I tried posting this last week but my computer ate it. It took me a while to get a little bit of free time to post it again. This may not have all the detail that the first post did, but I’ll try to cover the highlights.
Clair’s Quilt is a really cool quilt that features a block for each of the teams in the NFL. The blocks are made using the team’s colors, and the name of the team is embroidered on the block:
This was a pretty big quilt at 68″ x 95″ – certainly one of the largest quilts I’ve ever done, which I never would have attempted without Darcy.
Clair did a really great thing – she realized her backing wasn’t large enough, so she added some extra strips on the side to give me some room. When Clair gets the quilt back, she’ll notice that I didn’t actually stitch on these extra strips, but they gave me some room to maneuver the machine so I could quilt right up to the edge of her border.
There was also a little patch that she tried to repair. I’ve talked about holes in backing fabric before as I had to fix one on African King. In Clair’s quilt, the patch was actually toward the edge, and I didn’t do anything more with it because the patch wasn’t going to appear in the quilt at all.
When I loaded Clair’s quilt, it didn’t lay perfectly flat (this isn’t a dig at Clair’s piecing – you should see the one I just finished!) A couple of the issues were actually where the seams came to meet in the middle of some of the blocks:
This can happen when you piece blocks like stars that have a lot of triangles in them and seams that all meet in the same place. When you are piecing, it’s a good idea to swirl your seams so they will lay flatter. A lot of long arm quilters (like me) will avoid quilting over these seams, especially at high speeds, because the needle could get bent. On my machine, my foot isn’t high enough to clear over this spot, and would bump into it instead of quilting over it. Ask me how I found that out! 🙂
For Clair’s quilt, I decided to use a very open meandering pattern, which I think is appropriate for this quilt. For the thread, I chose monofilament for the top, and black So Fine #411 for the bobbin. The quilt back is a solid black fabric, but because the quilt top changes from light, to dark, and back to light, the monofilament is also a good choice because you can see the texture of the quilting but the thread isn’t distracting. I never thought I would enjoy using monofilament so much, but I’ve had quite a few quilts where this seems to be best, so I’m glad I got hold of a couple of spools of it – Superior is ALWAYS backordered on this stuff – it’s that popular.
When you’re quilting with two different threads, at two different weights and colors, tension is really, really important. I tried to check the tension periodically throughout the quilt just to make sure I didn’t get black pokies on the top of the quilt:
Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference between a pokie and what’s basically the needle hole, so I run my fingernail over the stitches on both sides of the quilt. If you hear a “clicking” sound, you’ve got pokies. It’s hard to describe so maybe one day I’ll do a video. In the photo though, you can see the black pokies at the bottom of the photo; near the top of the photo, what you are seeing are the needle holes.
I was worried about doing this at first, but having tried it on a couple of other quilts, I’ve decided that it’s OK to quilt over applique & embroidery if you can do it in such a way that it isn’t distracting. Not all appliques or embroidery are meant to be stitched over, but the Quilt Police won’t come to get you if you do.
There were also a couple of blocks that I really enjoyed, so here are some closeups:
Yup – my screen printing days are over, I’ve decided to leave it to the professionals. I sold my Yudu and took the money to invest in some pre-printed bags. Everyone should breathe a sigh of relief now too, knowing that there won’t be permanent ink near Mr. Darcy anymore. 🙂
To endless possibilities,