Often when I am stalled out creatively, unable to work on my main music or writing projects for whatever reason, or stressed out in the midst of life’s issues, I’ll dig through my fabric bins and baskets. The rooting about itself often gives artistic satisfaction and aesthetic relief in the form of color and design eye candy.
As I mentioned in a prior post, I needed a creative outlet during the ‘four weeks here’ part of my new Dad-visitation routine. Something to pursue requiring less focus than my Swimming with Swans related endeavors. This lead me to begin work on the pre-printed quilt block fabric whole-cloth throw I’ve had in mind to do for quite some time.
About a year ago, I pulled out a large length of fabric kept in my stash for over 21 years. I finally cut into it and made some quilted potholders as a gift.
In my defense, I have to mention that I am a ‘purging’ fabricaholic. What that means is that I periodically sort through yardage that hasn’t been touched in a while and give it away. This particular length of material managed to survive several of those purges and I was more than thrilled to begin using it. Construction of those potholders gave me experience in machine quilting pre-printed fabrics using my new Bernina walking foot – installed correctly.
This is a very important distinction since after finishing the simple outline stitching on my Coffee Beans Means Love to Me quilt I realized the struggles I encountered were due to my own incorrect installation of that sewing machine attachment.
So, both Coffee Beans Means Love to Me and those small potholders taught me how to go forward with making the rest of the allover quilt block print fabric into its originally intended purpose – an ‘easy’ whole-cloth quilted throw.
I decided to challenge myself by using different materials and assembly methods.
- Wonky pre-printed block fabric as top (straight of grain is often distorted since pattern is not woven into the material)
- Poly-cotton batting (more like traditional low-loft batting)
- Quilt-sized backing fabric (eliminates need for piecing)
- All materials NOT pre-washed (launder after completed to see how this method differs)
- Combination spray basting and hand basting
- Machine quilt using properly installed walking foot (!)
One evening last week I ironed the backing fabric and the crumply parts of the poly-cotton batting; then spent an entire day on the living room floor putting together the quilt sandwich, getting it ready to machine quilt.
Once prepared, I zoomed through the vertical stitching, then on to the horizontal stitching. I noticed no gunking up of the needle from the spray basting. This is a welcome discovery as the spray basting with hand basting kept the quilt top, batting and backing from slipping and made for a pleasant sewing experience. I will definitely use this product in my future quilting projects.
Even though after each sewing session I put out a reminder to check the bobbin thread…I didn’t. This resulted in the last eighth of the fourth row of horizontal stitching to come up short of being finished.
It’s a good place to stop for now.