Last week I started a new feature. And although no one posted their own take on the feature, Luanne added a comment that her “To or Not To Tuesday” item would be cooking. When I did last week’s post, I had already put down an idea for week two, but I had to make an adjustment based on my weekend activity. So without further ado, here is my “question” for this week:
To Quilt or Not to Quilt
“What!” you ask. Isn’t that the same as the one you posted last week. Well, yes and no. This week’s dilemma isn’t about the act of making quilts; there is no question that I’ve been bitten by the bug and can’t resist. But this week’s question is about the sewing together of the three layers, the actual quilt stitching. For those of you unfamiliar with quilting, I found a couple of videos. I will include explanations about the quilting process for those who are interested or who simply want to understand what the hell I’m talking about. And my personal stuff will continue in green. Choose your own adventure.
A quilt has three layers, with the top one being the one that includes the design. It is the picture or pattern you see on the front of the quilt. On my sidebar, what you see in the top picture is the top layer of the quilt. The other two layers are the batting (or the soft, fluffy stuff that provides, softness, warmth, and body) and the back. After putting the top together, the three layers have to be put together before they can be sewn. This is sometimes called a quilt sandwich, which you can see demonstrated in the video below.
After the quilt sandwich is assembled, you then need to put the permanent stitches in that will hold the quilt together and give it the body we associate with quilts. At this stage, there are many choices. Will you hand quilt or machine quilt. Will you do it yourself, or will you take it to someone who will do the quilting stitches for you? For very large quilts, it is often helpful to have someone do it on an industrial long-arm machine, because large quilts can be tricky to maneuver on a home sewing machine. And there are many choices for the type of stitch itself. You can do quilting stitches in straight lines or use stencils or do free-form stitching.
So here is my dilemma. The top to Jack’s quilt has some blocks with printed bears, and I have only done straight line quilting before. I’ve never done free-form quilting, even though I think that is probably what this quilt is calling for. It would be very easy for me to just take it to someone else to quilt, but I was hoping to find a way to do it myself. That’s why my question this week is to quilt or not to quilt.
I do know that if I want to do it myself, I will need to practice on a sample sandwich first (see above; no, I’m not planning to eat anything). But I’m ok with that, if I just had an idea how to do it. And then, I found this video about an “easy” stitch for quilts.
So after seeing that video, I’m all excited about making a practice sandwich with the same fabrics and giving the letter C a try. If it goes well, I will move onto the quilt itself. I no longer feel stuck. I am so glad that I decided to pursue this question today. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have looked for videos to explain the dilemma, nor would I have found the perfect solution to the problem. I won’t even have to do an answer to this week’s post because I am now on track again. Of course, I will update you on how the quilt is going.
How about you? What have you been thinking about doing or not doing? Sometimes just writing about it leads you to unexpected solutions. I can’t wait to see what others come up with.
Until next week’s question . . .