Saturday, October 2, 2010
On being afraid of the feed dogs
After many cups of tea and neglecting people/food and ignoring conversations/noise going on around me I have finished this baby quilt.
Its not my finest work by a long shot, but in a way its the most "quilty" I have done yet - let me explain...
The quilt top I made from stash fabrics, all cut to a 15cm x 15cm template and sewn together in a 7x6 grid, all seam allowances the same, of course. Sounds very basic but I had a terrible problem with matching the seams and there was a LOT of wonkiness at the junctions of the pieces. I am not being nit-picky people, this was serious, and noticeable. The funny thing was that around the very edge everything matched up pretty neatly. This was so very frustrating and I almost chucked the whole thing out. But then I thought to myself that if I wanted a totally perfect quilt I could go to a shop and buy one made in a factory by a computerised sewing machine. So I embraced my little bit of handmade wobble and pressed on.
When I finally took the quilt top to the fabric shop to find a suitable backing fabric I agonised with a capital A over cotton vs flanelette backing, and batting vs a second layer of flanelette. I am totally self taught in this quilting caper and I just can't make the leap to using actual batting (plus it seems you might need superhuman powers to take the enormous with a capital E roll of it to the counter so they can cut you off a relative sliver of the stuff). There I said it, I am afraid of batting. I am afraid of putting it in my machine, I am afraid of these things called "feed dogs", they might bite, and I am afraid of wobbly quilting lines.
So the double layer flanelette won out. I actually "quilted" a layer of white by "stitch in the ditch" down the seams that matched up on the quilt top, and then did the old trick with the pink backing by basting the edges of all layers together and finally binding the edge in white. And yes, I do a kick butt mitred corner, if I do say so myself.
I think I need a quilting class so I can experiment further in a controlled environment where there is scope for discussion and consultation, and therapy for when it goes wrong.