Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quilting the Grid

I got Grid 2 quilted today. I suppose I took the easy route because I did it all with the feed dogs up. All straight line stitching, thin Hobbs Thermore batt and spray basting made it the right choice for me. First I stitched next to the satin stitching along the outside of each square. I knew I couldn't use a walking foot because it would no doubt hang up on that satin stitching. I checked my feet and found this one which is a hemming foot. One side is higher than the other to ride along the thicker side and the other side can be butted up against the edge of that side for a nice close stitch. Worked like a charm.

When starting and stopping the stitching in the same place, especially with a decorative thread like the Sulky Sliver metallic used here, I prefer to pull my threads to the wrong side, knot them, then using a needle, bury the tails between layers. Yes, it takes more time than taking small stitches at the start and finish, but I prefer the look.

I used an Oliver Twist hand dyed cotton thread to quilt a line of stitching between the squares and around the outside rows. I had lots of problems with skipped stitches, which was a surprise. I would have expected problems with the metallic thread, but it sewed like a dream. After trying different types and sizes of needles to no avail, I finally dug out some 100 topstitch needles as recommended by Ann Fahl in her book "Coloring With Thread." I'm convinced it's the very tight weave of the pima cotton background causing the problem. The bigger needle literally punched through the fabric allowing the cotton to get far enough down to be caught by the shuttle. The slick surface of the metallic would have caused no resistance, but there was plenty of drag on the cotton thread.

Finally, I switched back to the metallic thread, set the machine to a narrow zigzag and couched the decorative thread down as I quilted. That was tricky because with all that "hair" I couldn't use my braiding foot. Instead, I used my clear embroidery foot, positioned the thread in its wide slot, held it straight up so I could see the center guide on the foot and slowly made my way down each marked line.

I very much like the result, and as usual, wonder what all the fuss was about when I spent several days obsessing over what thread to use and just how to quilt it. Guess it's a good thing I let it sit for so long. When I got it out again, the answers seemed so obvious.

Now to obsess over the binding...;-)

1 comment:

The Wittering Rainbow said...

Pauline Burbidge told me (at a talk) that putting something up on a wall and just looking at something for days on end wasn't prevaricating, or obsessing, just making decisions. I quite liked this idea and tell myself "I'm making decisions" and awful lot!