I need to get this off my chest. I am not meant to be a quilter. I do like free-motion stitching and I do like regular machine stitching, but anything larger than the cat blanket that I made last month is NO FUN! I am sorry to say that I was cursing right and left as I struggled to quilt a queen size bed quilt last month. I knew it would be tough. The top which my mom had pieced and given to me three years ago, languished in a bag in my closet while I tried to muster the desire to put it together. Since I had been practicing my free-motion quilting with the lap quilts and tablecloth (also pieced by Mom) I figured it was finally time to tackle the large quilt.
The pattern is New York Beauty and it is beautiful. My mom is a genius with fabric choices.
To start, Mom recommended that I quilt it in sections before putting it together. That seemed like a great idea except that the pattern was on a diagonal and that’s the way it would be quilted. A better way for diagonal quilting would be a “low fat” or “low carb,” I don’t remember which it is called. That is where the backing and top are all stitched together and the batting is cut away on one side to reduce bulk for the first bit of stitching.
The backing is the yellow. The top is rolled back from the top right corner to expose the batting. I’ve cut the batting away in a wavy cut to make it easy to line up again when it is time to rejoin them. After I quilted the diagonal center section, I turned and then quilted the corner with the batting. I then rejoined the cut batting with loose hand stitching and quilted the last corner.
I put my machine on a large table to support the weight of the quilt. Better yet, I found it most helpful to have a table also on the left of my chair to support the quilt as it feeds into the machine. Even so, the quilt would get hung up and stop dead. Free-motion isn’t really free when the fabric doesn’t move freely. Hence the cursing. My straight line, stitch in the ditch around the points isn’t too straight and my curves and spirals in the negative space are not too smooth. Repeat for 72 blocks and it’s amazing that I finished in 3 weeks.
You can see the stitching better on the back side. I liked stitching the spirals. If only they hadn’t gone on for so many blocks.