Monday, February 11, 2008

Machine Quilting Upside Down

I thought this fabric would make a wonderful backing for a quilt because 1) it was on sale! and 2) the big motifs would be fun to quilt around.
If you suspect those sound like Famous Last Words, you may be right!
At any rate, this became another Great Experiment, or , as I like to say, Yet Another Learning Experience!
I used dark purple for the top and in the bobbin, thinking that it would look great on the front, which is light blue and white squares.
What do you think?

Before I started I had the thought to put a light color/white thread in the bobbin so the design would be less obvious.
Had I remembered how impatient I am with machine quilting, I would have taken my own advice!

Those ferns look really big...some of them are 8" tall...but they all have lots and lots (and even more) little fronds that make you go in & out, in& out, in & out..... my eyes would get blurry and that purple thread just jumped right off the background and onto those green ferns!

I must say it's nice to have these little digital pictures that tend to hide the wobbliness and other lumps of the quilting!
Here's the quilt hanging on the design wall. It needs to have the edges trimmed and binding put on.

What I learned from this quilt:
1. Quilting upside down (using the back as a motif to follow) is not a bad idea, but the front will NOT look exactly like the back! The shapes will not end up as sharp and neat.
2. The side with the bobbin thread will be the front when you are done! Spend some time getting that bobbin tension right!!!
3. Don't quilt when you're impatient (I "learn" that on every quilt I do!). Maybe a glass of wine would help that problem?
(associated tip: do not bang your hand on the table so hard it hurts)

Even if you get thoroughly fed up with it, every project does provide experience and makes the next quilt better. So although I did not (once again) manage to create The Perfect Quilt, I did get a lot of practice with starting and stopping as I went around the ferns. Here is a Really Good Quilting Tip: use the needle down setting if you have it. When you start the line of stitching again, make the needle go up and back down into the same hole it left. That will help keep you from making that little jag as you start up and ruining your smooth line.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always use the needle-down position, for everything. My next sewing machine will remember this between power cycles so that I don't have to (though I always seem to figure it out soon enough).

I like the ferns!