Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Zig...and a PSA.

The Zig

This quilt was intended as a gift for my BFF's birthday...in February. It's a zig zag quilt made from 1/2 square triangles. I used an assortment of green, blue, and orange fabrics, the inspiration fabric being Amy Butler's Royal Garden in orange & blue. I love that stuff! Because my friend's favorite color is orange, I wanted the orange to stand out a bit more, so I added a strip of orange squares in the middle of the orange zig-zags to make them bigger. I'm really happy with the way they turned out.


The top was finished in February, but the quilting was just started last week. And I didn't put it in the sewing machine to quilt it. I decided that I was going to hand quilt it. With no hand quilting experience. None. It can't be that hard, right?

So I sandwiched and basted and bought a quilting frame and some great Perle No. 8 and went to town.


Here's the problem. I did NO research before beginning this experiment...except for reading Anna Maria Horner's (amazing) blog. She did a blog post a few weeks ago about hand quilting and it got me all in a dither. So what's the problem, you ask? I used my normal batting. I shouldn't have done that. For anyone interested, Warm & White (or any other punched cotton batting) is NOT advisable for a hand quilting project.


It hasn't ruined the project, but from what I've come to understand, the process of making the needle punched batting forces the fibers together so tightly that it's sometimes nearly impossible to push a needle through by hand. The results are stitches that sometimes force bits of batting out through the top of the quilt. It's not quite bearding, but it looks more like the needle has a bit of batting wrapped around it. I've had to go back and use my needle to push the batting back inside the quilt.

It hasn't made me so mad that I undo everything I've done. It's just made me mad enough that next time I'll know. For some tips on batting to use with a hand quilting project, I went here. This forum had a lot of information. It basically said that wool is the most desirable, easy to work with batting, but most people love Hobbs batting because it's not quite as expensive as wool. And some of it's even fusible! No basting!

So that's this week's Public Service Announcement. Do your research and don't use Warm & White to hand quilt. It's hard.

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