Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Quilting

I have a quilt I want to give away for a graduation present, so it really is time to get on it. Because when I say I have a quilt, I really mean that I have a backing, a batting, and a top. Those are the ingredients to a quilt, but not yet a quilt.

Time to put down the knitting (when I'm at home anyway), and work on some quilting...

First up is basting. I had a hard time gearing myself up for this last night, but I was able to get all army sergeant on my own ass and get going.

Since my living room has been rearranged, I had room to lay out this roughly queen sized quilt. First the backing.
I taped it down at the edges so that it wouldn't shift as I added new layers.

Then I added the batting.
I think this must be a new kind or variety, or at least something I haven't used before. It's from Warm and Natural and it's needle punched cotton. It feels soo soft. While I was smoothing it into position, I thought that maybe I could just wrap up the batting and give it as a blanket. So cozy soft! But no, that wouldn't do...

Finally, I added the pieced top:
This was a little trickier as I wanted to make sure that the center lines matched up. Since the backing was pieced, it would make a difference if it wasn't centered properly. This actually went more easily than I anticipated because I could just make out the seam line through the batting. (And I didn't worry about being exactly exact.)

And the final step of it all is to pin the whole thing. That was more than two hours of finger breaking work!!
But once I figured out where to place pins relative to the pattern, it became rather mindless and not so bad. I ran out of pins for the edges of last two sides, but I will get them later.
If you don't know this trick, try using a spoon next time you have a lot of pinning. You use it instead of your fingers to "catch" and push up the pointy end when it's coming through the quilt:
It saves your hand a lot of pain. That makes it easier to focus on your other hand which gets sore from pushing on the pins! ;) It's even better if you find one with a comfortable handle. I use an old "camping" spoon and after two hours, the handle is not my best friend. I'll have to keep an eye out for a better one. (You don't want to use your good cutlery as the pins will leave scratch marks.)

As a final step before I cleaned it off the floor and gained back the use of my living room, I marked a circle in the center to get me started:
Next up...actual quilting!

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