Monday, August 13, 2012

Utility Quilting can be pretty!

It's time again to get ready for QuiltFest...especially the Sale Room!
With seven guilds presenting this big show, there is no boutique of small items...but members of a hosting guild may sell quilts. So this time of year I am thinking of how to turn some of my samples and tops into sale items. 
And being the lazy person I am, my first choice is utility quilting! Let's get it done!
Utility quilting can be pretty, although basically it's purpose is to hold all the layers together .
Use either of these feet. I prefer the open toe.
You can see the thread coming right up at the seam line, but I'm not stitching "in-the-ditch"...I am stitching ON the ditch! Choose a nice programmed stitch on your machine that goes from side to side (like a feather stitch) and just use the seam as a guide. Sure, you can use a tiny zigzag stitch, about with a fancy thread?
This stitch seems has little V shape.
If you look back behind the foot, on the green patch, you can see what happens when you have a (ahem) mis-matched corner. Just stop at the end of the patch, then lift the needle & foot, and re-align it to go down the center of the next patch.
By the time you're done quilting, you'll hardly see it.
In fact, I think when you make a "mistake" you should wait until the next day and, if you can't find it immediately, forget about it!
NOTE: that is NOT the way to win an award.
Although this stitch seemed like a good idea at the time, it does have a straight line right down the center. That means it ended up being almost like stitch-in-the-ditch. Here is a place I went out of the ditch.
Is it hideous? Has it ruined your day?
If so, you may prefer to read someone else's blog.
Otherwise, stick with me and we'll continue to explore real life!

What else happens with this kind of quilting?
You'll often see the fabric piling up in front of the foot.
Try to resist the urge to pull it flat... it usually just eases itself by the time it is under the needle.
Remember, the joy of this quilting style is the feed dogs are UP and the machine is making even stitches. This is not Free Motion (which I will bend you ear...or eyes...about at other times!).
Now this is a pleat forming , and you don't want that sewn into the quilt. No problem!
Just stop, lift up the foot, and chances are the fold will disappear. If not, smooth it out a bit. As always, the needle down position is helpful for holding your exact place!

It does help if you don't try to break a land speed record while you're sewing. I always want to go faster...get it done, and be on to the next project! In my long experience of quilting, this is what I can tell you for sure:
The third time you think you can go a little faster is the time you mess it up.
So if you only speed up twice, you  have probably found the correct rate for your quilting!

Here's what the whole quilt looks like:

You're could use some quilting around the outside edge. That floating set leaves a good bit of space there. 
But it does have a binding.... and thanks to the Olympic Games, two other do as well!

Tomorrow is another Baste-A-Thon with Cherry-cherry.

Our secret weapon is the biggest can of 505 spray that you ever have seen!
And we know how to use it.

PERSONAL NOTE: "They" say you should never start a blog post with an apology for not writing. And that's true, it's boring to many people, especially those are reading for the first time.
But I do love my Follwers, and wanted to let you know a giant electric surge wiped out a number of items at my house...including my computer. It's taken awhile to get back up to normal (whatever that might be).


Pat said...

Glad to see you're back! I've heard that the only place "normal" exists is as the setting on a dryer or dishwasher ... LOL


Anonymous said...

Aha. Technical Difficulties. Glad to see they're solved.

I backed off on checking your blog daily. But I am still here!