TIMES UP. SEE NEXT POST FOR WINNER!
If you have made it this far with me in the quilt along then . . . well . . . er . . . um. Bravo! You are over half way there! Over half way to a completed quilt. Over half way to winning the brand spankin' new Janome 6600.
Let's talk quiltin'!
A quilt is composed of a quilt top, a layer of batting, and a layer of fabric for backing. The term quilting generally refers to the sewing together of these three layers. Securing them together. Making it so that when you wash the dang thing the batting doesn't get all bunched up and lumpy inside.
There are several ways to turn your quilt top into a quilt. There is hand tying, hand quilting, machine quilting and long-arm machine quilting. I am no expert on the first two. . . ok, on any of them . . . so if you choose to hand tie or hand quilt your piece then I won't be of any help whatsoever. That in no way minimizes the effectiveness of those methods. It merely means I don't know squat about them. If you want to hand tie or hand quilt then I would visit a local quilt shop near you and ask for some guidance.
Although I've only recently started machine quilting, my Janome 6600 makes it sooooooo easy. Like butter really. Easy peasy. So easy that it makes me cringe thinking of all the hours I spent on my 1950's Kenmore trying to free motion quilt.
Anywho. Here is what I know.
You will need:
- your completed quilt top
- batting (Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting is my constant choice)
- backing fabric
- masking tape (or blue painters tape)
- quilting safty pins
-thread (You will want to go ahead and fill several bobbins full of thread to begin with. The larger the quilt the more bobbins you'll need.)
-darning foot (or a free motion quilting foot -- NOT a walking foot for this type of quilting. That's different. I'm sure this will come up in the Flickr group so if you have questions please go there.)
And let's see . . . what else? Oh yea! A sewing machine.
Here you see the special foot on the sewing machine. Totally different than your average sewing foot.
Oh. And before I forget. Make sure you lower your feed dogs. And check your sewing machine manual for the tension settings and such that you need to use for free motion quilting. If your manual doesn't tell you . . . well, then you'll have to play around with it. Practice and practice and practice some more.
To ready your quilt for quilting you will need nice open floor or work table space. Preferably a smooth surface but you could make it work on carpet. You'll just have to be careful when it comes to pinning that you don't accidently pin it to the carpet.
Take your freshly ironed quilt back and smooth it out flat on your work surface. Use your masking tape or painters tape to tape the backing fabric securely to the floor. Like so.
Then lay your batting on your taped down backing. You will notice that the batting is a bit smaller than the backing. However, both the backing and the batting are larger than my quilt top. Why? Cause I just always want to make sure that they are big enough and that I don't wonk it out and have batting showing when I'm done quilting and notice that it wasn't positioned right in the first place. If the backing and batting are both bigger then I can't make that error. Know what I'm sayin'?
Then down with the quilt top.
I'm demonstrating with a smaller quilt that I made with the extra 7"x11.5" inch blocks left over from the bigger quilt. I could have demonstrated with the larger quilt but I'm having that long-arm machine quilted. By Russ. Cause it is impeccable. And beautiful. And mostly because I'm out of town for a bit and away from my beloved Janome. I only had time to do this little bit before we hit the open road.
Now you will use your handy quilters safety pins (they have a slight bend in the under portion of the pinning mechanism that makes pinning the three layers together easier) to pin all three layers together at about every 6 inches or so.
There are other methods. Basting stitch. Spray adhesive (specially for quilting). Um. That is all I can think of right now. But I like the pinning method. Choose your poison people. They all achieve the same result . . . keeping the layers together smoothly and securely while quiting.
Can you see the pins?
The whole thing is pinned. Then, if the backing and batting were lots bigger than the quilt top I usually trim them down a bit. You don't have to. I just like to cause it means less bulk trying to wrestle with through the machine. Plus it makes it prettier. I'm all about the pretty.
Now here is a video presentation of actual free motion quilting. Someday when I win an Oscar (or would it be Emmy? Or perhaps a Webbie?) for this masterpiece I'll be sure to thank the cinematograper, my lovely husband, Razor. You'll see I make a mistake in about the middle of the video. Since the feed dogs are lowered and therefore not pushing the fabric through the machine, all of the movement of the fabric is up to me. Part of mastering free motion quilting is getting the speed of the actual sewing and the speed of the movement of the fabric through the machine to be in perfect sync. Harmony if you will. And in the video you will see that I screw that up a bit. Just a small bit. And not a big deal bit. Just a bit. And I bet when the quilt is all done and washed and dried and given to it's new owner they won't notice it at all.
And if they do. Well. I'll. Um. I won't really care.
I haven't covered everything. You will have more questions. I know you. You'll have questions. So go to the Old Red Barn Co. Quilt Along 2009 Flickr group and get your answers fast. And speedy. And from the nice people that are so helpful there.
How about a giveaway.
The Back Porch Quilters (a.k.a Russ and Rhonda) are giving away 1 free long arm machine quilting service. Ya-hoo!!!
And get this. They are offering all of you $.01/square inch pricing plus only $5 shipping. Just mention Old Red Barn Co. when you contact them. You won't be disappointed. Guaranteed.
Leave a comment here to this post before 7:00 pm US EDST on Wednesday, June 20, 2009. I'll pick a winner by random draw soon thereafter. Only one entry per person. International entries welcome.
And I get this question alot. So I hope you're still reading. Some of you aren't reading and will ask me anyway. That's ok. Yes you can still enter the giveaways, ANY OF MY GIVEAWAYS, even if you are not making a quilt. Participating in the quilt along earns you extra entries. But you still can enter. Leave a comment. Only one comment per person counts. Comprende?
More cool stuff next Monday.
Over and out.