Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I've Been Quilting!

In early April, I signed up for a group in Ravelry for those of us with numerous unfinished quilting projects we want to get done. The point of the group is to challenge ourselves to work on UFOs, encourage each other along, and cheer when things get done. The deadline for this particular sessions is the end of June. They do this every quarter and some people are signed up every time with 20, 50, 100 or more unfinished projects!! The minimum is five and I signed up with that many because I wanted to make a point of finishing the tshirt quilt and my Big T quilt. (The other ones I listed were my Kaffe Fassett quilt, the Hawaiian Star and the Kentucky Top. I don't think much will get done on those before June, but who can tell?)

I had the Big T quilt layered and pinned for quilting (blogged here), but then I rolled it up and put it in the closet when I had to clean up all my quilting stuff. I was flirting with different ideas for how to quilt it, but I've settled back on my original idea. Straight lines that will make a T shape when I'm done.

So one day recently when I was stuck on further progress on my tshirt quilt, I changed to my walking foot, threaded the right colour of thread, and started in. I sewed five lines the first evening. I was going to do all the quilting completely ignoring the blocks (that is, not taking the block pattern into consideration when deciding where to quilt), but with straight lines on straight blocks, that's almost impossible. (Or at least it is for someone like me obsessed with patterns.)

The lines ended up being 1-1/8" apart and this dissects each part of the block nicely. In the plain alternating squares, I used pins to mark my path. Eyeballing it just doesn't work!
The red and pink pin mark the line I want to sew and give
me something to aim for with the needle.
Then Friday evening I picked it up and did five more lines. One of the times that I was using the ruler to place more pins, I noticed that I could line up the ruler with the previous stitch line, and run the foot along it while holding the ruler in place with my left hand:
It's a lot faster than pinning and easier. But I do have to watch that I don't let the ruler slide.

It's very exciting to be on the final stage (Well, ok, there's binding too.) and I really hope to be finished by June. If I can get this and the tshirt quilt done, I will receive two fat quarters from four of the other participants. Packages in the mail are always fun!!

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