Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Respect Your Quilt!

While I am usually the first person to say losen up and relax about your quilting, there is also another side of the coin.
Your quilt deserves some respect, especially if it does not fall into the quick-gift or utility category. Trying to do things too fast and skipping some steps will lead to heartbreak down the road. The worst part is that you know, at the very time you decide to skip or rush, that it is going to be a Big Mistake.
Any quilt with a white background is especially prone to problems with dark threads and seam allowances showing through. Here is my "Summer Garden" quilt, and you can see the threads on the left side of the photo (believe me, they show up even more than that!) and the dreaded "seam shadow" at the bottom.

This quilt has a ton of white space....but I love the scrappy reds instead of all one fabric!

It's always being in a hurry that gets me in trouble, and that's why I went ahead and basted this quilt without checking the seam shadows and threads. I fell prey to that thought: I will take care of it later. Of course, if I do not have time to do it now, why ever would I think I might have time later? (I have been making that error in thinking since I was born!)

And I figured I'd use spray basting, to get it done even faster....
Guess what? As tricky as it is to use a needle to fish out stray threads after basting or quilting, it is almost impossible if the top has been spray basted! DOH!

All the while, nagging in the back of my brain is the thought that this quilt would really like to have some nice trapunto in those big white squares....but it's already basted!
But also I am teaching the machine trapunto class in a few weeks, and wouldn't it be nice to have that as an example?
Then again, I really need to get this quilt done so it can be photographed for a pattern cover!

I decided to bite the bullet and take it apart. At least spray basting made that easier than if I'd pinned it all!
Look what I found inside...oh, yes, this would have been a sorry looking quilt with all those red threads shining through the white!

This batting is Warm & White, chosen so it would not interefer with the white fabric!

I was beginning to feel proud of myself. I was Doing The Right Thing! And once it was cleaned up, well, I already had the backing basted in place, so that did not need to be redone!
The backing was lying on my cutting table, minding its own business, when a person who owns his own mat & cutter decided to cut some black leather in my studio!
Cutting leather leaves a lot of fine little debris, like dust. It can easily be brushed away.
Unless it is sticking to a batting covered with spray basting!

Well, in the interest of saving my marriage, I just had to sleep on that one, and fortunately the morning brought a good idea: masking tape rolled around my hand, gently patting the batting, picked up the black dust. WHEW!
I think I will take a small risk and fold it batting side in (the basting spray is not that strong now, as it has been sitting for a few weeks already!) until it is time to re-baste.

So now I am trimming and nabbing all the threads I can on the wrong side, then I will go over the top from the right side and find the seams that are shadowing through.
HINT: folding the top in quarters makes this a bit easier. Just go over it one section at a time. I do the same thing when I am trimming threads from the back after quilting.

After that comes the trapunto, so "stay tuned" for more adventures with this two-color quilt!
But no matter what happens next, I know I will be glad I decided to respect this quilt and do the right thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder that the Thinsulate(tm) company hasn't gotten into the batting biz.