Saturday, October 13, 2012

THAT LITTLE VOICE

Though my newest passion is working with felted wool and of course beading.....occasionally I'll go to my stacks of cottons and make a lap quilt.

I blogged about this recently, but here's part 2.  This was made with hand-dyed cottons from a company no longer in business, but one that always pleased me with their selections.  Rarely did I concern myself with the issues of unstable dyes when I worked with their products.  However.....some did bleed.  AND...as I began this piece....that little voice kept saying....  "Hey, I'm a lap quilt.  I'm going to need to be washed".  But...I ignored it.

Just prior to making the quilt sandwich that little voice got louder and I decided to test the black fabric......yup....you guessed it.  It bled like crazy.  What a pain...having to treat a quilt top already pieced....but thankfully BEFORE it was made into a finished quilt.

The results were = a top with uneven seams.....no matter how I tried to block it during the drying process.  Well...it was made to be used, so it is what it is......  NOTE to self.......always take the time to pre-wash these types of fabrics!  I used to do that religiously.....but now that  95% of what I do are wall quilts which will never be washed because they are also beaded.....I got out of that habit.
Okay, lesson learned.....  Here's what I wanted to show you.  I'm a novice at machine quilting and can admit I don't much like it.  WHY??  Well.....I don't like the results of what I can do....and I don't like sitting at the machine since my back hurts and I can't see well enough (yes I have glasses in every strength!).  But there are those quilts that machine quilting, even if fairly uninspired....is the answer.

To tame the quilt....rolling and using bicycle clips etc. never work for me after 5 mins.  But, what I've found helps is to have a large surface behind & to the left of my machine to support the weight of the quilt. My ironing board fills that role on the left.

I prefer to thread baste, but again.....time management is important so for this task I used safety pins..... 
Because the blocks/seams are not evenly pieced and worse after the bath it took to remove all the excess dyes.....I marked the lines using a ruler and a chalk wheel, avoiding following any pieced seam line too closely.  

The vertical lines are about finished.....and I'll either add more unevenly spaced  lines vertically or horizontally.  

Moral of this post.....listen to your inner voice!!