I estimate it will take at least a week to add borders, draw up the quilt design, sandwich and quilt each top - some will take a little less time and some a bit more. Washing and binding will add an extra 3 - 4 days, but can be ongoing between projects. If I can do this, I should have all the tops finished by the time the next book is released in May. Famous last words? You becha! I'll do as much as I can, when I can and not put myself under pressure to finish quickly. I don't want to mess things up by being in too much of a hurry.
For now, I am proceeding though the quilting process with this top. First I had to make a backing. I had some leftover fabric, too large for scraps, but none of them big enough to fully back the top with the borders added. I got creative and pieced some of the leftovers together to get a backing the right size.
After pressing & starching, I'm readly to make a quilt sandwich.
The backing is kept smooth and tight with the aid of masking tape.
The layers are pin basted - this time using a Kwik Klip. My thumb is grateful!
After pin basting, the back is checked for pleats or tucks.
Packaged up and ready for the machine
Using the suggestion from the QA book, I choose to quilt a diagonal grid across the entire top & borders.
I marked only 2 diagonal lines across the quilt, as I will be using my quilt guide to keep the lines straight. The duel feed on the Pfaff, should be helpful as well.
Quilting with the quilt guide
As you can see from the picture above, my stitches get the wiggles. I don't have this problem when using the old Singer, which stitches straight everytime. Unfortunately I don't have a walking foot for that machine (yet). Even thought the Pfaff is a quality sewing machine, it can't match the vintage mechanicals for beautiful straight stitching.
I quilted 2 rows across each diagonal, before quilting across the top. I'm using a 1" grid
After 4 hours, 1/4 of the top is done. I need to do the other half in straight lines, then quilt diagonally across the top in the opposite direction to complete the grid.
A WORD ABOUT BATTINGS
Harriet has been very generous in sending me the chapter on battings which will appear in the 3rd book. Wow - how much don't I know about battings! I suspect that many quilters are in a similar state of batting ignorance. There is so much to know about battings and how choosing the right one is so important.
The info from Harriet is very comprehensive and covers everything from the batting fibres to how they will look when finished. She has an excellent way to test the battings - which I am going to try just as soon as I can. Look out for it at a later date.
Living as I do, in the smallest Australian state, which also happens to be an island, it can sometimes be difficult to have access to the lastest and greatest products. While the quilting shops here are fantastic, they can't stock everything and many of the items and battings Harriet recommends, are simply not available here. Harriet is generously sending me a range of batting samples, which together with the extensive information already sent, I can use to decide which battings are the best for me to use right now and I can source these for future use.
For now, I am pretty much stuck with Warm & Natural - I still have some left and as I am not doing FMQ with this top, I am using it here. If you want to know how Harriet Hargrave (Master Quilter) feels about Warm & Natural battings, read her comment here - http://patchnblock.blogspot.com/2010/03/project-2-fence-post-panel-quilting.html#comments