Monday, March 11, 2013

The cruising stage

Top stitching finished. I have layered the piece and begun quilting. This is the stage that takes awhile and isn't much worth looking at until it is done. I cruise through the quilting. I listen to the radio or music and sit hunched over the sewing machine for hours on end. I learned awhile ago to bring a big, tall glass of ice water with me when I start quilting because I lose track of time and at some point when I am ready to quit I am nearly frozen into position! I don't think that is good for a body. It hurts to stand up and straighten up my neck and back. If I sip on water as I quilt, before long I have to pee and so I get up and at least walk to the bathroom and move around a little every hour or so. I hate having a stiff neck so I'm serious about this.

You can see the layers above. I buy odd sale fabrics for the backs of my quilts. I have never seen the sense in using beautiful fabrics for quilt backs. Instead of batting I use felt in most of my work. I don't want a lot of loft to the middle layer and I find that the felt also makes the work lay nice and flat. I buy the "better" grade of felt at Joanne's. It is either acrylic or something made from recycled water bottles. It works great for me. A lot of people like wool felt. It is more expensive and it will shrink when it gets wet, but it is apparently very nice to work with. I am allergic to wool, so I don't think I would find it so nice.

I baste the layers together with small safety pins. The felt is really good at holding the three layers together, but pinning is still necessary. Others have other basting methods. The pins work fine for me. It is really important to pin the edges and corners well. I have failed to do this and had the back edge fold under without my noticing and then I have a mess where I have quilted the folded edge down to the back. Aaaargh! I hate that and have done it more times than I care to confess to.

I have left some detail work to do for after the quilting is finished. The table and chair legs will be added. The poles and finials for the umbrellas and the railing for the balconies will all be added at the very end.

So, you won't see this for awhile. I will keep working away at it, but I also have a busy week this week, with Columbia FiberArts Guild with Jane Davila on Wednesday, followed later that day by Art Lit at Sofia's school. On Thursday is STASH and Friday we are going down to Ashland for the opening of the High Fiber Diet Show at the Rogue Gallery. We turn around and head back home on Saturday so we can celebrate Sofia's birthday on Sunday. When it rains, it pours...


  1. Anonymous6:20 AM

    Yes, you are very busy....but with such wonderful things. Merrily sew-along and carry on.

  2. I love the umbrellas, tablecloths and chairs. The colors are perfect. I love every part of it!

  3. The quilt is looking great! Eager to see the final results. A question about using felt as batting: I'm thinking you mostly use it for wall hangings, where this wouldn't be an issue, but have you ever washed it? I'd like to try it on a tablerunner, but that would definitely get washed.

  4. Oh, yes. I've quilted the folded edge down to the back - very frustrating. I find setting a timer to 45 minutes works well for me to avoid the stiff neck and back. Your piece is looking wonderful.