Wednesday, June 16, 2010

quilting in progress

I was hoping that my next post would be about finishing this project, but I guess I'll make do with some in-progress pictures!

I don't think I ever showed a picture of this quilt top. When I'm done, it will be a table quilt, like this one (we even have the exact same IKEA table!). It's a very simple design - I just took a bunch of 3" strips of vintage linens, and sewed them all into one very long strip using a mitered edge like I would for binding. Then I cut the strip into pieces that were a couple inches wider than the table, and sewed them up. I didn't pay much attention to the design, except to ensure that the same prints never touched.

When it came time to quilt, I decided to try my hand at straight-line quilting. After about 3 lines, I was regretting it. First of all, it just takes FOREVER. But then, the puckering started. After the first one or two, I lost the will to fight, and it quickly went from bad to worse. Just look at these!

I'm using a walking foot, and the back of the quilt looks great and doesn't have any puckers at all. So I think it must be that I did a poor basting job on the front. I used basting spray, which has always worked great for me before. But this was the third quilt I basted that day, and I was really exhausted at that point. Let this be a lesson for me - even though it's a pain to set things up to baste, don't try to do more than one or two quilts at a time!

Normally, I'm a very (ok, extremely) perfectionist person. But since this is just an experiment of sorts, and not a gift, it was easy for me to just say to heck with it and forge ahead. It's not going to be beautiful, but it will get finished, and it will cover the darn table. I might even try the straight-line quilting again some day, but it will be on a smaller quilt for sure!


  1. Hi Evelyn
    What a cute project, love it to pieces. I have collected vintage linens and used them for quilt backs and have saved the pieces not knowing what to do with them. Great project. I feel for you running into the snafu, it would irritate me too. I am curious about the top. I know that some of the linens are a mix of cotton/poly and some are 100% cotton. Do you think that the mix might stretch a little more then the 100% cottons? I haven't done anything like your piece so I have no experience with it. Or do you think maybe not? I do love your table quilt alot and thank you for sharing, Elaine

  2. That's really lovely, it gives a really nice effect. I must admit I bottle out at machine quilting because I alway get it puckered so I only hand quilt now.

  3. Love all the vintage fabrics you used. Makes a big impact.

  4. i find with straight line quilting you have to have it really taught going every direction or yes, you run into that nasty puckering. dang it. i feel your pain. but i also would have forged ahead with the project.

    I just saw that table quilt not too long ago. Cool idea and i love yours out of the sheets.
    you're awesome!

  5. I think the table quilt is going to be beautiful despite the puckering! The bias piecing reminds me of yosegire patchwork.

    Re the puckering - I always do straight line quilting because I do not have a darning foot, but I have to make sure to baste it really thoroughly, and sometimes do some easing as well. And in my experience the cotton poly does stretch or move around a little more than cotton - I used a vintage cotton blend sheet for a quilt back once and had all kinds of issues with it. Could have been "user error" though.

    P.S. We used to have those gold and white "cheater cloth" sheets right at the table bend when I was growing up :).

  6. Are you quilting it with the top face down? Because I frequently get puckers on the bobbin side when I do straight line quilting, but never on the needle side.

  7. I have not used my walking foot yet, so I can't help you there but I can feel your frustration!! Hope you sort it out.. Sometimes best to leave it for a bit and come back to it. It looks great though, like the colour strips!

  8. One trick...start all the lines in the middle and always sew outwards.

  9. I love the idea of a table quilt, and I think yours looks great! Thanks for your comment on my quilt. I started quilting it a few months ago, but I had done a poor job with the basting and the back,which I love so much, had major puckers. So frustrating. It took me a while before I was able to face a major un-picking episode. That was all with my darning foot -I've never used my walking foot.

  10. this is awesome!!! i love the mitered edges

  11. Thanks so much for sharing and talking about the puckering problems. I still think it's a beauty! Love it.

    Warm hugs,