Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cat Quilt Pinned

Today I got home, asked myself what I should work on, and decided to stop procrastinating and pin my Stairway to Cat Heaven quilt together.  I realized I have a perfectly good space for this on my quilting desk if I just cleared it off, which is just what I did.

First I taped this cardboard thing to it to prevent me from scratching it with all of the safety pins.  I had some big binder clips to clamp down the backing, but it turned out the desktop was too thick, so I just used tape and pins to keep things in place.

I also spray starched the fabric for the first time ever.  I used a recipe from Diane Gaudynski's book, which used about 1/2tsp cornstarch per 2cups of water.  I really can't tell a different from adding the starch. Maybe I didn't spray it enough or something.

 I tried to use pins to square off all the little nine patches, but my seams just aren't straight, so I eventually gave up.

Once I finished the pinning I got started on a little quilting.  I free motion stitched around all the cats, leaving a really wide margin (about 1/8").  I've discovered that when you stitch in the ditch around something, it pops much less than if you leave a little space when you stitch around it.

Then I snapped on my walking foot to get the seams between each of the squares.  However, I noticed after stitching two lines that I'm having trouble moving the quilt forward.  There were multiple spots where the stitches got super compact because the feed dogs weren't moving the quilt forward like they should.  I'm not sure what to do about this, I would love tips.  Presser foot pressure was set to 1 (lowest possible) and feed dogs were up.  And I had the walking foot on for Pete's sake!  A little frustrating.  

But, since I want this one to be fluffy, it should take no time at all to finish quilting since I'm goin to leave lots of open space.  I was realizing while quilting that the batik I bought for the backing has a nice silky texture, an added bonus since this will be a lap quilt.


  1. I totally feel your pain! This is the very same reason why I got so discouraged to use my walking foot. I could never ever get even stitches on it, I even took the machine to the shop to check if the walking foot is on properly and the guy said it's totally fine. Haven't used it since. I'm thinking about giving it another try. I can't wait to see if you got any good answers to this post! If not I'll post about it in my blog to see if anyone can come up with the right answer. Keep your fingers crossed! :)

  2. Hi Heather, I have the same problem. When I use a walking foot, I sometimes even get puckers on the top because it is pressing down on the quilt top too hard. Sometimes when it's dragging and not pulling the quilt through it can be that your quilt is hanging over the table or is caught on something. All in all, I've ditched the walking foot. I do straight lines and stitch in the ditch with my free motion/darning foot! It saves me a ton of headache and with a little practice you get very good at it. In the end, even if the stitches aren't even, it still looks good overall. Another nice advantage to doing it this way is you can instantly change directions without turning the quilt (i.e. go sideways with your line). Trust me on this... I have saved so much time and headache :) and I'm just amateur :)

    1. OH, and the "popping" thing you mention about SITD is sooo true. I never thought about it, but you're right. I'm going to try to make mine pop more next time that I do it by going a bit to the side of the ditch. Thanks for sharing that!