Last night, I pieced the back for Dad & Janet’s quilt – hadn’t planned on a pieced back, but I ended up about 8 inches short on my backing. It worked out well, though; I really love the effect of a pieced strip on the reverse side. I chose one of my favorite Snow Blooms fabrics (a gorgeous, deep red) and another from that line, as well. Once that was taken care of, I thought about the quilting process. Tying it would probably be quickest, and thus, wisest. However, I also thought about doing my first free-motion quilting. Putting the darning foot onto the Singer for the first time, I quickly basted up a scrap sandwich and had at it. Here’s the result, all non-stop til I ran out of bobbin thread:
Getting an even “wandering” effect is hard, as I suspected, as is maintaining an even stitch length. I started out with a fairly tight pattern and loosed up as I went along, but I seem to fall into the same pattern constantly – little fingers, as opposed to nice puzzle pieces. The top is simple layer cake squares, so I’m not sure free-motion quilting would look good on it. It seems to say to me, “simple straight lines.” Sadly, that’s going to take the longest, I fear… so I’m back to tying. But first… I gotta baste the sucker. Damn! Fortunately, it’s only 48″ x 48″, so perhaps it won’t be quite so bad… maybe? Maybe wandering, straight-ish lines… bah, wish I had more time to figure this out!
The hardest part of the free-motion quilting for me was the fabric sticking intermittently to the throat of the machine – it was hard to move smoothly. This piece was only about 20″ x 15″… can’t imagine wrangling an actual quilt around skillfully in there! Practice, practice, I guess. Once the holidays are passed, I can pull out the Seaside quilt maybe, and try my hand on that one. I’m looking forward to just doing stuff I wanna do again. 🙂
Also, I did figure out how to bind off last night – I think the leap of faith was just “dropping” the stitch once I’d pulled it off the right needle. I also figured out how to regulate tension a bit better by pulling on the working yarn. Bound off the dish/wash cloth, dropped down to a size 7 needle to see what smaller/tighter knitting is like. I think I’ve got a bit too tight, though, as it’s a bit stiff moving the stitches around on the needles. Still having weird looseness problems on the endmost stitches… I seem to be doing it wrong.