Thursday, 9 February 2012

Quilt Along #5

Well, the week has certainly flown...after the last Quilt Along, I decided that I needed more practice with stitching on a line as I got fairly excited about the possibility of stitching-in-the-ditch freehand. I therefore created this little mini quilt to continue from last week and to also complete the stippling in the block for this week. I definitely got a workout in piecing as I did this in chain-piecing manner while I stitched my baby quilt together.

One of Leah's pre-printed quilts would have been great! However, I thought it would also be  useful to further practise on a real quilt with bulky seams, points that sometimes are not crisp but are cut off, and seam intersections that do not necessarily match. Normally I would use clear Monofilament thread given that I have to travel over dark and light fabric, however on this I just used the standard Gutermann thread in a purple colour. This was a good little exercise as I wondered afterwards why I persist with the clear Monofilament thread, as the purple thread in-the-ditch was hardly noticeable. 

Also have a question for Leah which I forgot to ask last time: Do you usually anchor your quilts (when they are larger) with a basic grid before freemotion quilting?

Doing this little mini quilt almost got me side-tracked again. I absolutely love solids and thought this would make a nice little quilt in different bright fabrics. Nearly got going on another quilt...

My quilting in-the-ditch is getting better and the remaining problem seems to be stitching from right to left. Without fail I trailed off over the seam when travelling in that direction.  This is an example of stitching left to right which was much easier.

Getting better!

My stippling in the block was done as Leah suggested - from one side to the other (left to right). I managed this without any major problems as there was a defined area of free space to be quilted and visibility was good. The batting I used was bamboo.  I wonder whether other people have tension difficulties with bamboo batting. I use it sometimes when I do large quilts because it is more light-weight, but find that freemotion quilting with it is more difficult. I seem to have to constantly fiddle with the tension.

The stippling around the motif was a bit more challenging but I managed to wiggle my way around in an orderly manner. I do have a bit of  open space on the left side but overall I think it looks reasonably even. The best thing about this was the ability to stitch-in-the ditch around the star and then to continue with the same thread and stipple the block. Only one thread to sew in (apart from the motif) - this really appeals to me as I loathe the task of sewing in hundreds of threads. The other thing I noticed was that after having stippled in the block, the imperfections of the stitching-in-the-ditch were hardly noticeable.

The eye seems to focus on the stippling rather than the edges.
The speed is what really amazes me...I could get so much more done if I became more proficient at this.

Will continue with my little quilt throughout the week...

Quilt 'til You Wilt...



  1. It's looking TERRIFIC! You're seriously ready to use this on real quilts and your stitch in the ditch is excellent. Yes, it's easy to fall off a line, but you're absolutely right - it's not noticeable once you get more filler stitches into the area.

    I'll definitely be answering your question today so don't forget to stop in to Question Thursday!

  2. This looks amazing! What a nice job! I need to make a small star quilt this week for our current homework. Wish I had just made one last week. I agree about speed - I've always been a hand quilter and this is fast! ~Jeanne

    1. Making the small quilt seemed a bit excessive but I really wanted to get a feel for the quilting-in-the-ditch freehand. I learned heaps from just that little piece.

  3. Wow, your stippling looks stunning!Great job! And your stitch in the ditch looks straight as an arrow!

  4. Very nice! You're really hooked on FMQ, aren't you? LOL! Keep going - it looks beautiful.

    1. Yes, have been absolutely hooked on FMQ for some time now. Very addictive once you got the bug.

  5. Your quilting is fabulous!

  6. Beautiful,evenly spaced, evenly stitched. Nice job, Karin.

  7. That is so pretty! Love your "star in a star". Congratulations


Hi...thanks for stopping by and commenting. Very much appreciated! I will endeavour to answer all comments via email. Please check that you are not a no-reply blogger as there is no way of responding to you (other than by reply on the blog). If you need help with this issue, please head for Tutorials for a link on how to fix this issue.