Wednesday 18 May 2022

Edge To Edge Quilting on the Sitdown Bernina Q20

I am finishing off my little side project and thought I do a post on how I put an edge to edge design on a quilt using a sitdown longarm machine. I did do an earlier post some weeks back but thought it might be interesting to people to see a more detailed description of the process.

As I am in a bit of a hurry I again used the Cloud Nine design by Patricia E. Ritter that I purchased as a self print design from Urban Elementz a few weeks earlier. I printed several pages of the design and then stuck it together to form one row to fit my quilt.
As you can see the design to be stitched is printed in black whereas the previous and next row is in a lighter grey colour. Starting off I traced the design (all of it) on Golden Threads paper. In order to cover an entire quilt you need many of those rows (some 10 rows for my small baby quilt). That of course becomes incredibly tedious to trace, so this time I tried something different, i.e. I stitched through several layers of Golden Threads paper from my first traced design to produce multiple copies in one hit. So, started off with the first row which was traced and stitched through.
I trace with a blue water soluble marker which is fairly faint however you can see that under the machine light. The reason for this is that I do not inadvertently want to transfer pencil marks or similar onto the quilt top. In terms of attaching the paper I use both, pins and removable glue dots. The pins are always at the top where I can see them because as you go down in rows you overlap the rows and if you have pins on the bottom it is easy to forget that and like I have done before, run over a pin. The glue dots are great...they stick to the fabric and paper but when you take them off, they come off with the paper. They do not leave any residue behind and the only danger is that you might stitch through one. While that is a bit of a hassle, it is way better than running into a needle.

Here is the first row stitched out. I am quilting this on the sitdown Bernina Q20, using the stitch regulator (BSR1) set at 9 stitches per inch. The BSR1 is the mode where the machine keeps stitching at a pre-determined speed even if you do not move the fabric anymore which means that when you stitch along in stitch regulation and come to a point where you momentarily stop to change direction it will take one or two stitches before you take off again which gives you a very crisp point. For the thread I used my trusted Aurifil 50/2 weight in a variegated orange colour, this time teamed with a prewound (Decobob). Quilting out the rows is incredibly quick...the design is a bit over 7in so you do quilt this in bigger sweeping movements which is easy to do with the stitch regulator (and a lot of fun!).

Once finished with the row, I start taking the paper out. In the photo you can see my little glue dot coming off with the paper.
I suppose you could leave the paper in, but I got used to taking it out row by row, so that I can see what I am doing. In terms of taking the paper out though, I do leave the part where the next row is (in light grey on the design which I also traced on) on the quilt because that serves for the alignment of the next row where the first and next row overlap. While I do check how my stitched row aligns, there will always be differences because once you get going you may not always stitch directly on the line, hence the traced beginning of the next row is the more important one for the next alignment.

So this is what this looks like...most of it taken out with just the bottom part left for alignment. The paper comes out easily (you can take it out bit by bit or tuck on it gently) and I find it quite relaxing sitting there taking out the paper. My points looked it a bit sloppy in parts on this first row, so I had to make a tension adjustment at this point to ensure that my points were nice and crisp.

Now for the big experiment...the stitched through rows. Wondered how that would go. 
This did not fill me with a lot of confidence as I am used to the traced design, but gave it a go and to my surprise that worked quite well. Next time though I might stitch that through with a bigger eye needle as I had problems seeing the row underneath once I overlapped the next row. However I managed and stitched my way down the quilt.

As you would have noticed I only stitch one row at a time, however as I came to the bottom this time I did try stitching two traced rows in one hit.
Yes, that worked, however I don't think I would do this all the this stage I was quilting towards me and I just had a lot of paper in front of me which was a bit difficult to negotiate. Also was a bit overwhelmed taking out two rows of paper.

Anyway, finished this today and am quite happy with how this turned out. A few little inaccuracies did creep in here and there, but that is to be expected with this method. The paper can shift a bit, you start to loose it a bit in terms of following your lines...mind you, some of that you can see as you stitch in the overlapped region and you can even that out a bit as you go along, particularly if you know the design well. I also check on my alignment as I quilt over the seams making a note where a particular element sits in relation to the seam. That lets me know how straight my row is. Again, it will not be a hundred percent but it should be similar as you move across your quilt.

The finished product

I quilted this over 2 days and I would say, all in all it took me about 6 hours. A bit more effort however I do like the look of edge to edge designs. The only limitation is that I have to choose simpler, more open  designs being mindful that I have to take the paper out. While it comes out easily it does get stuck in points and tight spaces, so you want to choose a design that has bigger distinct shapes to make your life easier.

Now, the binding and then I am back to my Background Filler project.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I am always curious how everyone tackles the quilting on larger quilts. Your tips are quite useful!


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.

Popular Posts