Monday, April 27, 2015

{No Mail Monday, but I'm...} On Pins and Needles

One day last week, I came home from work (via the grocery store) to realize that the next step in the process for T3 to become a "real" quilt was my task for the afternoon.

What was that, Joyful???


It's got to be my LEAST favorite part of the process of this craft that we all love so much.

Why, Joyful???

Well, I'll tell you why....

The short answer:

It's BACK BREAKING work!!!

It's also because, for this 44 x 60" quilt, it took 200 pins and an hour and a half!!  That's three and one-third minutes PER pin (considering the process start to finish.)

The long answer:

Let's start by clearing my sewing table (BIG pain!) and continue from there...

Look closely, because you won't likely see the table this clear for QUITE. SOME. TIME!!!  :P

Between clamping the backing fabric to the table and coming away with a layer quilt there are some fairly undesirable (even dangerous) tasks to complete:

Aligning the batting over the backing (not so bad & only takes a second.)

Smoothing the quilt top over the batting (can be tricky, if you're not careful!)

Inserting the pins into the quilt sandwich (dangerous and leaves your finger THROBBING in pain for an hour or more!!)

Closing the pins (more dangerous because, if your finger slips off your KwikClip, you get cut.  :o((

And then...

If you haven't performed the above tasks correctly, you get the privilage of taking any number of pins (anywhere from a few to all of them!) out of your sandwich and repeating the process.

It's looking GOOD!! No do-over required.

Fortunately, I did a fairly good job with this quilt... especially considering that I haven't basted a quilt in nearly a year!!  :o))

Next comes the FUN part...


However, it's a process of its own...

Here are the steps that must be completed:

Clearing my quilting table so that I can stitch the 3 layers of T3 into a (nearly) completed quilt (sans binding and a hanging sleeve.)

Cleaning the machine (oiling, if necessary)

Insert a FRESH NEEDLE, if your old one is thumping through the fabric (this will make the quilting less likely to have skipped stitches.)

Choosing just the right thread for the project (Lucky thing I have a BIG collection.)

Loading (at least) a couple of bobbins (you'll be glad you did this when the bobbin runs out!)

Determining the best quilt pattern for the project (in this case an overall meander with a hint of custom quilting around the main shirt designs.)

Threading the machine.  That's normally the easy part.  However, after so long NOT quilting, I got it wrong the first several times!

Try to remember to put on your quilting gloves - they make the process easier on your hands - and take frequent breaks.

Depending on the size of your quilt and the pattern you choose, this part can take between 15 minutes and 15 hours (or MORE!!)


**  If your quilt needs one, DON'T FORGET to pin on your hanging sleeve BEFORE you sew the binding onto the quilt!!!

Cut enough strips to go around the outside of your quilt.

Trim the ends (so they are straight.)

Sew them end to end.  (This can be done straight across the strip or at a 45* angle.)

Press in half, lengthwise.

**  The GOOD NEWS (in my case) is that the binding for T3 has already been made and prepared for application.  Again, depending on the size of your quilt and the speed at which you sew, binding your quilt can take from 3 minutes to 3 hours (or MORE if you are sewing it down by hand!)

Attach raw edges to the quilt.


That last task can be done one of two ways depending on how you hope to stitch it down.  (Although, you may want to do the basting trick, if your quilt will be a wall hanging... it's worth the effort!!)

WHY am I going into such detail???

I'm not sure!

It's just what came out of my fingers when I sat down to write this post.

Sorry, if I bored you.

Until next time...
Be thorough!!!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you - basting a quilt is my least favorite part of the process. I've been following the Ravelry discussions about doing them on a table top with great interest. I've got several tops ready to be basted, so I should give it a try soon.


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