Practice, Practice

A friend started this quilt about 15 years ago and did a beautiful job, but quilting didn’t “take” with her, so she had this unfinished quilt but not the expected huge piles of fabric, tools, threads, patterns…well, you know.

The wonky shape is my camera angle, not the quilt!

She had already hand quilted a fair amount of it, including quilting around the central motifs and quilting a design in some of the bars.  She just had no enthusiasm for finishing it, so I volunteered.  (Full disclosure: I just took Susan K Cleveland’s Craftsy course on machine quilting without free motion, so I used this as a practice piece!)

I left most of the hand quilting that was already done.

As always, I learned a lot doing this.  First, it was basted using those plastic tacks that were the latest in quilt basting at the time.  They didn’t hold the layers together as securely as the basting spray I now use, so there were some “challenges” in avoiding  puckers as I quilted.  Second, the batting was the fluffy polyester most of us were using at the time, and it isn’t nearly as stable as the Quilters Dream and Warm Company battings available today.  It worked out just fine, but the whole thing moved under the machine needle more than I’m used to.

It was fun to see the changes in the technology of quilting since this quilt was made.  And it gave me permission to finally get rid of my plastic tack device.  More room for the other tools!

15 thoughts on “Practice, Practice

  1. Thank you for this post.
    I have tried motion quilting many times, and I end up feeling frustrated and unhappy with the results.
    I have also tried machine quilting with walking foot.
    The results are not stellar.
    I have marked the online class you mentioned in your post for future viewing and study.
    Do you have any helpful hints?

    • My most successful home machine quilting is done with the walking foot and the multi-stitch zigzag [stitch 4 on the Bernina]. Lengthen the stitch to at least 3 and it makes big waves across the quilt. Advantages include the fact that nobody can really tell whether your lines are straight or not 😆

  2. Oh Mary…it’s beautiful! Thanks so much for finishing it for me. Glad it was good practice. Was fun to read about the improvements in methods. Quilting was fun when we got together weekly. Not fun once you moved away.

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