Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baby Quilt Finished

Quilting and blogging have both been very slow lately. If any of you follow Leah Day, her posts have really helped me think about why I've been feeling unmotivated.

First off, I think I don't do well with UFOs. I like to work on only a single project at a time and feel guilty starting a new one when there are old ones still unfinished. At the same time,  I don't like to work on projects that no longer interest me. So as a result, I do no quilting at all.

I think the best way to tackle this is to a) scale back UFO projects or just get rid of them
b) force myself to do a little bit every day. The forcing myself to work bit would be great if my boyfriend would motivate me, but he's really bad at nagging and keeps forgetting to remind me to sew. Sigh.

The latest UFO that I am slowly winding to a close is this baby quilt. When I last posted, I had finished the top, but had bought some really awful batting and was trying to figure out what to do.
After doing some research online, I found out that polyester batting shouldn't be used in baby quilts because it is not fire retardant. Everyone recommended Quilter's Angel, which is fireproofed cotton. So hopped over to my LQS and picked some of that up.
My quilt shop is much further from my house than Joann's, but this really nice batting was seriously the same price as that awful one I got at Joann's. So from now on I am making the extra trek to the quilt shop when it comes to buying batting.

Here is the finished baby quilt (a little wrinkly because it has been folded on my quilting table waiting for a label for so long...) I'm not super happy with the quilting. I have thought about why, and it  is largely because stitch-in-the-ditch is just a bad idea. If done right, you can't see it. You only notice it when then is an error and the line wobbles out of the ditch, so basically this method really highlights small errors. However, I chose this method because I wanted to leave it largely unquilted so it would stay fluffy. I have always felt all-over designs were rather lame because they don't really take into account the underlying pattern, but in this case I think an all-over would have maybe looked better than what I did.

For the quilting, I outlined some of the major items in each panel, and did echo lines inside each corner star.

For the border, I was feeling unmotivated and just wanted to get something done, so I tried the border on a roll. It's basically a role of paper that you pin to the quilt and stitch over. This method had some pros and cons:


  • Easy!
  • Quick!


  • The border role cost $15 (ouch!)
  • When I tore off the paper, it loosened up the stitches in a number of places. I guess I could stitch closer together but I don't want a very tight quilting stitch. I think they need to print this on thinner paper.
  • Because I was sewing over paper my line was wobbly in some spots and I couldn't tell as easily. So the finished product was definitely not a perfectly smooth line. In some spots where I had to trace over an existing stitch line it looked really awful because I missed the original line completely.

Notice the wobbliness...
This has been waiting for me to do the label for an embarrassingly large number of weeks. Maybe I will just write something on a piece of fabric and stitch it down. I still don't have a perfect label system down yet. (or any system at all...)

The other project I am trying to get through is stitching this wholecloth quilt for a guild charity project.
I'm a bit sad because the backing fabric the gave me to go with it has metallic stuff all over it and thus is really scratchy and uncomfortable. I feel like all my work will be for naught because it's a really uncomfortable quilt. :(

I have also figured out that I don't like FMQ that much. I really prefer hand quilting. One reason is that I find FMQ a bit boring and tedious. The other reason is that my desk is absolutely the wrong height, and after about 10 minutes my shoulders and back really hurt from awful posture. A few days ago I bunched up a comforter and sat on it to get my height up a bit, and noticed an immediate improvement. That's not a long-term solution though. I will probably need either a different desk or a chair whose height I can increase.

But, that said, I've committed to this quilt and I need to get it done! My last guild meeting before I move is in June so this HAS to be done by then. Eek. If I just sit down and do a bit every day it will definitely happen no problem, but it's tough to motivate myself.

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