Sew Karen-ly Created...

If you have arrived here via a link (such as to a tutorial) click on "Sew Karen-ly Created" to return to the latest blog post. I invite you to my website to see a gallery of quilts and patterns available for purchase. Shown here is "To Be Where You Belong", presented to Sir Paul McCartney on his visit to Nova Scotia in 2009.
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Thursday, 31 July 2008

New York Beauty - Basting

It's taken awhile to get this piece queued for basting, but it's finally there. Those of you who are really observant will note that the layout of the quilt in the above picture has changed somewhat from what is shown below. This was not intentional on my part, yet I'd like to think it was one of those things that was meant to be: I was up bright and early (5 am)one morning, happily arranging blocks on my design wall (which,incidentally, doubles as a flannelette blanket in the winter time). I moved this block and that one, standing back to get the effect of the bursts of colour until I had them JUST RIGHT. I left to drop my youngest to school, anxious to get back to start sewing my masterpiece together. When I returned, imagine my horror to see the blocks scattered all around the room! Turns out my eldest son, home from university for the summer, had wandered in to play on my computer while he dried his hair. Unfortunately, the blocks were on the wall which were in the direction the hair blower was aimed!! And yes, we laughed our heads off...eventually. Lesson learned: a pin or two to hold the design is not a bad investment.

The irregular shape required piecing the batting for extra width. To do this, I rotary cut the edges of the batting to make sure they are even. Then I butt the edges, being careful not to overlap and cause a lump. I use a long, wide zigzag stitch on the machine, catching the edge of each batting piece as I go. Next I place cardboard cutting boards on the floor to protect the hardwood and tape the backing to the cardboard. On top of this is placed the batting, and then the well pressed top goes over all. It's a hands-and-knees operation, and not one I enjoy much. This is the first piece I've basted since the loss of Tilly in June, and I sorely missed his help today...Tilly loved basting quilts.
I'm never quite sure how many pins are enough, and probably have a tendency to add more than are strictly required. However, it seems that a well-basted top is much easier to handle on the machine than a loosely basted one.
I begin the quilting by stitching with the foot on. Once the seams are secured, I remove the pins and begin the free-motion fun. This will be quilted in a combination of invisible and cotton threads, both matching and contrasting. It seems rather silly to match the threads when none of the fabrics match.

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