from over my right shoulder- quite a sight, in all, I am sure :)
    Last time I stitched "in the ditch", I did it about 1/8 in. from the seam lines, and I like the more quilted look from that. Plus, I did not have to worry about staying properly in the well, and not catching, etc. (doll quilt- about to post.)
    Good Luck!


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