3/11/15

Quilter at Work


When I stopped for the day yesterday, my quilt looked like this. I leave the needle down, and I put the bulk of the quilt over my chair back. Sometimes things go "jump in the night" and everything ends up on the floor. With cat fuzz. How does that happen? 

Things are going pretty well. A short section needed to be taken out because I got a little pleat on the back. Still, there were some potential pleats I was more worried about, and those never materialized. (Oh, that could be a very bad pun, couldn't it?)

So I've now quilted the border and sashing to the far right, although I'm holding off on the cornerstones until I switch back to variegated thread. When I'd finished with that, it was time to start on the blocks. This one is done now.


I did the cross-hatching in the checkerboard section, and then I simply quilted around the edges of the applique pieces and called it good.

For the next block, I continued on with the cross-hatching in the checkerboard section. You can see it there in the sashing too.


This cat is large enough that I only fused it at its edges. That meant that the cat needed some quilting to give it stability. Quilting is, after all, not just a pretty face. It also serves a function. So I gave the cat a large pebbling motif, and then did some loopy star meandering in the sky.

That's as far as I got before I needed to stop. I have a day at home today, and so I'm hoping to be well on my way toward a finish by day's end.

Because I whined and complained so much about thread-basting this quilt, I want to say here that I'm really impressed with how easy the quilt is to work with. I used a herringbone stitch to baste it, Sharon Schamber style. She points out in her video that once it's basted, you can move that quilt all around or leave it on a shelf for years, and it will hold fast. True enough. It does feel very securely held together. The thing I'm liking about it, however, is that I can simply snip those stitches as I come to them, pulling out what I need to, and leaving the rest intact. It makes for easy quilting when there are no pins involved. Some of you told me I would like this, but I didn't believe it until I tried it for myself. 

Spray basting is still my preferred way to sandwich a quilt, but on a quilt this large, thread-basting was the better choice for a couple of reasons. First, the quilt was too large for me to take outside to do the spraying, and there's no way I'm spraying that inside in my sewing room. Take my word for it. The fumes are toxic and flammable, but worse, you'll have overspray on everything. It's hard to clean up. Ask me how I know. Second, it would be very expensive to spray baste a quilt this size. I'm betting you could use an entire can of spray on one large quilt.

You can probably guess how I'm spending my day today. I have a few house-keeping chores, but aside from that, it's quilting all the way, all day. I'm really hoping I'll be well along by this time tomorrow.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Anonymous said...

This just melts my heart! I too love cats and Laurel Burch is the best. You've picked the "purrfect" quilting designs! I love it! Enjoy the process! Can't wait to see it all finished. Have a fun day. Helen

Marei said...

And now you see why I like to thread baste. Glad this has worked for you and provides you with another tool in the old quilt box. Your cats are looking cute.

KMSC said...

Your quilt is coming along beautifully! Thanks for the machine quilting tip about thread basting. I will have to try it because I dislike machine quilting using safety pins. They always get in the way and I have to stop so often to remove them.

sophie said...

How big are the individual blocks? They looks so much larger (using your machine as an indicator of scale) than I imagined them. It is going to be one fantastic quilt!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, it's coming along purrfectly!!

Kate said...

You are really making good progress. Hope you were able to get it all finished today.

quiltzyx said...

I was wondering how the thread basting would work with the machine quilting - now I get it!

liniecat said...

I know I'm cat biased but I do think this is the best quilt I've seen of yours so far
even with an occasional bit of cat fluff : )