Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Saturday, 29 January 2011


Thanks to ASding's excellent service, the wadding & spray baste arrived yesterday - hurrah - & having spent time in front of a number of instructional videos, I think I know what I am doing for putting the quilts together.

Where I have a bit of a dither is in the actual quilting - I've ruled out hand quilting (unutterably tedious after about 3 minutes, I suspect), & I haven't got a free-style foot on the sewing machine (which rules out free form squiggly machine sewing), so I have to think of another way.

As I see it, I have two choices.
  • Follow a simple design drawn onto the back fabric with the machine
  • Roar up and down each mat/runner with rows of stitching (an inch apart?), then cross-ways to make a quilt design of either squares or diamonds.
The drawback of (a) is that it might be rather ambitious, and of (b) is that it's a bit obvious if the stitching is wonky.

Advice - as ever! - would be welcome...


  1. At this stage in your quilting career I would go with Plan B, although forget the "roaring" and work at a "Granny out for a Sunday drive pootling gently through the lanes" speed.

    I suspect your machine will not allow you to "drop the feed dogs" so lack of a specialised foot is academic and all the free-motion stuff can wait until you have a teeny6 bit more experience. Not trying to say you couldn't do it, but don't make my mistake of setting your sights too high and setting yourself up for failure (as me how I know this!)

  2. I would say KISS at this stage. What about quilting 1/4" inside every patch? I do agree with Bilbo, take it slowly and test stitch length, tension, etc on a spare sandwich first. Because of the extra thickness, you might find you need to alter your stitch length a little, or your tension, or both.

  3. Question No 1 - do you have a walking foot on your machine?

  4. Um, no, I don't think so - the foot is basic and just goes up and down, (although the foot pivots a bit on it's shaft). The feed dogs do any pulling through of the fabric. The only other foot I have for the machine is a zipper foot.

  5. A walking foot is really useful. It feeds from the top as well as the bottom so the fabrics don't shift as you are working. My little machine didn't have one but I was able to buy one. The feed dogs didn't drop either but it came with a plate which covers them.

    I hand quilted my first 50 or so quilts! (Even bed sized). I'm a recent convert to machine quilting and I still stick to simple - cross hatching, wiggly lines etc.

    The big machine is fantastic for this (just been using it) but it came complete with a huge walking foot. Take the quilting slowly. Don't let the machine run away with you.

    Good luck!

  6. Ok - promise I won't 'roar', Bilbo - control is all! Haven't found a mechanism for dropping the feed dogs as yet, although that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist - more investigation needed!

    I've increased the stitch length for quilting, Sue - it looks better than the shorter stitches.

    I can't imagine hand quilting FIFTY quilts Flum - too much patience needed!!

    That reminds me, Ali, did I see on your blog that you had a very pretty (but extremely complicated!!) hand quilting project on the go?


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