Saturday, December 30, 2017

Time to Bind

I brought the unfinished quilt to Christmas to show my progress.  I think Mom had a hard time letting me bring it back home.  My sister pointed out that the back looks as cool as the front, so it could be reversible.  And as desperately as I wanted it done today (I met up with Mom again), there was no time to finish it.  Too many interruptions I couldn't ignore, plus burying threads is really time consuming!

Left star - long wobbly design to be ripped out.  Right star - newer design with smaller sections.
I spent a lot of time pulling out the quilting.  Many of my designs didn't make it past the first engagement.  I pulled out some of wavy border (took four triangles to get the hang of the motion).  I had to readjust the bunting on the border as well.  I tried two different designs before I found one that looked good.  I discovered that drawing with dry-erase markers on plastic is not quite the same as quilting it; what looked good with marker did not look right when stitched.  Lastly was quilting the white around the stars:  I had picked a design that included a long pointed oval - not a good choice.  It was shaky and uneven.  My smaller pattern was better and I stuck with that.  In the end, a lot of ripping and requilting.

I'm not great at drawing.  I've also learned that it's hard to do big smooth designs while stuffing a quilt under the sewing machine's harp.  I keep that in mind when I planning my freemotion designs.  I can see the appeal of ruler work.  Some of my curves were wobbly - it would be nice if they were smoother.  I bet a ruler would help with that.  But I'm not sure if I'd have the patience for it.  This quilt would have had a lot of start, stop, move the ruler, repeat.

I love quilting on my Singer 15-91.  The pedal has a nice touch and my hand/foot coordination is getting better to ensure the needle is paced with the speed I'm moving the quilt.  My stitches are still really uneven, but the worst of that happens when I get caught on a thick seam.  Towards the end I knew what to look for and got hung up less often.  I need to make sure I quilt again soon, so I don't lose what I've learned.

Oh - and that's another gotcha - I had to break several times in the middle of quilting the stars.  I'd get into a groove after quilting about five of them and the rest were more alike.  But when I sat down again after a break, it took a star or two before hitting that groove again.  It's tough to keep all the areas uniform!

But huzzah! the quilting is done (over a thousand yards of thread).  Binding is next.  And I need a label.  Mom's Quilt is what I keep calling it, and if I'm not careful, that could on the label.  Maybe name it Labor of Love?  More accurate would be Blood, Sweat and Swearing.  Rob likes that (and a couple of colorful names like it), but I can't imagine my mom would want her quilt named that!


  1. Your quilt looks beautiful and the quilting is amazing especially having done it on a vintage machine and the size it is. You get my "gold star" award for perseverance and patience. What you say about getting in the groove is true. It takes practice and a continuous sewing period to get things more uniform and smooth. It does come with more quilts though. Your mother will love it regardless of how you quilt. I think easy, simple quilting is good on domestic machines when it is a quilt that is going to be used to snuggle under. You did good! Congratulations.

  2. The quilt is FANTASTIC! I can see why your mom wanted to keep it even before you were done! I think it is an amazing piece and I love your quilting. It reflects a true labor of love! Cheers and Happy New Year!

  3. so maybe you don't think your drawing is good enough. Give yourself a break, everything single thing I've seen you make is beautiful. Perfection is not what it's cracked up to be. By the way, I'd call the quilt "Mom's Quilt a Labor of Love".

  4. You are doing a lot work with your quilt, lovely colors and lovely quilting!

  5. Beautiful quilt, I love quilting on my 15-91 also!


I enjoy reading your comments and I strive to reply by email (if you're not set to no-reply).