September 21, 2011 § 11 Comments
Using scraps is like feeling the wind in your hair while riding your bicycle down a really big hill. Above is a bag of scraps I recently bought from Pink Chalk Fabrics. (Like I need more scraps. Ahem)
There were a few questions about my Scrappy Zig Zag quilt, so I will attempt to answer them here for everyone.
USING WOOL BATTING
I used Quilter’s Dream wool batting. I love Quilter’s Dream batting. All of the fibers they offer are really good quality and they hold up nicely with wear and washing. Some wool brands need to be quilted closer than others, so keep that in mind when purchasing. I’ve used Hobb’s wool batting before as well, and it seemed to shrink a wee bit more than the Quilter’s Dream.
This is how I wash all of my quilts regardless of fiber. I use coolish water – not completely cold, but not a hot “warm” either. Gentle cycle. And soap without any added phosphates or ingredients that make the colors fade. I use one that is environmentally friendly. When the washing is done I spin out as much of the water as possible. Then throw it in the dryer just until it is about half dry and not so damp. Then I toss it over the spare bed and let it dry the rest of the way. It usually takes about a day or so until it is completely dry. Keep in mind we live in a damp climate.
I quilted it with straight line quilting on my Janome Horizon. I think this machine has to be the best that I’ve ever used for straight line quilting. It has a built-in even feed system that was so incredibly easy to use. I didn’t have to work nearly as hard to keep the fabrics from pulling and distorting. Plus, it has a really wide throat as far as home sewing machines go. It has 11″ of work space!
I started by quilting the horizontal lines from the middle towards the outside edge. Then I went back and quilted the zig zags. I did have a little trouble keeping everything flat right along the edge because the wool batting is a little more poofy than cotton.
I use garden gloves on my hands for grippy-ness and to gently keep the area that I’m quilting nice and smooth. I put my hands on each side of the needle and spread out my fingers.
My sewing room is such a mess right now that I set this up on the dining room table. Lots of space is necessary for quilting a big quilt. And sometimes I set up a small table to the left of my chair to hold some of the weight of the quilt so it doesn’t pull off the dining table and weight down my stitching. The rest sits in my lap so there is no pulling on the quilt.
Big quilts are definitely a challenge to quilt and I debated about renting the mid-arm machine at my local quilt shop. But I was envisioning more utilitarian style quilting on this quilt. I wanted the fabric and the zig zag to be the focus and not the quilting. I was also waffling about which direction I should quilt it. In the end, I decided on horizontal straight lines and then followed the zig zag pattern. I love how it looks on the back! And it’s really unobtrusive on the front.