Sunday, 12 April 2009

in the ditch

Stitch in the ditch, that is. Yes - hooray - much sooner than expected I have gotten around to doing some further sewing on my vintage fabrics quilt. When I consider how much prevaricating there has been around this project, it is actually quite amazing that I am up to the quilting stage - yes, quilting!

I don't want the quilting to be too obtrusive because really, it's all about the different colours and patterns so I have opted for the 'stitch in the ditch' quilting method, which is about as un-decorative as you can get. It involves stitching ever so carefully along the actual seam between the two fabrics. I found it fun to do because you have to gently but firmly pull the two fabrics apart to expose the seam and then try to stitch along it. The example on the left shows a line of purple quilting stitches along the 'ditch' between a floral square and a purple patterned square. As is always the case with my illustrations, this one was carefully chosen to reflect only the highest point of my stitching efforts (that is to say, there are other, lower, points).

It's even more surprising that I have gotten around to doing this when you consider what I had to come to terms with in order to do the quilting - a walking foot. What is that big white appendage that all too closely resembles the distended belly of some particularly scary insect? And that needle-sharp proboscis; oh wait, that is the needle. But you get the picture - I found the walking foot to be very daunting. What it, apparently, does is help to feed the upper and lower fabrics through at the same speed, thereby reducing the chances of the fabrics becoming misaligned. There are actually a couple more parts to the foot that aren't even shown here. Please believe me that it was scary.

So what I am up to now is the cross quilting - two diagonal lines from corner to corner on each square. Now that I have the walking foot attached and the tension correctly set, I dare not take it off which means no other sewing until I get all the quilting done. Should push me along a bit (or signal a return to exclusive knitting).