Monday 18 August 2014

Done & Learned - Quilt As You Go - (II) A bit of practice

This is the second (and last) post about QAYG technique used to make the Spiral Quilt within the section

The first one is here.
Today: a few things about how I did and what I have learned.

I started by designing the layout. A spiral. 
I made the design quite rough. It was for my eyes only, isn't it?

Next I “split” the design aiming to have to quilt only units of reasonable dimensions.
I thought a few versions of the splitting and I adapted the design accordingly. It was my design, so I could do it modifying the squares, rectangles and HSTs dimensions or their positions in rows. Taking into account which is the largest area I can comfortably quilt at my sewing machine, I divided the quilt in units not larger than this one.
I used the Direct Joining method and machine stitching only.
Each unit of the Spiral Quilt was made from three layers: top + batting + backing.

On each unit I left 1" margin unquilted around the edges, necessary when joining layers of one unit to another.
I cut the batting and backing 1” larger than the top.  It is not the best moment to think about how to save a few inches of fabric. It might happen to not have enough backing fabric to finish the joining. 

This method requires cotton batting because it is necessary to use the iron to flatten the layers.
The scissors must be used very carefully when cutting away the batting excess. It’s very easy to cut slits in the top or backing, if you do not pay attention to keep them out of the way while trimming the batting.

 It’s very important that the edges of the batting meet exactly. In situations like in the picture bellow,  hand stitch them together using a large stitch but handle them with much care because they are very sensible to waving, creating bumps when the backing fabrics will be sewn together. The same care is necessary if you use the sewing machine for this.

At over 60” length of the sides, became visible a waving tendency. But working carefully, without pulling in any direction the batting edges, this tendency might be diminished or even avoided.

In order to give a smooth look to the whole quilt my quilting design included the 1” unquilted bands as part of it as the backing joining stitches are visible on the quilt top. This was another way to prevent from bringing a large piece of quilt under the arm of my small sewing machine to complete the quilting pattern.

For sewing the backing folded joining bands the best results I obtained using the regular sewing foot. It worked through all the three layers better than the walking foot. Don't ask me why.

All in all the time consuming was equivalent to the classic technique but I liked it more.

Final conclusion: The Direct QAYG method is useful to solve the problem of quilting a big quilt with a small sewing machine and to organize the piecing-quilting steps so that not waiting too much the latter.

It was fun to use it. 
Trying other QAYG methods is only a question of time and opportunity. 

Have a beautiful day to you all! 

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