I am trying to force myself to sew, so last Friday, I planned a day to baste the Tarts Come to Tea. I am not in the groove since I was sick and that is a weird thing.
It has been a long time since I basted a quilt. The last time I remember doing it was on our kitchen floor before we remodeled the kitchen 3 years ago. I think it was a long time before the remodel, too.
I wasn’t sure how long it would take me, so I planned to spend the whole day. First, we had to set up the tables, which we planned to do the night before.There was NO way I was crawling around on the floor and the tables are large enough so this configuration was the perfect size. When we went to set them up, one was missing. SIL and BIL kindly offered to come over and bring our table back (it gets shared around the family) that evening. Once it was found and delivered, DH and I set two of them up downstairs. It was a tight squeeze downstairs, but worked fine in the end.
First, however, I needed batting and I didn’t remember that critical piece of information until I was at class at 7am on Friday morning. I did remember the night before and vaguely thought about looking to see if I had a piece, but didn’t get to it. The gang was over watching the Lakers vs. Celtics game. I looked when I got home from class and found nothing big enough. I did find two leftovers I could piece together. I have pieced batting before and think I learned the technique from one of Harriet Hargrave‘s books. I just use a big zigzag and butt the two pieces of batting together but not overlapping. Once quilted, there is no problem with shifting or anything. I try to use the biggest pieces possible and not have too many seams. This a good use of leftover batting.
If you look carefully in the photo above, you can see the zigzagged seam. I thought about turning the piece over and going over it again, but decided that would be overkill. I did pay attention to where the seam ended up in the quilt (lower photo). I want to keep track of where it is as I quilt so I can see if there is any difference in how that section looks. Obviously, I won’t highlight it. I just want to see how it comes out.
For the first time ever, I basted on a table. One of the things that was preventing me from quilting my own quilts (and there are many) was basting on the floor.
The two tables made a HUGE, GIGANTIC difference on how my body felt afterwards. I am no longer the limber gymnast I was at 15 and crawling around on the floor just isn’t an option! This basting experience was awesome! I sat or stood around the table and listened to some podcasts while I pinned. It really put me a good mood to move forward on the rest of the process.
One of the things about a quilting border is that it protects the end seams. Sometimes seams on the edge of the quilt come apart as I work with the quilt. The quilting border, which I like to add (though don’t always remember), help keep those seams tidy. I talked a bit about the quilting border in a previous post.
I tried very hard not to stretch the quilt top or back while I was taping regardless of how tempting it was to make the piece tight as a drum. It was taut, but not tight.
I tried not to put pins in the actual motifs, thought I had to do so on occasion. I find that the combination of the fusible and the safety pins creates a hole. If I get a hole, I rub it with my fingernail, but sometimes it stays even with that treatment.
You can see above that I broke my self imposed rule. The curvy teapot was just too large a space to go without pins. I am scared that there will be a giant ugly hole. We’ll see.
In my first quilting class, I learned to use a white pencil to mark quilts. They are difficult to use, but are not permanent. The thing I like about them is that they are white and not permanent.
I don’t like that I can’t sharpen them to a really find point. I also don’t like it that I have to go over and over the line. I found as I was quilting, that the light in my workroom (and the foggy grey weather) made it hard to see the white lines as well.
Deirdre sent me some .9mm chalk ‘lead’ that can be inserted into a mechanical pencil. I am sure these will work better, but haven’t had the chance to go to a stationery store and get a new pencil.
Despite these problems, I am not prepared to try a water soluble marker. I may leave my quilts marked and unquilted for years and I know that won’t work with a water soluble marker. Nadine Ruggles has a great podcast episode giving instructions on using a water soluble marker. I feel more confident with her instructions supporting me, but still don’t want my first effort to be on this quilt.
After the above photo of the curvy teapot and my brilliant success at basting, I was ready to quilt. Mentally, I was ready to quilt.
I know that I quilted Beach Town last year. Beach Town, however is small and does not need quilt wrestling. I don’t remember the last time I quilt wrestled. It had to be more than 10 years ago. Aside from the quilt wrestling aspect of quilting a large quilt, I was reminded that I am not a fan of the actual designing of quilt motifs. I have to look at my Flickr set. I don’t know if any motifs will be appropriate, but I will, at least, look.
I did some basic quilting on the 3 Cups block. It isn’t enough. I should have remembered that I like my quilts to be densely quilted. Now I don’t know whether I should quilt within the lines I created using a free motion foot or whether I should leave it and move on. I don’t like the puffiness. If I go back and quilt more, will I get folds or tucks?
Let me know your thoughts on how this block looks. I went around each cup (in the green) with green thread, but didn’t do any quilting within the cups. I think I need some. Again, I have to think about giant holes through the fusible.