Thursday, October 3, 2013

Me and Machine Quilting, the Saga Continues...

The Giveaway is open until Saturday for anyone interested in a piece of Hobbs batting! I was thinking... that I probably need to get better at feeding sneak peeks of my quilting progress so that wazaam! I can wow everyone with the awesome finished quilt at the end. Instead, I have this tenancy to dribble out pictures of all my various efforts and angst, boring you for the two years or so it takes me to get to a proper finale.
Getting ready to start quilting
Like the picture above. Does anyone really care that I FINALLY remembered to try using blue painters tape to start my initial quilting grid? Hello? I only read about this for the first time about 4 years ago! And yeah. I do like it--a lot. I'm hoping that if I post of picture of actually using the blue tape on one of my quilts, I'll remember to use it the next time I try machine quilting.
Grip & Stitch discs by Clever Craft Tools
And these discs? Wonderful invention. I heartily recommend them to anyone that hates the thought of wearing gloves to quilt. About two thirds through my initial gridwork, I was thinking about chucking this quilt through the window or giving up for about two years. My shoulders and arms were killing me. I was actually thinking about caving and going to the store for some ratty gardening gloves, ughh... Then the aha moment! You know, where I remembered winning a giveaway earlier in the summer?

Immediately after starting to use these discs, I could feel the difference in my shoulders and arms--no kidding. I know I sound like a late night infomercial, but these are the real deal. I was so pumped, I went ahead and quilted one more time between all my initial stitching lines making the lines about 1 3/4" to 2 1/4" apart instead of the 4-5" I was thinking about settling for. For one mad moment at the end, I almost went for one more stitching line in between what was already done. I said almost. This is a quilt for a college kid after all.*wink One thing I did notice for me though was that the directions said to use the bigger pad with the left hand and the smaller pad for the right hand. I switched right away and felt more 'in control' of my quilting, probably because I'm a novice at all this machine quilting and don't know what I'm doing!
Looking at the stitching
So there you go. All the stitching was done with a variegated 100% cotton YLI thread that I splurged on earlier in the summer just for this quilt. Big mistake. Now I'll never want to use cheap thread again. This quilting hobby just keeps getting more and more complicated all the time doesn't it?
Piecing leftover binding together...
I saved money on the binding though, oh yes I did, which makes me feel positively gleeful! So fitting to use up random bits of leftover binding on this particular quilt don't you think? I didn't even lay it out next to the quilt to see if I liked the scrappy binding look, just plowed ahead with my decision. Hopefully I'll get time to sew it onto the quilt in the next couple days. October is a hopping month for us and the next couple days are sure to be busy!


  1. I love hearing your progress reports and tips. The painters tape is a helpful reminder and I remember when you won those discs, it's great to hear what you think about them and that they saved the day.

  2. Ellen just told me about your review of the quilting disks. Woohoo! I'm so glad you like them! And I have never heard about the painter's tape trick. What a good idea! Way to go Audrey! :) Your quilt is lovely!

  3. The quilting looks great....I had never heard of these quilting discs, I always used gloves, and I had never heard about the the tape idea either. Sharing tips is always a good thing!

  4. I love those variegated YLI threads..Im using one to quilt at the moment. Seriously lovely stuff.

    I used to be anti gloves too but found some great ones at my local grocery store- now I dont quilt without them. The disks seem like a great idea too!

  5. I love scrappy bindings with just about any quilt I make! Love variegated threads also - I like you tend to trickle out quilts that take over a year to make and wonder if anyone is interested - I am interested in yours!

  6. Yea! Congratulations. It's a beautiful quilt for fall.

  7. Lovely fall quilt and thanks for the tips! I am going to love that binding!

  8. that was quick. way to go~!
    i think that a scrap binding is a perfect choice and will look great.
    i'm fairly certain that if i tried to machine quilt anything it would look quite sad . . . you, on the other hand, have got it all figured out~!


  9. OK Ignorant question coming up. What on earth do you use that blue tape for? Doesn't it leave a hideous sticky mess behind when you remove it? I have used a bunch of different threads lately. The one my machine absolutely loves is Isacord. It is very reasonable, and my machine sings. The machine is also happy with Wonderfil, which is a little more expensive. I also use gloves made by Clover. They are stretchy fabric, so fit beautifully, and have little rubber tips, so your hands feel comfortable and don't sweat while you are quilting. Gives you much better control.

  10. Congratulations on your machine quilting success! Love the scrappy binding, it will be great. Always a treat to see what you've been up to.

  11. What a happy post. Your quilting looks great. And I totally agree with you about the thread - the good stuff spoils us in a hurry.

  12. I hope you won't change the way you blog, Audrey. I enjoy seeing your progress on all your quilts as you work on them. And the big finish is still BIG because it's so exciting.

    Congrats on your machine quilting success. It looks great.

  13. It is a beautiful quilt in so fantastic colors.


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