Writing Pro Since 1998
Hi Lynn, it's me back with another quilting question. From your explanation I get that the "quilting" part is the design sewn onto the sandwich of top sheet, batting and base. What I don't get is how that is accomplished on an actual quilt. How do you manage to put something as big as a quilt through the sewing machine, surely it would get all snarled up? And how do you manage to keep track of the design to be sewn? Do you have to have a special sewing machine? The questions have been driving me crazy. I made a pot holder - came out ok but definitely no more than that. Binding sucks...
To make a quilt out of your layers of fabric and batting you do have to fasten them together. The three primary ways to do that are to sew them together by hand (hand-quilting), machine quilt them with a sewing machine, or tie them together with a single thread you loop through all three layers and knot on top. Hand-quilting is traditional but very slow, and a large project can take months, even years, to finish. If you want to try this start with a small project like a pot holder or mug mat. To see how to hand quilt, here's a good tutorial with photos.Machine quilting is much faster than hand-quilting, but to keep the piece from going askew you will need to baste or pin it together first. Also, you need what's called a walking foot for your sewing machine so the quilt doesn't bunch up under the foot as you sew. Machine quilting is something you need to practice as well, and there are several techniques to it that you can learn from books. There are some good online tutorials on machine quilting; here's one with a lot of excellent tips.Hand-tying a quilt is a quick method and in the past was used for quilts that were bulky like wool quilts or were heavily embroidered like crazy quilts. It is very fast and the simplest of the three techniques, but to me it doesn't look as nice as hand or machine quilting. One big problem with hand-tying is that if your ties are too far apart over time your batting will separate and migrate during washing, and the quilt will get lumpy. This video has the fastest method I've seen for hand-tying a quilt. To track the quilting design you want to use you can mark the quilt with a washable marker, tailor's chalk or a quilter's pen with disappearing ink (I use this type for my designs because I don't have to wash it out.) You want to test out anything you use for marking on your fabric first to make sure it will disappear with washing or time. Some quilt suppliers sell rolls of pre-printed quilting design paper that you place on top of a quilt, machine sew through and then tear away the paper. You can also follow the lines of patchwork with your quilting while you're quilting in what's called echo, outlining or in-the-ditch stitching.
Oh and another thing.. I had good intentions to clean my house today then started reading Stardoc with my toast and coffee. Needless to say I've nearly finished the book and the house is still a tip!
Lol -- thanks for ignoring housework for my novel!
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