This week, I started quilting the stitchery alphabet quilt that I bordered then pin-basted a couple weeks ago.
As you may know, I try to sew for about 60-90 minutes each morning. I really notice it for the rest of the day if that creation time is taken away or shortened for some reason.
It's my soul time.
Since this quilt is a traditional set of blocks, sashing, and cornerstones, I'm starting with straight, in-the-ditch quilting first to stabilize the layers.
I should probably take a quick step back because you may not recall, or may be newer to this list, that I typically prefer to quilt my own quilts on my BERNINA or by hand. I prefer pin basting over spray-basting, and I rarely use the thread cutter on the machine, especially when quilting. I know it's pretty tiresome, but I prefer to bury the thread ends one at a time to make sure they don't leave lumps and bumps and visible mini-nests on the quilt.
To bury the knot, I start out at the beginning of a stretch of straight line quilting by dropping the needle into the quilt and pulling up the bobbin thread in a loop.
I grab the loop with the flat side of the seam ripper and pull so both thread ends are on top of the quilt.
Then I hold the thread-ends to the back of the needle and walking foot and then take a stitch or two, then I can let go of the thread ends and continue on.
To bury the thread ends, I make a square knot (like the knot you make when you tie your shoe - but two of them) then I pull the threads straight and pop them into the eye of a self-threading needle--that's a needle that is shaped somewhat like a V at the eye. . . .
I then insert the pointy end of the needle at the knot and travel the self-threading needle through the batting about 1/2" or more away from the knot.
Then pull through until the square knot snaps under the fabric surface, and trim the thread ends even with the quilt fabric. The more I stop and start the quilting threads, the more thread ends to bury, one set at each start and finish.
A quick tip if you want to quilt your own quilts, but are a little self conscious about your quilting skill, choose a backing fabric that is fussy and has lots of print that is in low contrast to the thread color you plan to use.
I chose a deep purple backing fabric in high contrast to the white thread I'm using to quilt. I want to see the stitches and the effect they'll make on the back.
I still have quite a way to go, once I finish the in-the-ditch straight quilting, I'll switch over to the free motion foot and fill with curvy patterns of some sort. That always seems to go faster than the straight line stuff.
The pins mark the spaces that I still need to quilt. As they get in the way, the pins are removed, marking my progress. It works for me!
Yellow and blue scraps came together for the Puffy Fours Pin Cushion - NUMBER 9 - finish this week!
Featuring colonial knots - easier than French knots IMO - in the solid yellow spaces. Running stitch outlining the two yellow and blue prints on the top, and a simple chain stitch with a running stitch accent around the outer edge.
For the step-by-step tutorial, jump over to the blog and scroll down to the first Puffy Fours post from March 5 to begin at the beginning of the four-part how-to series.