James’s quilt is my monthly challenge for January, it had to be, it’s his birthday on the 16th!!! I’ve been making good progress;
Last time I showed the quilt top I felt it needed to be a bit wider, I ended up ordering another layer cake of ‘Sandpiper’ batiks by Hoffman so I could add another three rows of chevrons. As soon as Christmas was out of the way I muscled down to get it pieced. The layer cakes are pre-cut 10″ squares, so I just cut them diagonally to make my triangle, it didn’t take long to add the three extra rows and it’s made all the difference.
I called into B&M fabrics in Leeds for some backing and found a perfect match, some teal blue cotton, I bought enough to bind it with as well I hope! I bought ‘Warm & Natural’ batting at Samuel Taylors. Just had to put it all together!
Once all the Christmas decorations were out of the way I could use the lounge floor to sandwich the quilt, it’s the only place big enough!. I pin a double sheet to the carpet, just to protect both the carpet (from glue) and the quilt (from dog hair!!) I was converted onto 501 basting spray adhesive at the Knitting and Stitching show last year, I love it!! I spray a quarter of the quilt at a time from the midline, smoothing it out as I go, batting onto backing first, then quilt onto batting. It creates a lovely smooth finish and I’ve not had a problem with it moving at all when I then quilt on the machine.
The quilt in the book which inspired me was quilted down each chevron using several different patterns, I decided to quilt in a similar way, just with simpler patterns. I started off with a ‘quilt-in-the-ditch’ down each chevron, this involves stitching on the seam line, I felt it would give stability to the quilt whilst I worked and also give me an idea of how my sewing machine and I would cope with a double size quilt. I’ve only got a standard sized sewing machine but it coped brilliantly!
Some of the quilting follows the zig-zag line of the chevron, either in pairs or ever increasing widths. I decided to quilt the centre chevron in straight lines, thinking it would be easy as I wouldn’t have to turn the quilt. It was probably easier than a zig-zag, but I stitched the lines with about 1.5cm between (I used my walking foot as a guide) not realising just how many lines there would be!! I won’t be repeating that pattern! The wavy line wasn’t too successful either, I had to use the darning foot for that and do free motion quilting, I just couldn’t move it smoothly enough to be happy with the result. I’d also forgotten just how much thread quilting uses, I’m filling my bobbins 5 at a time!! I’m using two shades of Gutermann quilting thread on top, one is variegated with darker blues, greens and purples, I’m using this on the darker chevrons, the other is pale blue and green for the lighter chevrons.
This is the biggest quilt I’ve ever quilted, I’m having to pace myself as my wrist is feeling the strain, I’ve got quilting gloves which has made a huge difference, but I don’t want to end up with an RSI! I keep doing a little, then doing something else like crochet, which is a completely different movement. I felt a bit happier this morning when I realised I’ve already quilted half the quilt.