Thursday, 4 September 2008

coming up roses

Here it is, the low down on the roses quilt and all that has gone into it so far:

darning/free-hand quilting foot

This was the first time that I had used a foot any different from the regular one I think. And it was heaps of fun. With this you can move the fabric around freely underneath the foot, stitching in any direction you like. It requires some practice because the length of the stitch depends on how fast you are sewing and how quickly (or slowly) you are moving the fabric. I did practice a bit but inevitably improved as I went. However, I did enough of the quilting late at night after I was too tired to do it anymore so there is pretty consistent quality throughout!

quilting needles

No idea how these are different from regular sewing machine needles but really, I don't need any excuse to buy sewing stuff. They have a nice green dash on them to distinguish them from other needles.


I chose a 100% cotton backing which you don't need to pre-wash. And as it is bonded (I think that's the term - just means that the fibres are stuck together and don't pull apart from each other as you work with it) you don't need to quilt too closely.


I chose a plain colour fabric as I wanted the freehand quilting to make a pattern of its own on the backing.

basting pins

These pins are great. The curve in them allows you to pick up the layers of the quilt quite easily. I bought two packets with 60 pins in each but still don't think that I had enough for my size of quilt. The layers really do need to be pinned at quite small intervals, otherwise the backing tends to bunch and pucker which happened in a couple of spots for me.

quilting thread

This is special quilting thread, although I can't remember if it was special for hand- or machine-quilting. Regardless, I used it for machine-quilting, in both the bobbin and the needle. One 800m spool was enough for the entire quilt.

As I think I have mentioned previously, for a $4.00 quilt top, this all cost rather a lot of money, although a lot of the items are reusable. For the planned vintage fabrics quilt I want to do something different for the batting (backing is easy enough, just more sheets). I was thinking about a double layer of cotton flannelette sheets or perhaps some kind of cotton waffle weave blanket (like the one from the yard sale). The only difficulty I foresee is finding something large enough - the quilt is going to be 87" square (I can't help it, the Omnigrid is in inches) - and what I want to avoid is having to piece the batting. Queen-size flat sheets should be ok, or a queen-size blanket. I must get into the habit of taking my tape measure along when I go shopping.

tape measure

I shop there a lot.


Anonymous said...

Catching up on old blog entries... made me laugh to read about Omnigrid being in inches because I just recently had Jessica special order an Omnigrid with centimeter markings for me so I can make things from my Japanese quilt books! I don't know much about using something other than, uh, batting for the batting, but let me know what you come up with!

Di said...

Me too- catching up on old blog entries! Seems like you're over your bloggy slum at least. Great to read (and see) about your machine quilting exploits. I caught up with Dear Fi yesterday (with Nichola and Justine.. thought of you) and she was hand quilting something that she had used a spray from Spotlight (can't remember what the stuff is called, but I remember reading about it before on an American quilting blog) that you can use instead of pins to baste it all together. Very clever. a bit stiff but it washes out.
Re batting options, if you're hand quilting I'd steer clear of anything other than batting, because it's too hard to sew through. I'd avoid the waffle weave as well, for textural issues, but I'm sure a few layers of flanelette or even a lofty wool blanket would work well.