Except for only one or two exceptions, I have always quilted my own quilts. Most of them on my table-top machine, some by hand.
To prep the quilt for quilting, I prefer to pin-baste the quilt sandwich rather than use a spray baste. I'm not a fan of adding anything to the quilt that has to be washed out because I typically pre-wash the fabrics. (Old habits die hard)
Plus pin-basting gives me a visual record of where I've been and where I'm going with the quilting. As I complete the sections, I remove the pins, so where there are pins, there is still quilting to do.
Once the quilt sandwich is basted, I typically start with straight, walking-foot quilting. Then I go back and fill in with free motion quilting to add puff-and-squish texture throughout the quilt.
With either the straight line quilting or the free-motion quilting, the less I have to break my thread the better. Therefore, I'm always looking for ways to economize the quilting path. (Is that a *thing?*)
This week, I have been working on the straight quilting on the stitchery alphabet quilt I started about a year ago.
To start the quilting, I stitched-in-the-ditch along all the block and sashing seams. There is a picture or two coming up - you'll see what I mean.
I'm about done going back to each block and stitching along the stitchery seams, also with straight lines.
Next step is to fill in the sashing and cornerstones with free-motion quilting. . . .
Here's where the tip comes in.
My impulse is to quilt all the vertical rows of sashing and cornerstones and then all the horizontal rows of sashing and cornerstones--the squiggly lines in red in the upper left section of the quilt photo below.
The only 'problem' is where the horizontal and vertical rows intersect. It's not really a *problem* but an annoyance to have to work around the already-quilted cornerstones (green arrow) as I quilt end to end or top to bottom.
Instead, I decided to follow a different approach. I started in the bottom right corner and quilted the two sashing strips and cornerstone (yellow squiggly line, above).
I followed the blue squiggly line next, then the pink.
For a closer look, the pink line below begins with the sashing on the right side, proceeds through the cornerstone, then completes with the bottom sashing. Break the thread.
Start a new thread, and follow the greenish yellow line - sashing, cornerstone, sashing cornerstone, etc.
If I start quilting in the sashing strip instead of the cornerstone, I avoid crossing over the already-quilted cornerstone. There is a bit of quilt-turning involved, but less maneuvering around the intersecting horizontal and vertical sashing lines.
Occasionally I encounter a cornerstone that is already quilted. It's easy enough to transition diagonally from sashing to sashing with this process, as shown below in pink squiggly lines.
From the back, you can see how the quilting is making some really nice texture in the sashing areas. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to quilt the spaces within the blocks. But I have some ideas.
I discovered an added bonus in this process. Once I get to the middle of the quilt, if I start in the upper right (pink squiggly lines), I can work my way along the sashing strips to the lower left, and then back up to the upper right without breaking the thread. Unless, of course, I run out of bobbin!
Pin Cushion #21, Shut-down Series
With the below photo taken from above, it is hard to see that the newest green pin cushion on top has little fish printed on the side panel fabrics. The fish found their way to the embroidered top, too!
18 to go! I may have to count these again. I think I counted incorrectly last week! Maybe I'll wait a few more weeks when I don't need fingers AND toes!
Make your own four-patch pin cushions. For the step-by-step tutorial, jump over to the blog and scroll down to the first Puffy Fours post from March 5. That's when I started, about the same time the world was shutting down to contain COVID 19. And that'll bring you to the beginning of the four-part tutorial.