Loading Scrap Dance Waltz was a bit more involved than usual. Two things came up that I thought I would share with you as it might help the new longarm quilters and home quilters too.
Because I had washed the red fabrics several times, I washed the backing as well to reduce any shrinkage that might occur. I dried it in the dryer too. This had an unintended effect of making the large piece of fabric off grain. I did try to straighten it, but was still left with it a bit off. The result is when I loaded the backing, I got a wrinkle in backing.
I have talked about checking this before (Loading the Longarm) and this time I discovered the wrinkles. If I don’t fix this before I finish loading the quilt, I’ll get pleats on the back while quilting that I won’t see until the quilt is removed from the frame. One way I deal with this is to repin the edge of the backing, shifting it in relation to the edge of the canvas leader. This will straighten the wrinkles out, although the grain may not be straight in relation to the leaders. As long as there are no wrinkles or pleats on the back after I have quilted it, I’m OK with that.
Luckily, this maneuver was enough to take care of the wrinkles, and now the backing hangs straight.
OK, so now to add the batting. I decided to use a wool batting for the first time this time. There were a lot of creases in the batting, and I tried my usual trick of steaming and rolling, but that didn’t work. I pulled it off and put it in the dryer with a damp cloth on a low setting, but that didn’t work either. So, I called my friend Mary Jo and asked her what I could do.
She told me to spritz the entire batting with water, and then put it in the dryer on a medium heat. I mean, the only thing is it might shrink a bit, right? And that would be a good thing considering all the washing of fabrics and backing. So, I did that. The hard creases became soft waves that smoothed out nicely.
Next came the flimsy, smoothing it out I realized that this batting is a lot loftier than I am used to sewing. I will see how that goes and if I like the result. I wanted to do a variegated thread, but couldn’t find the cone I thought I had. Then I remembered, it was a brand that my machine just doesn’t like, so I had donated it. So, out came some other reds for a thread color audition. I did find a bit of the variegated left on a bobbin, and put it out to see what it would look like.
Naturally, I like the variegated the best, wouldn’t you know! So I had to order a cone of King Tut. Now I just need to get the shipment so I can start quilting. I loaded up bobbins with a dark red Bottom Line. I know I want to do a semi-custom quilting on this quilt, not just the edge to edge pantograph I usually do.
Here are a few shares from our Flickr group – wonderful colors and finishes! Tanya made a huge flimsy with grey background. The curves really show up here with this size!
Elaine finished a second Waltz, this time with a red border. Now she just needs her longarm back to quilt both of them.
Susan has her beautiful blues done, and was working on piecing the back.
Cheryl has a fabulous Christmas quilt well underway, plenty of time to get it quilted for 2017.
What are you working on?