Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Project 4 Triple Rail Fence - Quilting

After ditch-stitching around all the blocks, I've had lots of fun quilting little hearts and diamonds onto each block in the triple rail fence quilt.  There are 99 blocks in all, and by the time I finished, I was getting the hang of it.  Actually I was sorry once they were done, as I was enjoying the process, getting relaxed and into the 'zone'. 

My biggest problem is no longer seeing and staying on the lines (thanks to my small FM foot) but getting the quilt hung up all over the place.  It gets stuck under the table, on a corner, at the edges.  It complains if it doesn't have enough room in the harp and refuses to budge, determinedly sewing in one place until I fiddle with the packaging.  The worst though, is when the quilt (or a pin) gets stuck on the pressure foot take up lever.  On my model Pfaff (Quilt Expression 2048) the take up lever sits to the side, sticking out to the right.  This is nice and easy to reach when sewing, but doesn't quite work when quilting FM.  When the quilt gets caught in the lever, it either comes to a sudden and very unexpected stop, and/or the pressure foot drops down, and the quilt stops moving (but my hands and feet keep going).  Anyway, enough excuses - here is what it looks like........

The back is quite wrinked, while the front is smooth and flat.  Is this the result of pre-washing or of not stretching the backing tight enough?

Is it cheating if I don't post pics of the jerky ones?

This time, I have a solid backing, but that's not how I planned it.  I tried my hand at dying, and as a first timer, I expected a patchy/mottled result - which is what I wanted.  Of course the calico dyed up beautifully, with not a mottle in sight - so now I have a backing which shows the quilting, wobbles and all.  I'm interested to see how this will wash up.  The quilt top fabric is not pre-washed, but the backing is.  I've used a cotton batting, so I'll be curious as to how it all shrinks up.

It's hard to see the quilting on the front because of the busy prints, but here it is - marked up and quilted....

Next are the borders.  I am trying a new marking technique with this, using paper pinned to the top.  I'm hoping it's simple and effective, but I have a feeling it's going to be more complicated than it looks. 

But not till tomorrow as I just cracked a gorgeous dark chocolate hazelnut easter egg which needs immediate attention!


  1. Very Nice! When you mention about the pins getting stuck-I try to take out the pins in the immediate area that I'm going to be quiliting, as I find they will get hung up. How close of an area to where you are quilting are you leaving pinned?
    Can you show what type of paper you are leaving pinned to the top for your marking technque? And how you are sewing wiith it in place?

  2. Good job!! There will come a day when you will need to drop your machine down into some sort of cabinet if you haven't already. Trying to keep a quilt organized when there is hardly any room for it to be where your hands are makes it more than difficult to control things.

    Do you have a product call Press and Seal down there? It is a food wrap that is self stick - actually little bubbles that seal tight - not regular plastic wrap. It is a great product to mark on, then stick it onto the quilt and quilt through it. It tears away easily after quilting. I find that paper makes it hard to control your stitches and see what you are doing. If you can't get Press and Seal, let me know and I'll send you some in your next care package.
    Like always - your dedication is inspiring!

  3. I'm glad Harriet gave the idea of using Press and Seal- I'm going to try using that on my current project and see how it works out!
    And she's right-you are an inspiration to all!

  4. You are doing so well, it took me ages to get up the courage to quilt other than stitch in the ditch, and that was a worry too. Keep it up!!!

  5. Hi All!

    I've just posted the results of border quilting on paper. I was less then impressed as you will see. Harriet I've never heard of Press & Seal - but then again I can't even buy freezer paper in the supermarket here!

    With the quilt getting hung up - I think I just need a bit of time to sort out how and where it happens on my setup and adjust accordingly. I just need some tweaking to my packaging and more awareness of where the quilt is hanging - at the moment I'm concentrating too hard on what is happening under the needle to think about the rest of the quilt. It will all sort itself out in time.