Monday, 10 December 2012

Quilting a large quilt

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a quilt for a very dear friend. It has been a mammoth task as isn't finished yet!

It started as bundle of fat quarters from Tula Pink:

Which were matched with Kona cream and snowball shapes made:

Which grew to a design with squares:

Which came together quickly into a queen size quilt:


When it was completely finished I basted it on the living room floor with a little helps from a sleep walking friend!

For the last 5 weeks I have been quilting it whenever I can! I decided on a tight design of sun ray in the octagons and swirls in the cream - lots of work! I have been using So Fine thread from Superior as recommended by Angela Walters.
I thought I would share what I have learnt about quilting such a large quilt on a domestic machine:
  • It is best to break the quilt down into sections and concentrate on that one section before moving on to the next. This means I quilt the octagon in Thistle and then put in all the swirls around it, before I quilt the next octagon.
  • I adapted by free motion foot as suggested by Leah Day which has made quilting much easier - the foot no longer bounces around!
  • The reel of So fine suggests using a top stitch needle size 80/12. I have personally found that some quilting needles of the same size work the best. I guess they are pretty similar, but my lovely Ellie the Elna didn't like the top stitch needle at all.
  • When working on a section you have be conscious of the backing creasing, so I start a new section working out from the quilted area rather than working towards it!
Finally I learnt you need patience! This is not something that will happen overnight and I have grown very attached to this quilt. It will be hard to let it go!

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