I’ve been working really hard on a quilt for a friend of mine lately, hence the reason why there’s been no updates. She, along with her husband, have been renovating a beautiful house called The Yank’s House in Co. Longford (you can see their progress here!) and she asked me to make a quilt for their new home. It has taken me 3 months to get this far!
I thought the hardest part would be choosing the design and layout, which was difficult, but rather, the hardest part was actually part of the quilting. The wadding that I currently have is unfortunately too thick to fit properly in my sewing machine, resulting in horrible stitching, so I decided to hand quilt it instead. Hand quilting can be incredibly therapeutic for some, however I got really obsessed and set myself ridiculous timelines. (I do this quite a bit.) At first, I tried using a smallish embroidery hoop to help me, but I was quickly getting annoyed, as I couldn’t quite quilt around the entire square without having to removing the hoop at least once, in order to reposition it. I do have larger hoops, but they kept slipping free and annoying the hell out of me.
Aha, a solution I found! I bought a special quilting frame from eBay called SewEasy Lap Frame, and it’s 17″x17″. It’s basically PVC pipes with clips, but I absolutely love this thing! I can quilt 9 squares before having to remove the frame to reposition it. That’s a timesaver in my books! It allowed me to work quicker, and also allowed me to do the maths much easier. (“192 squares, minus 9 squares leaves me with 183. If I do x amount of 9 squares, then I’ll only have x amount left to do…”) So, this was fine at the beginning, because I started quilting in the middle and worked my way to the outer edges.
However, once I only had the edge squares to do, I realised that I had a problem. My awesome new frame wouldn’t grip the bottom of the quilt without ripping the batting. If I positioned the frame in such a way that it DID grip the bottom of the quilt nicely, then I couldn’t quilt that close to the edge. Argh, I thought, what to do?
I searched on Google and pondered quite a bit, determined to be able to use my fancy quilting frame. (I seriously love this thing.) Eventually, an idea came to me. I had seen it once before online, but I could not find the link again. I grabbed a piece of scrap fabric (you’ll notice that it’s pink, I despise that colour and will only use pink fabric for scraps!), set my machine to the largest stitch and basted it onto the edge of the quilt. (Not through the batting or the backing fabric.) Then I put the edge of the quilt into the frame and…
…it worked. It totally worked! I got excited counting down the squares left to do. (I placed myself under strict probation, so I did not allow myself to play computer games, spend too long typing messages or emails or doing anything that was non-essential until I finished the hand quilting. I did, however, allow myself to watch scary horror Let’s Plays on Youtube and talk to friends on Skype while they played games!)
I’m still not finished, there’s still the binding to do, however I will be posting more photos once it’s finished.