Monday, 12 July 2010

Quilting update

I'm rapidly running out of steam with the whole quilting process!

No, that's unfair. I'm not really.But why is it that the tasks that you imagine to be the quickest or simplest usually turn out to be horrifically prolonged experiences of fiddling and frustration? Basting, for example:

I did my research, checking several of the methods available and how they are achieved by the leading quilt makers and designers. I decided against spray basting as some claim that it can create a real mess AND gunk up the needle when quilting. So, a fresh pack of quilters basting pins in hand I proceeded to baste my quilt sandwich. I don't have any hard surfaces large enough in my house for the task, so I spread my quilt back out on the carpeted living room floor, secured the corners with masking tape, layered the sandwich and began pinning. Two hours, two very sore knees and one aching back later I secured my last pin. Can you guess the punchline? Yes, I'm sure you could all see this coming a mile off. The moment I tried to pick my quilt up my satisfied grin morphed into a wide-eyed expression of pure disbelief. I had pinned my quilt INTO the carpet! "Oh f**k"

Another two hours, two EXTREMELY sore knees and several permanently damaged vertabrae later, I had managed to un-pin my quilt, fold it up and gently place it on the other side of the room where it stayed for the afternoon, oblivious to my glares and curses.

Not one to be beaten, I soon calmed myself, took hold of the situation and managed to get the quilt basted by using my large cutting mat underneath the sandwich and sliding it around to cover the larger area. The only downside to this continued re-adjustment was the fact that the finished layers were not as smooth and tight as I would have liked. I was so ready to move on to the actual quilting at that point though that I decided I would live with any imperfections!

On to problem number two! My new walking foot? Completely useless! I still can't fathom what the problem with the darned thing was but after masking out my quilting lines (nice and easy straight stitching for my first attempt!) and having a few goes, I switched back to my regular foot. The walking foot was hardly feeding the fabric at all - indeed, I think it was making things more difficult as I found myself almost pulling the fabric under the needle. This, in turn, made my straight lines wobble and my stitches uneven but I soldiered on and completed the first set of lines. I had planned on using a nice cross-hatch design on the quilt but now that I had been left with a relatively uneven surface, I was worried that to sew across the existing diagonals would create puckers in the fabric and make it look even worse! Thus, I took a deep breath, trimmed everything up and have decided that I am just going to bind it as it is. I think I need to practice my skills on some smaller projects before I commit to another large quilt!

Here are some pictures of the front and back:

Talking of smaller quilting projects - I have actually started on one! I mentioned before that I was making a small baby quilt with the small-scale floral fabrics that a friend had given me. I decided on a simple 5" squares design to which I am going to add a really substantial wide border. I also fancy having a go at some applique so I'm sure a little animal of some sort will be making its way onto the surface at some point!

Much more to report as soon as I find the time!

Much Love

Mother's Ruin xxx


  1. Only you could do that.....well okay, maybe me too! Hilarious. Nothing that involves words related to exercise goes with you so you should have known the walking foot would go wrong ;-) And do you know what's really sickening? Despite all that, your quilt still looks fab xx

  2. I absolutely love the last quilt, it is DIVINE!!!! The fabrics are amazing....

    Hugs - Jodie :)

  3. Your quilts are beautiful and I so admire your perseverance with it! I did laugh that you had pinned it to the carpet, but it was a sympathetic laugh. I see you enjoyed your holiday which is good-it is always a bit disappointing to come back I know, but you can always start planning the next one!
    I am popping by to let you know that my swap doll arrived-just in case you would like to see her.
    Loved the knitting talk too-not that I can knit really, but I like to read about those who can!