Monday, June 9, 2014

Quilt Blocking

I have finished quilting SW 5, Big Green.  Actually I finished a few days ago, but was waiting for the time to block it.  The full quilt will measure 64" wide by 48" high, but I quilted it in two sections, something I often do on a big quilt.  To me this is a big quilt. After my disastrous results in quilting a smaller prototype in free motion, I decided to quilt these sections in big swooping, undulating curves going from the upper left hand corner to the lower right hand corner.  Even though I was using a "walking foot" or "even-feed" foot, and even though I used a needle-down position, it was challenging. Every time I had to stop sewing and rearrange the fabric, I took the chance of the machine doing a little hop to the right, thus breaking that smooth line that I was hoping to achieve.  If  you look very closely at the quilt, you will see a few, but overall I love the look. I used the same technique on my SAQA Auction Quilt

What I was not prepared for was the distortion I got. Not only does this quilt have to lay flat, it is imperative that it is squared up because my quilt is based on blocks, so I used Kathy Loomis's method of blocking a quilt on my design wall.  She does hers in sections because her design wall is not big enough.  My design wall is 7 feet wide by 8 feet high, so I had plenty of room, although I did one piece at a time.

I drew a straight line on the wall, which is white felt over wall board, not very pinnable, so I pinned just to the felt. I drew lines on the felt for the top, sides, and the bottom of the quilt, using my big level, to be sure the lines were at  right angles. Then I spritzed the quilt quite liberally with a water bottle and tugged the quilt into shape, smoothing and pinning as I went, matching those drawn lines. Lots of tugging and smoothing and spraying and pinning and repinning.

What started out as a wavy parallelogram ended up as a perfect rectangle that is perfectly flat. It took about an hour, I think, but well worth the time.

I used to block my quilts on the floor with a steam iron, but this method is so much better.

This is my one Quilt National entry so I can't show it to you.  Even if it's only on my blog, someone may like it and put it on Pinterest or some other public place on the web.  This has to be new work that has never been seen. Anywhere!

But I can show you a few sneak peaks of the quilting. I used a variegated thread, Rainbow by Superior

I'm still not sure if I will sew the sections together or treat it as two quilts that will hang side by side and call it a diptych.


Linda M said...

It's looking good! At least that little peak did :)

Hilary Florence said...

I'm so pleased the blocking worked. I've only just started blocking and I am using the floor and steam method. That's OK when you have no straight lines in your quilt - which I seldom do. I think it must be a nightmare with a traditional quilt.

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

I hope you get accepted to Quilt National! It looks like another stunner... the colors are great.

Regina B Dunn said...

Quilt National... Very exciting! I doubt I'd ever be brave enough to try for that. What you've shown looks very wonderful.