From My Carolina Home

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Loading Scrap Dance Waltz


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.

Waltz flimsy

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.

Loading backing 1

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.

Loading backing 4

Luckily, this maneuver was enough to take care of the wrinkles, and now the backing hangs straight.

Loading backing 3

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.

Loading backing 5

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.

Loading backing batting creases 2

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.

Waltz thread

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!

IMG_0360 2

Elaine finished a second Waltz, this time with a red border.  Now she just needs her longarm back to quilt both of them.

Scrap Dance Waltz #2 Made one more B block to get the 2 children's quilts. Waiting on my long arm to come home from the spa to quilt them.

Susan has her beautiful blues done, and was working on piecing the back.

Scrap Dance Waltz top finished, piecing the back now.

Cheryl has a fabulous Christmas quilt well underway, plenty of time to get it quilted for 2017.

Waltz Tango 2

What are you working on?



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Author: Carole @ From My Carolina Home


21 thoughts on “Loading Scrap Dance Waltz

  1. Thank you for all the tips and the quilt looks wonderful!! Did you say you were doing another scrap quilt? When does it start and did you say you could use ‘pre-cuts’? Have a great day!

  2. Thanks for all the wrinkle tips Carole. All the quilts looks great…but you’ve inspired to make a “two colored” quilt someday as I like the simplicity of your reds and creams. I too use variegated thread often when quilting. Looking forward to see how ya quilt this one. Today, I’ putting the borders on a quilt and loading it on the frame…maybe even get the quilting started. I also want to get my next sewing project set up so to take advantage of after school sewing time…well that is…if I ever return to work! LOL!!!

  3. Thank you for featuring my flimsy! I am not sure when mine will be quilted–my mom’s machine was acting up and had to get repaired twice. And she just left for California for three months–I might talk to a friend about quilting it for me…

  4. Thanks for all of the helpful tips. I will be interested in hearing how you like the wool for quilting.

  5. I do my quilting on my reg. Janome Horizon and am curious about the pros and cons of a long arm. Would you recommend it to someone who at this points quilt their own quilts? You post is really making me think about the importance of pinning.

  6. when you roll your quilt sandwich doesn’t it smooth the wrinkles out of the batting? I know even though the process is somewhat the same for the hand quilting that I do on my 3 roller and what you do on your long arm for preparing the sandwich it sounds like it might be a little different for you. If my my batting is a little wrinkled when I put it on my frame I just roll it back and forth and back and forth on the rollers tightening and loosening as as do it and the wrinkles usually come out. Also when I get ready to quilt a new section of the quilt I first roll every thing tight and keep it that way for a 5 minutes or so and then come back and loosen the rollers up a little bit before I sit and stitch. Like I say it might be one more difference between hand and machine. I have never had to press my batting or put it in the dryer.

  7. The quilts are beautiful, but I love your red waltz the best.

  8. Good Morning Carole! Although, I do not own a long arm and never plan on it either, I really enjoy reading and learning the problems and solutions that you face with the long arm. Plus, because of your true and honest issues you face on the long arm quilting machine and quilting process, is what helped me whole heartedly make my decision not to invest the money or my time in one. I know because of your posts that with my severe memory issues that there is no way I would be able to handle all of the issues and remember the solutions. So thank you and because they are so fascinating please do continue to write them. I am positive they help other long armers also!

    Deanna is over this weekend and we are working on our Scrap Dance Waltz blocks. Deanna is “chugging right along at great speed and accuracy” with her blocks. She was able to sew two rows together last night and has enough of the blocks done to sew together a couple more rows. My train is going very slow like it does when it goes through a town, I have one row completed and am working on Block A which I still need to make 12 of. I discovered last night, I have to get out
    Mr. Blue, my seam ripper, and do some ripping because I sewed two sets of squares on backwards. So, after I finish that treat this morning, I hope to accomplish the sewing together of all of Block A’s and get started on Block B’s. If I remember I will post pictures of our progress. Have a spectacular day, Carole!

  9. I was in a hurry to read messages, but I stopped to read every word of this post. You’d have thought I was eager to see the solution to a mystery story. Most interesting!!

  10. I didn’t realize drying a large piece of fabric in a dryer could cause it to go off grain that much – does that mean prewashed fabric should be air-dried whenever possible? Everybody’s quilt tops look great! I’m making a set of cloth napkins for my son – something nice and easy, LOL! We only use cloth napkins all the time, but not fancy ones – I buy pretty prints and seasonal designs on 100% cotton and then just wash them along with everything else and don’t bother to iron them; I just smooth them out when I fold them and put them back in a basket on the table – they brighten things up, and as my dishes are all plain cream, I change the napkins to get a different look for holidays and seasons. I found quilting fabric printed with model airplane blueprints for my son, who used to make those balsa wood and tissue paper airplanes as a kid – a lucky find that matches his interests.

  11. This post is full of beautiful quilts. Thanks for sharing them and also the information about the fabric and loading the long arm. Very intresting.

  12. Lovely to see the same quilt in different colours

  13. Your quilt is lovely. I finally got something new made. I don’t have very many UFOs to do while I do have some very important projects to get going on. One of those got stalled while I wait for new fabric to replace a mistake but I made a quick, fun project instead. I don’t know how I want to quilt it yet. I’m still learning to quilt my own projects and am not very good at it yet. Since I’m going to gift it, I’d like the quilting to look nice so I’m thinking of using my walking foot to keep it more uniform.

  14. Good-Morning-Carole.

  15. I’m working on absolutely nothing but work. =P This is going to be so beautiful – it already is, but quilting is going to make it even more fabulous.

  16. Love the red and white. I’m in the process of finishing off one myself, so I’m always drawn to that colour combination.

  17. It’s lovely to see the fabric choices of others for your Scrap Dance Waltz.

  18. Your Scrap Dance Waltz looks wonderful. I’ve bookmarked your site and hope I can talk myself into a new quilt. (Ha! Like I really need to finish a bunch of things instead of starting new things!) Good luck with the quilting. Will be interested to see what you do.

  19. Great tips to prepare for quilting. I love all the scrap dance quilts–what a nice pattern with so much movement. Your red and cream quilt is beautiful.

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