Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Question to quilters

I have some queries about quilting that I hope someone out there can help me with. Twila maybe? Christine?

I have recently been sewing my lines of quilting much more densely, generally in parallel lines about ¼ inch apart. I saw many wonderful quilts in Ohio that were done this way, like Terry’s and some of Nancy’s machine quilted pieces. This is dead easy when the beginning and end of the lines run off the edge, but if I want to quilt a section that starts and stops within the edges it is taking me ages.

Currently my process is this:

Start the line leaving a couple of inches of thread
Sew to the end point.
Lift the presser foot
Pull away a bit and cut, leaving another couple of inches.
Pull through the bobbin threads to the front of the quilt and tie off
Repeat with next line making sure I don’t catch any of the loose threads. (pulling them to the front makes this possible – leaving them on the back is a disaster)
At the end of the section of quilting I thread each pair onto a needle and tuck inside the quilt.

It is this last bit which takes so long and is very boring indeed.

I tried rotating the whole quilt so that I could sew down one line, and then back up the next without cutting the thread but with big pieces it’s just too cumbersome. I have tried sewing down one line and then reversing up the next but it’s really hard to control my direction because I can’t see where I’m heading and my lines were unacceptably wobbly.

I have thought about pulling all the threads to the back, tying them off, leaving them hanging there and then sewing another backing to the quilt at the end, thus covering all the mess. Somehow this seems like cheating but I’m thinking it might be a solution. I could sew another backing to the front, then flip it inside out. I would have solved my messy thread problem and bound the edges in a single move. Does anyone do this? Or are you all perfectionists and tuck in your threads individually and properly?

I’m a busy person and the one irritating thing about quilt making as an artistic medium is simply the length of time it takes to complete a piece. You could knock out 50 paintings in the time it takes to make a single quilt. I enjoy the meditative process of sewing, but I’m always looking for ways to speed up the procedure.

Any tips gratefully received.


Blogger Patty said...

If I had a way to e-mail you I could send you a picture of one of the quilts I did with lines and I am from Ohio and I do this free motion.

4:35 PM  

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