Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you
In May, four of the local quilt shops hosted a shop hop. At each store, quilters were given a piece of fabric and their passport was stamped. At the final shop, you also received the instruction sheet. Unfortunately my schedule only allowed me to visit two of the shops. Lucky for me, a few days later, the shops had available for purchase the complete kit. Working with the pieces that I did get on the hop, the kit and some fabrics from my stash, I was able to piece two of these banners. One is for my house and the other for a far away friend. I purchased my kit for the 'O Canada Banner' at Reichard's: The Quilter's Store . (you won't find this item on their website, but if you are interested, send Leslie and email) I have enough red left for the binding around one of the banners . If you make this banner, remember to reverse the 'N' when you trace it on the fusible web, I didn't see that in the instructions, but then again, I am not known for carefully reading details. Measures about 7 inches wide x 28 inches long.
A dear friend of mine is very new to quilting and has some questions about machine quilting.
Yes, you can quilt on your domestic sewing machine. You don't have to purchase an expensive longarm machine. With a little practise and patience, you can readily quilt a twin size quilt. That is the largest I have done to date. Yes, it's a bit tight stitching the middle of the quilt, but it can be done. Thin batting helps. I highly recommend that you start with smaller projects and work your way up. I didn't know any better and quickly moved to a twin size quilt. It turned out beautifully Lots of stitch in the ditch, and meandering. Thirteen years later and it still looks good.
My favourite batting is Hobbs 80/20. I always pre-shrink according to the package directions, likewise, I pre-wash the fabric for my quilt top. I don't want any surprises. Up till today, I also used Polydown, but perhaps I won't be using that again. Details below.
Pre-shrink your batting if desired. I start from one corner and gently lay my batting on top of the backing. Carefully smooth the batting, don't stretch it. You may need to shift it a bit to straighten. Take your time, it is well worth the extra ten minutes or so. I don't pin the batting down as it seems to cling quite well to the backing.
Next is the fun part. First I think about how I am going to quilt the top. I don't want to place pins where I am going to have to remove them right away. I generally start in the middle and pin out from that point, placing pins about a hand span apart. As you can see in the photo, I place a lot of pins near the edge, every 3 or 4 inches.
I use the special pins from the quilt shop. They are not supposed to rust. Some of mine are over ten years old and no rest in sight. I have both the straight and the bent ones, they work equally well for me.
Do not be stingy when cutting your backing, it's really annoying to find that you made it an inch too small and you have to unpin and add more fabric. Like wise with the batting, more than once it has shrunk more than expected and I've had to add a piece.
For now, I do my pin basting on the floor. It can be a bit hard on the back. but it's what I have. If you have access to those large folding tables, push two of them together and use masking tape to hold down the backing. If you have one table available, line up the end of the backing on the table and tape in place. Layer with the batting and then add the quilt top, being very careful to get the top straight. Pin the section. Remove the tape and then shift the quilt along the table. Repeat the process until the entire top is basted. Once you have finished, double check both sides to ensure that you have pinned evenly.
Now you are ready to stitch.
I did start the machine stitching. I was doing stitch in the ditch, along the black boarders. The batt was so thick that the fabric kept stretching and shifting and I was getting all sorts of tucks. It took a lot longer to un-stitch, but now it's ready for a new batt. This time I'm going back to the 80/20.
Marie at Daisy's Book Journal didn't get to her needlework this week but she has a wonderful assortment of garden projects on the go.