Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Practice Quilt Sandwich

When I was working on my first quiltI was really nervous to quilt the top of something so large.  I've quilted some placemats and coasters but that is basically it.  I got myself a Janome Walking foot for my birthday but hadn't had the chance to practice with it yet.  I didn't want to try using a different kind of sewing foot for the first time on Rowdy's quilt.  What would I do if I messed up?

Installing the walking foot on my machine was harder than I anticipated.  I've switched between other feet before but this instillation involved removing the foot holder.  I had to watch some videos but was finally able to get it on my machine.

I pinned together a quilt sandwich using some remnant fabrics I had laying around.  I worked with a dark thread so that I could see what was happening and get a sense if I needed to change my tension or anything like that.  

My aunt quilted a quilt for Rowdy by stitching in the ditch and then using semi circles between square points.  I decided to start out with some free form circles.  The front side isn't perfect, but I was stitching a bit fast.  I will need to do more practice with my circles, but when I as careful it worked pretty well. 

The back is a little wrinkly and puffy. I'm not sure if this is any better than my concentric circles placemats or not. I'm really not sure if the walking foot is making a difference or not but at least I'm getting a feel for it.  I did learn that I need to be careful to remove pins when is tart to get close because they can pull everything out of whack. 

I tried slowing down my speed and following a curve.  I am not great at closely mirroring a shape, so this means that some forms of quilting (following the outside edge of a dinosaur, for example.) may not be the best thing to do on this first quilt.  

Next I attempted a spiral.  It looks pretty good on both sides of the fabric. Maybe this is what I should o in the center of the quilt. Although my quilt is all straight lines so maybe I should do a square spiral....

This squared spiral is by far my favorite and will fit with the character of my quilt the best.  I will do this to quilt the center panel.  

Swatch, swatch, swatch!  I'm much better with testing on swatches when I sew than when I knit but it is much easier to undo mistakes while knitting.  You can always unravel, but you cannot uncut!  Hopefully I now have a good plan that will lead to a fantastic finished quilt product.