It's Question Thursday and since we've started a brand new project with modern quilt blocks, we have lots of fun questions to work through today!
Let's start with a great question from Anne Marie in the comments of yesterday's post:
Can this be quilted by marking the backing and having the quilt top underneath?
If the sight of the blocks and background is distracting to you, baste
the quilt with the quilt top on the bottom and the backing on the top.
This way all the pins will be on the back side of the quilt and you can
easily quilt from this side with no distracting elements.
The one thing you'll need to watch out for is your thread starts, stops, and any grumbles from your machine.
grumble is when your machine coughs, snorts, grinds, or any other
unpleasant, unusual sound. This generally means your thread has just
done something super funky. And super funky stuff ALWAYS shows on the
back of your quilt!
In this case, if you've reversed
the quilt the front is the back during quilting so you need to be extra
careful about these warning sounds from your machine.
it makes a funny sound, stop, break your thread, and flip the quilt
over. Use a seam ripper to rip out a birds nest, if there is one, then
pull back the threads carefully to get enough to hide and start
Now let's answer a few questions about this modern quilt from Mary at Can't Stop Stitchin':
Can I really piece this block with different sized strips?
Full question: The first strip I put on was a width of about 4 inches, and the
second one about 2.5 inches… Wonder how much this will matter later on when putting the top
together? or does it not matter at all? will find out next week when I put it together...
it really is fine to use different size of strips! In the end, you're
going to square all the blocks to a single size for the easiest
construction process. If you're really worried about it, use wide (3 - 4
inch) strips and you'll definitely finish with huge blocks you can cut
down as much as you want.
Try not to think about this project too much or make it super difficult. The point is to disengage your need to control and dictate every step of the process. Let go! Kick back! I promise the quilt you end up with will be one of a kind and beautiful in it's own way.
Next question from Mary:
Is there such thing as too much Wonkiness?
Full question: If I should apply a little "wonky" as I apply the first
strip? and if I should do it again with the second strip?
Will that be too much wonkiness to the block? I did
some this way, so we will see when it goes together…When I square up, should I square up
with more wonky too? Will that be too
much fun/wonkiness ? We will find out, because I did
this to some of the blocks as well.
definitely no such think as too much wonkiness! Have fun, play, and try
not to over-think this process. Perfection is not the key here.
Creation - forming a quilt top from basic elements in a speedy way -
that is the key.
Now let's answer a question from Pat at Color Me Quilty:
Are there FMQ designs that are better left to longarm quilters and
others that are better suited to domestic machine FMQ quilters?
an optimal size to the design? I've noticed that a lot of your designs
are smaller fillers, but I've also seen some of your work with feathers
that are quite large scale. While I realize that practice will help
smooth out some of my line work, are there tricks to getting really
smooth lines or am I better off going for an "organic (read wobbly)"
look and staying with smaller designs?
This is a bit of an opinionated subject, but I'm going to try to be as fair as possible with this one.
be honest, yes, there are probably some designs that are easier to
stitch with a longarm because you are moving the machine and able to
form steady smooth curves with a sweeping movement, verses having to
stop and stop for the limited size of a home sewing machine.
please keep in mind the learning curve necessary to master a longarm.
Loading a quilt into a frame, getting all the layers properly set up,
achieving good tension on your machine - these things might not sound
like a big deal, but they are totally new, totally different on a
longarm frame system than on a domestic sewing machine.
So there's a learning curve involved here. I hope we can all agree on that ;-)
far as optimal size, I know it's easier to quilt on a tiny, micro scale
on a domestic machine than it is to quilt that way on a longarm. To
achieve that type of control, you generally need to weigh down the
machine and install micro handles. On a domestic, it's easier to move
the quilt in small sections at a time, so you don't need to add anything
special to the machine.
Likewise, it's easier to quilt
bigger on a longarm because you can make those bigger, wider movements
with more speed and efficiency.
The biggest thing to
realize in all my ramblings here is there is NO BETTER OPTION. Both
longarms and domestic machines have good sides and bad sides.
So the only solution is to master the machine you own right now! The more you stitch, the better you will get.
it comes to quilting long, fluid, perfectly curving lines, this
definitely can be a challenge on a domestic sewing machine. Pat
described her wobbles and wiggles as "organic" which is quite true.
This is what happens when quilting if you're not used to stopping and
starting in a fluid way to maintain a steady line.
But with more practice and experience, this will quickly become second nature.
You will know where to stop stitching instinctively before your hands
lose control over the quilt. You will move your hands to the right
place and start stitching without making those little wiggles and subtle
movements, and you will increase and decrease speed in a way that hides
the stop and start completely.
While this kind of
second nature, intuitive quilting might not be happening right this
second, it will happen eventually. You just have to be patient and
accept the organic wobbles and wiggles when they happen, but also notice
and enjoy the smooth, fluid quilting when it happens as well!
Finally let's finish up with some questions from Danielle at Fresh off the Spool:
Have you ever doubled up on batting?
Full question: I have
noticed a few bloggers mentioning that they use 2 layers on quilts.
Would this be harder to FMQ and would you need a heavy duty needle? I
would think It would make for a warmer quilt, and puffier quilting. Do
you have any thoughts on the subject?
be totally honest here: I have never, ever doubled the batting on a
quilt. I've just never had a need to do this as I don't prefer puffy,
As for making it harder to quilt, 2
battings will logically make the quilt thicker, which could impact your
darning foot. Make sure to adjust it to make it sit higher over all
If anyone else has experience with using 2
battings in one quilt, please leave some tips or share your experience
with Danielle in the comments below!
Now it's time for
me to hop off the computer because I have 40 sheets of paper to tape
together to create the new duchess quilt! More details this weekend!