Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Liam's Quilt is Quilted

Remember that quilt facing and the pieced backing I'd made in an earlier post? The little quilt for baby Liam? Well it's almost done! I had an easy-go weekend and spent the majority of it at my machine. It was awesome! Let me warn you now: this is a cat-heavy post.

I finally got some batting so I could put this all together and just couldn't keep myself from pressing forward. I would have pictures of me laying it all out, taping it to the floor and spending 45 minutes pinning it every 4 inches, but I was rudely interrupted and felt a wee-embarrassed for where I was. You see, you need a hard surface to lay out the quilt and I don't have a table big enough or hardwood floors. Therefore, there was only one spot in my entire apartment complex that would allow it: the lobby. So I waited patiently (ok, impatiently) until the office was closed at 5 pm on Saturday. I then took everything I'd need: quilt top, bottom, batting, teacup of safety pins to the lobby. What luck! The door was locked and closed up. So I picked the most open spot and set to work! I taped down the backing and just as I was shaking out the batting to add to it... the property manager walks in with prospective new neighbors. I got a GLARE from this lady and was forced to rip up my backing and move to a squished area "out of the way" which was totally still in the way. I then proceeded to nervously take my time. I actually did have about 4 people who stopped to watch and ask questions like, "you're making a quilt?!" like I was from some other dimension. Ah city folk.

Regardless, I finally finished pinning, ripped it off the floor and headed upstairs. I got some tailor's chalk (to ensure it would wash off) and created this awesome grid pattern on the quilt since my free motion stipple still needed some work.

Neti of course joined in for the fun. Doing the first bit where I was gridding in one direction was perfection. My pins held well, no problems whatsoever.

Like I said, Neti was giving me a run for my money. You have to constantly adjust quilts to keep your seams straight and the fabric from bunching. She would not have it. We had quite the battle that day. I was constantly picking her up and setting her on the floor while she screamed at me for moving her from such a wonderful nap-site.

But once I was gridding the other way I ran in to some serious problems. Look at those puckers!

This seemed to happen just constantly! Maybe every 10th gridline. Maybe I didn't set the fabric as well as I'd thought? Maybe I should invest in some basting spray? Once it started happening it just got worse and worse, too. I tried adjusting the fabric, creating a smoother path, and nothing worked! I couldn't figure it out so I just kept going, hoping that once it's washed they will be less noticeable due to that crinkle look that makes quilts look so snuggle-able. It was incredibly aggravating.

It was pretty sweet though. I showed my husband the finished product and said, "but look at this mistake, look at this mistake!" and he said, "Dina, that's how people know it's real" and I thought about that for a long time. I don't think there are too many people out there who do this (in the grand scheme of things). It is also a grand gesture accepting a quilt that someone has made from start to finish with their hands. Quilting I prayed for Liam that he would grow up big and strong and respectful and happy. Picking a quilt up off the shelf yields none of that love and hope put into a homemade quilt. Plus, I don't think anyone is going to be critiquing every seam. I figure this is going to be drooled on, spilled on, the works. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Once quilted here's a peek at the full quilt (I let Neti sit on it for awhile finally)...

And a close-up of that grid pattern, which I completely fell in love with...

So I made the binding (while watching Robin Hood Men in Tights) and began sewing it closed by hand.

So that's what I'm working on. I promised myself I wouldn't "waste" anymore time on finishing the binding this week until I finished my wedding thank-you's (yikes!). But I'm down to addressing envelopes and getting stamps by Saturday. The goal is to have this binding finished and the quilt labeled by the start of the new week. Pictures of the finished product soon! Until then...

1 comment:

  1. A walking foot should help with preventing those little puckers. Depending on your machine, you may also have a little lever behind the foot assembly that can hitch any foot into a walking foot. A stand-alone walking foot is a bit loud, but it lifts the foot ever so slightly so that it's not pushing the top layer of fabric toward you while the feed dogs are pulling the bottom layer away.