Scrap Dance Waltz quilting had to wait for delivery of the variegated thread, and it came last week. I had already loaded the quilt with wool batting onto the longarm. I didn’t show you all this pic when I loaded it, the snow is on the ground outside the windows. It was a bit maddening to have snow days to sew, and then not have the thread I really wanted. So it sat like this for almost two weeks, waiting for the King Tut Rubiyah red variegated thread to arrive. I used a burgundy red Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.
Now all that was needed was to decide on a plan and begin. I wanted to do a semi-custom quilting, with a pantograph of a feather design in the center, and freehand borders. I began by stitching the top edge down, and quickly realized the high loft was going to make the stabilizing more of an effort.
I also was going to stitch in the ditch on all three borders before beginning quilting to ensure that it stayed straight. The high loft really made the layers puff. Not sure I like this, but it is way too late to change it now.
I went ahead with the piano keys quilting in the outer border.
I did those all the way around and completed the SID on the inner borders.
I wanted a bit of a loopy loop going in opposite directions on the inner border. To do that with even spaces, I used the adding machine tape trick because it is easier than working out the math. Lay out a piece of adding machine tape along the border you want to mark. Cut it the exact length you need to stitch. Pick it up and fold it in half, then in half again, and again, and keep going until you get the interval you like. Crease the folds hard so you can see them when the paper is unfolded again.
Then lay it on the quilt, pin it in place and use a water soluable marker to mark the fold points, alternating between the inside seam and the outside seam.
Now sew your loops, alternating the orientation. Some of you may wonder why I did this part second, and I don’t have an answer for that. It was just what I felt like doing at the time. Maybe I was in freehand mode, and not quite ready to deal with the center.
Even though I know better, I thought I’d just improvise the corner. Not a good idea. This mess got ripped out, then the stitch path was re-drawn with the marker and re-sewn.
Go all the way around the border, using as much of the adding tape as needed. I used the same long piece for all four sides, just marking where I needed to stop, and this time marking the corner stitch paths too.
I was very surprised to see the center of the quilt develop all this extra fullness at the bottom as I worked on the borders. After some experimenting, I realized that the wool batting was grabbing the fabric underneath the top bar and the pressure of that bar was pushing it to the bottom.
To fix that, I released the quilt between the leaders and raised the top bar each time I advanced the quilt once I began working on the center section. Then it appeared that the twice washed backing was going to stretch too. So, rerolling helped that as well. I still had to use the trick of stuffing some batting under the leader here and there to keep it straight. Part of that backing slackness on the sides is due to loading it with the selvedge edges on the sides. Usually I pin the selvedges to the leaders, but the quilting design worked out better oriented the other way.
Redistributing the fullness each time, I set up the longarm with stops on both ends to quilt the center pantograph with this feathery design. Some of the fullness in the center got my Best Press and steam treatment.
There was more to that process, and I’ll share it next time. At this point I was under a lot of pressure to get it completely quilted and the binding put on so I would have some handwork to do while I recovered from the oral surgery this past Tuesday. I want to thank you all for your well wishes in comments and emails. The procedure went well, but recovery is slow and I still can’t do much yet, dealing with pain and pain meds. I’ll try to get back to responding to all your comments, but forgive me if I take a while or miss one.
The quilting is done, click on Finishing Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz.
One last bit of business for today, the giveaway winner of the Eiffel Tower statue from the Romantic Tables for Two post on Monday was drawn last night. The winner is Lynne S, who wrote “Our most romantic dinner was at a little hole-in-the-wall place in Biloxi, MS, called The Steak Pit. They only had about 8 tables, and we were newly in the military, so we didn’t have much money. They, however, treated us like royalty, and we had the best candlelit steak dinner we’ve ever shared. They even managed to make our “steak for two” medium-well for hubby and medium-rare for me — all one steak! Thank you for prompting me to this memory!”
Congratulations, Lynne! I have sent you an email.
What are you working on now?