Monday, May 2, 2011

Some Lessons Learned

Now that I've finished my first quilt project, I am obsessed with quilting and I can't get enough.  The next project I wanted to work on is a quilt to cover the backseat of the car, to protect the upholstery from doggie detritis.  I usually use a fleece blanket or a quilt I got at Marshalls, but I really want to make something new and fresh for Katie.  I had two panels of Lakehouse Fun Flowers and I thought they'd make a fun, quick quilt.

Isn't that pretty?  I took this photo before I was finished with the flimsy, so you'll see 8 blossoms in the final.  The green sashing and the backing are part of Mezzanine by Patty Young from Michael Miller.  I love the pink and green, since its so cheerful & springy.

I'm rather far along in the process of quilt number two now, and I thought I'd share a few lessons I've learned in just two quilts worth of work.

Spray baste is your friend.  I had such a hard time with the Daisy Chain quilt in the pin basting process - I just couldn't get everything straight and even and where I wanted it to go.  This time I used spray baste before pinning and it makes things so very much easier.  With the spray, it seemed easier to smooth out the fabric and batting, and then pinning was a breeze.  I used my dining room table and foolishly sprayed without covering the table, so now I have spots where lint is collecting.  Note to self:  be sure to throw an old sheet over the basting surface.  It creates a somewhat stiff sandwich, but I'm finding it easier to quilt.

Go slow and do your best.  My mom used to tell me that all the time, and I can hear her voice telling me the same thing as I quilt.  It is a challenge to shove the sandwich past the needle perfectly, but practice does make better.  One of these days it'll get closer to perfect.

Go ahead and wad it up.  It'll be okay.  It's much easier to smush the sandwich through the neck of my standard sewing machine if its rolled up.  The quilt bounces back quite nicely.  I'm not quite sure why I thought I needed to be all prim and proper with it and keep it flat, but no longer. 

You need a large clear surface.  This should probably come first.  My sewing set-up is a little odd, and I hate putting things away.  This is a bad combination for sewing anything over a 12 inch block.  As the flimsy got bigger, and then once I began quilting, the sandwich started knocking things off my tables and driving me insane.  Taking 10 minutes to put things away and clear the space was hugely valuable.  I will try harder to keep things tidy to keep from going batty.

Nike was right.  Just do it.  Prior to the Daisy Chain, I'd done alot of household sewing projects, small applique, and cut fabrics for about four different projects, but I hadn't been able to bring myself to start putting a quilt together.  I'm not quite sure what my hang up was, but now that I've gotten to work and finished one quilt in its entirety, I'm thinking there is nothing I can't do!

Isn't it fun to learn along the way?  What have you discovered lately?


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! I just love all your pictures!

  2. Looks great! I've been hearing a lot about baste pasting/spray so I bought some this weekend for my son's quilt. Going to give it a whirl!

  3. The sticky spray baste will eventually wear off your table. Just don't ask me how I know this! I really like your blossoms within blossoms. Very pretty.
    - SeeingStars