Sunday, September 9, 2012

UFO Sunday #3

I really thought that last Sunday would be my last linking up with UFO Sundays at the Free Motion Quilting Project.  My list of projects that are undone or ongoing is relatively short, so after I finished my mug rug and trashed my wall hanging I figured I'd be done.

But, to be honest, I have one more UFO.  This.


My Floating Dresdens quilt.  I basted it nearly three weeks ago, and then rolled it up and haven't touched it since.  I know three weeks isn't long, but usually when I baste a quilt I'm on it the next day, quilting it up.  Not this time.

I could say that I was busy getting acquainted with my Singer 115.  I could say I was trying to get the tension just perfect on that machine before I quilted with it.  I could say I was trying to make headway on my double slice quilt, or that I was tired from returning to work for the new school year, or any number of things.  They'd all have a bit of truth to them, but the real reason is, I'm nervous about quilting this thing.

When I got background fabric I decided I didn't want a seam running down the middle of it, so I just got 90" wide backing fabric.  Dumb move.  That fabric is flimsy and I fear that it won't withstand sewing, then ripping out, then more sewing.  I want to get it right the first time, instead of making mistakes, ripping them out, and having a quilt that looks mangled and punctured.  I've drawn quilting patterns on top of a picture of it (Procreate is a great app for that) but I'm not sure it'll really look the same when done in thread.

I'm just going to do loose, slightly wavy lines going from the upper left corner to the lower right.  I think.  I don't know!

Last night I figured I need to just sew a seam in this and get on with it.  Living with a mistake would be easier than agonizing over an unfinished quilt.  So I unrolled it and put it on my machine.  I sewed about twelve inches and snapped my thread twice.  Stupid cheap thread!  I wanted to keep going but that was the only white thread I had (how the heck did I run out of WHITE?) so I shelved it again.

However, in that time I got a little preview of how challenging it would be to quilt a nearly queen-size quilt with lines that would flow across its entire length.  It would mean wrestling with the quilt a lot.  When I quilt with smaller designs it means making little movements and only shifting the entire quilt once in a while.  It would also mean having to stop to take out pins (I pin baste since I'm allergic to some chemicals and would hate to put chemical-laden spray baste on something I'll be cuddling with), which might affect the flow of the quilting.

I'll have to do some reading and planning, but it feels good to start addressing the issues on this quilt instead of just letting it sit on a shelf.

UFO Sundays on the Free Motion Quilting Project

14 comments:

  1. You might go back to Leah's week #20 and think about how you can divide up that space and quilt different designs within those spaces. That would give you a more interesting background.

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    1. That opens up a plethora of possibilities...

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  2. Try the Isacord thread Leah always suggests. It's very durable and VERY affordable! It's only $3.95 on the Isacord website for 1000 yards. they charge $5.00 for shipping, so I usually get at least 3. Don't be scared, just go for it!

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I think I was using Singer brand thread that my husband got with a sewing kit...it was junk!

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  3. Good luck with your quilting! I just love the design of the quilt. So lovely and beautiful. I am also admiring the sewing machine in your header. Awesomeness.

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    1. Thanks! That machine is 111 years old and I still use it. I love it!

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    2. Wow! Can you use it for everything, or just some things?

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    3. I recently used it to piece a quilt, and then do spiral free motion quilting on it. Now I have a Singer 115 (a relative youngster - it's only about 92 years old!) that will be my dedicated quilting machine, and the one in my header will be for piecing. Those old machines can do a lot!

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  4. Hey Christine - It sounds like you're making this project into a monster in your mind. Remember, it's just fabric and thread! Even if you have to do some ripping, if you rip from the back it won't ruin the front.

    I would suggest a design that allows you to move in small chunks like Stippling or Paisley. Long flowing lines are going to be much harder to move and shift smoothly and consistently on a piece this big. A good way to get started will be just to stitch the dresdens in the ditch so they are secured.

    No, you shouldn't have to move your pins just because you've changed the quilting design. Just start in the middle and quilt to the outside, taking out the pins as they get in your way.

    Good luck!

    Leah

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  5. I just love that design. Good luck with whichever way you choose to go. Looks like you've gotten some fantastic suggestions to help you along! Can we see it when you are finished please???

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  6. What a wonderful quilt. I've been struggling with setting the first stitches on my own monster and figured in the end I was looking at the whole thing and getting flustered about the design of the whole. Sometimes designing as you go is a good way. I quilted around my compasses to get them stabilised so as Lead suggested start with that. It will get you used to manipulating the quilt under the machine and feel like you've started. I would divide the quilt into quadrants and then think about how you would make the flowing lines across the whole quilt but actually quilting it in sections. I'm going to use Leah's Ocean Current and I think something like this could be easy to quilt across the quilt but in sections. No one would ever know. Just because a line moves across a quilt doesn't mean it has to be stitched that way.

    Can't wait to see what you decide.

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    1. That's a really good point! I'm really attached to the idea of lines going all the way across, but you're right, they don't have to be stitched that way.

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