Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Productive Day

Kinda silly how excited I get about a fairly full day in the studio where I make lots of visible progress, but with all the ups and downs and disruptions I've dealt with for such a long time, days like today make me feel normal again, enthused, and yes - excited! I finished the quilting on Sea and Sand over the weekend, adding the baby's name in the yellow rectangles. Yes, I traced the name onto quilting paper, especially for the longer areas where I'd quilt the name more than once so wanted to get the spacing even. After quilting the name and removing the paper, I went back in with wavy lines on either side, quilted by eye. Yes, that much I can do without marking!


So now this baby is ready for binding. I always give my quilts a good steaming, especially along the outer edge, before adding the binding. The batting will always shrink up a bit and better that it does before sewing on a binding that will not shrink up after the fact. So this was the first order of business today. But of course, once steamed the quilt needs to thoroughly dry before trimming off the excess batting and backing and getting that binding on. Space is limited in the studio, so it got laid out on the floor in the room I use as an office.


With table clear again, I could now get the second baby quilt off the design wall and layered up for quilting. I'm only showing a little bit as I don't want the recipient to see it before it actually arrives and she sometimes checks the blog. I've picked a fairly wild hand-dyed piece by my late friend Judi for the backing - it has a lot of the colors that are in the top and was just, and I do mean just, big enough - and Thinsulate polyester batting. I bought this so long ago that I didn't remember having used it yet, but when I pulled it out of the package, a big chunk was gone. Must have gone into another baby quilt. There was plenty of length but a little shy on width so I spliced a strip on one side using a loose hand stitch similar to a big zigzag. I used safety pins to hold the layers together and also to hold the backing in place where I'd turned it over the excess backing. Often I thread baste that by hand but not today. I did do my usual thread basting by hand along the edge of the quilt top. Neat package ready to go under the needle.


And as long as I was at it, with clear space to work, I decided I may as well cut the binding for both quilts. I generally cut my binding a scant 2-1/8 inches wide so there will be a bit extra when it is turned to the back, making it easier to catch when I machine stitch in the ditch from the front. Feeling on a roll . . . 

6 comments:

The Inside Stori said...

Wow….quite a production run you are having…..great quilt, love the addition of the name…..such a nice touch.

Chris said...

Looks wonderful. Love how you quilted the name so many times. Your swirls look great as well. I never just though about steaming the quikt to get the batting to shrink. I usually give it a soaking before adding the binding or facing. Good idea.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Mary and Chris. The swirls definitely got better the more of them I quilted but I was often amused when suddenly I would veer off the line for no accountable reason. Good thing they did not have to be exact! And yes, adding his name as part of the quilting is one of my rare inspired moments, something I'm so glad I thought of. I only had a few moments of panic fearing I was spelling it wrong - you can't believe how many times I checked before actually quilting it. Couldn't get out of my head my mother's embarrassment at spelling a grandkid's name wrong on a personalized baby item that she painted. That irked her I'm sure to her dying day.

Chris, I know others soak the edges of their quilts the way you do. I believe even Diane Gaudynski of machine quilting fame mentioned once that the steam just wasn't shrinking things up the way she knew they should be shrinking and talked of tossing glasses of water along those stretched-out edges. I think it partly depends on the kind of batting and partly on the quilting how much moisture you need. I've rarely felt the steam iron wasn't doing enough, in which case I would spray from a water bottle to get it wetter.

Michele Matucheski said...

The quilting looks great! These really turned out nicely. Congratulations on a productive day in the studio.

Living to work - working to live said...

Wooo - you're really on a production line there. Love Sea and Sand - those colours work so well. And I love the name in the quilting. And what is so nice is that you are have made a quilt to really last - lovely as teddy bears are, a boy can outgrow them!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Hilary! These spurts of energy have to be taken advantage of when they suddenly show up and I realize part of the drive (besides how much I like these quilts) is that I have a clear idea of what comes next as I progress. That is seldom true of my art quilts that get designed as I go. I have to thank you again for the mention of what the colors reminded you of which became the quilt's name. Otherwise, I don't think I would have thought to use swirls to in the quilting. I don't know WHAT I would have used because I wasn't that taken with the quilting design suggested by the pattern designer.

And since I've never had kids and haven't spent much time around the little ones of others, I wouldn't have thought about that longevity thing. That makes me feel pretty good!