Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ditch 'n Stipple

I wanted to finish off my 'vintage' pleated log cabin, so in keeping with the treadle/vintage machine effort, I quilted it on a 1940 Singer 201.

Check out how much room is under the arm!

The old girl performed beautifully, although she did struggle to keep the nylon thread in place.  Firstly I ditch stitched around all the blocks - this took me ages, and not so easy if the blocks aren't square or the seams butted!  After that I did some straight channel quilting on the black border.

I didn't actually like the white border I added on, and I almost turned it into a facing.  I much prefer a traditional binding to a facing on a quilt, so decided instead to practice some free motion on it.  I chose a simple border pattern from Harriet's Heirloom Machine Quilting book. 

The results were dodgy, to say the least.  As I progressed I found it easier to stay on the lines, but I had all sorts of trouble managing the bulk of the quilt.  Practicing on a sample is a lot different to working on a large quilt!

I don't know if you can see the results in the pictures very well, but believe me, you're not missing a lot!

Yes, that's mattress ticking on the quilt back.  100% cotton and very soft.  Sadly, the black and white ticking was sold out, but the red/white is a nice contrast.

The really funny bit started when I tried to stipple.  I decided to stipple all the block centres - now remember there is no batting in this quilt, it being so thick with pleated fabrics - so the block centers' sew directly to the backing.

Now for all you other newbies and blockheads out there - let me give you a tip.  Don't try to stipple on black fabric, using dark coloured nylon thread - IT'S INVISIBLE.  It's not so much problem seeing where you are going, as it's seeing where you have been.  After struggling to do it 'correctly' and not have the lines crossover - I soon gave up and just stippled wherever.  The clear nylon on white was a bit less invisible.

Another interesting problem I had with stippling, were the pleats.  The large open ended daring foot I was using liked to slip under the pleats and I would sew it in.  No kidding, I sewed the foot to the quilt and not just once, but lots of times.  I'd just be whizzing away, getting into some sort of mental zone, when suddenly everything would jerk and stop and there I'd done it again - LOL

Yup - I did it again!
Anyway, I finished it, bound it, washed it and gained some serious quilting practice - ditch, channel, free motion and stippling.  It now has pride of place on the back of my couch.

1 comment: