Friday, March 4, 2011

Purple & Pink

So I put together the light version of the purple/pink block. There wasn't much process to note. I'm in the process of moving and I wanted to sew one more block before I packed up the sewing gear, so I was worn out and on autopilot while sewing this one. Now that I look at it, a couple of the cuts are seriously wonky. I think the light one, more than any of my other pairs, is the most similar to its darker companion. I mean, I don't see any difference at all, which is unusual. In most of the pairs they look similar enough to look like a pair, but they also have differences that make them each look unique. I don't see it here.

I'm about 6 or 7 blocks away from a finished top and I'm beginning to wonder how I should quilt this thing. I'm leaning toward hand quilting, yet I'm afraid it will take me 10 years to finish. Maybe that's okay. I'm also tempted to try machine quilting it but I don't have a clue how to do it. I need a special machine? A long arm? My fear here is how will I maneuver a giant quilt top around my "regular" sewing machine. Will it be a nightmare? I think I'll make a mini quilt out of one my blocks and try some sample quilting. Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions as I get nearer the quilting stage?


  1. That's a pretty broad topic. How large is finished quilt going to be and do you have a specific type of quilting in mind?

    If you are doing just straight line quilting the thing you need more than anything is a walking foot for your sewing machine...which is not really very expensive.

    Another alternative is you can quilt the quilt in sections and join later. Or you can do free motion quilting which is trickier than straight line quilting...there is also a special foot for that and you drop the feed dogs of your machine.

    The longarm is a wonderful alternative and some local quiltshops rent them out to quilters...I think they usually require you to take some lessons first.

    There are lots of good books on the subject and most local quilt shops give classes in various aspects of quilting. Pretty wordy, huh? I hope this helps a little.

  2. Yes, it helps a lot. It'll be 75" square. Originally I thought if I machine quilt, I'd sew straight lines, not parallel or perpendicular, but criss-crossing at random and straight across the length of the quilt. Then I started thinking QAYG, maybe same straight line, criss-crossing pattern. Most recently I've thought about hand quilting in a free form, sew-as-I'm-inspired pattern. I know I'm being vague, because I'm really unsure what I want the pattern to look like. I'll start researching methods. Thanks for your suggestions!

  3. Bring it to the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild at the end of the month. Lots of smart and helpful people.

    Straight line quilting is very doable (with a walking foot) on a 75" quilt. On larger blankets it can be hard to keep the lines tidy while managing the bulk of the blanket. My advice would be to roll the edges of the blanket tightly, and re-roll often. It will seem like you're spending a lot of time rolling & not much time sewing, but your results will be worth it.

    On larger blankets I'm usually happier with free motion quilting, because I focus on a narrow area and move the blanket gradually, rather than drag the whole thing under the machine arm for each line of stitching. Set your feed dogs down and get a good darning foot. I love my Lynn Graves Big Foot. It's plastic and, truth be told, feels slightly cheap, but it has been a wonderful quilting foot, and I would buy the same thing again.

    As for hand quilting... I love the scrap bin at the Crate & Barrel outlet as much as the next guy, but those marimekko prints are NOT fun to push a needle through.


Thanks for commenting!