August 21, 2008

Quilting Bee

Aug. 20 012

I'm learning to machine quilt by practicing on this green and blue lap size quilt, perfect for taking a nap on the couch.

The middle layer is cotton batting, which costs twice as much as the polyester batting I usually buy, but which is a 110 times more fun to quilt. I am so glad the woman at the quilt shop talked me into buying it!

Aug. 20 001

My new machine can drop the feed dogs and with a darning foot I can free motion quilt in scrolls and lines of leaves. It's fun.

machine quilting finger gloves

These are worn on the finger tips to grip the fabric and move it under the needle. Late afternoon sun falls over my dining room table as I work.


Susan T. said...

Wow, Cloudscome. Your quilt looks so pretty.

Kohana said...

What are the main differences between the cotton and poly batting? I love the contrast blue on green stitching. So, am I understanding you right that you're just free hand doing the leaves? Or are you tracing a pattern?

I've experimented with that before, but not with those little finger things!

I SO MISS my sewing machine. I feel very stilted without it.

Gramma L said...

What talent you have.

Cloudscome said...

Thanks! This quilt is really a practice quilt and it is actually FULL of mistakes not shown on the camera. I kept running out of thread because I forgot to buy matching colors. I was just using whatever I had on hand and finished about six spools, so the quilting stitches are all in different colors. I got the tension wrong and had to take out a huge section that didn't stitch correctly. It was pretty frustrating. I am happy with the end result but the next one will be better.

The main difference between cotton and polyester batting is that the cotton batting "sticks" to the other layers a bit - grips it as you move the quilt. It makes machine quilting MUCH smoother. Less bunching and puckering, and less bulky. You have to roll or fold the quilt up to get each section under the needle so it's hard to get it to feed smoothly. Also, when you are done, the cotton is flatter. After you wash it there is some shrinkage which makes the quilt look well worn, old fashioned, and much loved. Some people like that look better. Poly batting is puffier when you are finished, more like a comforter. I haven't quilted other poly batting quilts as closely and I think I like that finished look better. It seems cozier to me but maybe now I will get used to cotton and start liking that better.

I did this one free motion, just scrolling the leaves and vines every which way. Some sections are better than others. It's kind of like doodling. I am not good at straight lines so I might as well capitalize on wandering lines.

Kohana you need to get yourself another machine. I waited over ten years to buy this one because my mom always let me borrow hers. I love this one so much! It's not expensive - very basic really, but better than what I had before. I made a tote bag this morning before anyone else woke up. I am having so much fun!

Gawdess said...

from your quilts and your understanding of light and shadow and colour - it is not surprising that your photos are always so beautiful!