Friday, August 1, 2014

Quilting, Quilting, Quilting

Before going to Austin to visit family, sewing room time was spent primarily on quilting. For the first time, using the stopwatch on my iPhone, I tracked the time I spent quilting a quilt. This is also the first time I've just let myself go, quilting-wise, to quilt whatever designs wherever I wanted.

As I shared in a previous post, this is the quilt with double batting - Quilter's Dream poly on the bottom, and Quilter's Dream wool on top. The quilt is pretty dense - like I'm not sure it will ever get cold enough in Florida to want to sleep under it! I think you can see from the photos that the double batt makes the quilt designs across the surface pop. 

"Ad Libbing" is the name chosen by Lora and me for our collaborative quilt. Between each of us making several 15" square improvisational blocks, and the anything-goes way I approached the quilting designs, this is definitely an ad libbed quilt.

I spent roughly 30-1/2 hours quilting, and used up one and a half spools of color #2800 Aurifil 50-weight thread. That's 2,100-plus yards of thread! About 3/4 of the way into the quilting, my Pfaff Grand Quilter began skipping stitches. After many failed attempts to figure out what the problem might be, I swapped out the Pfaff for my Bernina Aurora 440, and finished quilting with it. This is a great reason to always have a back-up sewing machine! (Or two.)

The next three pictures show the quilt from the back. Backing fabric is grey Widescreen, by Carolyn Friedlander.



I learned that it isn't any more difficult to quilt with a double batt than a single batt, and may actually have made it easier because of the "stiffness" of the quilting surface.

After soaking/washing the quilt in the bathtub and transferring it to the washing machine to spin out, I laid it out on the tile floor to air dry. With a laser pointer as a guide, I gently pulled and patted the wet quilt to squared-it-up. The fluffy along all the sides is the wool batt.

Personally, I like to wash and block a quilt before adding binding, to make sure the binding is sewn to a quilt that's "on the square." Lora's putting binding on this, so I'll let her decide whether to sew the binding to the quilt and then trim (as I would), or trim and then sew binding to the quilt. A concern about trimming first is that not enough batting will be left to make a full binding when it's wrapped around the quilt edge.
Ad Libbing, 78" X 78"
I'm happy to have this quilted, pleased with the way it turned out, and ready to pass it on to Lora for binding and labeling. We're planning to enter it in a couple quilt shows, so I'll let you know how that goes. Linda

32 comments:

  1. The quilting is beyond spectacular! You are so talented and patient. I love the "just do it" process as I think it makes the quilting unique. The colors are great and it will be fun for you to enter it in shows. Marvelous work, Linda.

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  2. Gorgeous! I'm astonished to read that you found it "almost easier" to quilt it with two batts. It really looks puffy and a bit like trapunto. Wow, quilting for more than 30 hours sound a lot to me. I don't know if I had the patience. But then that's why your quilts are so beautiful and mine are, well, not as beautiful ;)!

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  3. Linda this is stunning!!! I just love everything about it!

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  4. Your quilting is stunning, along with the great colors in the quilt.

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  5. You have got to be so pleased! It looks fabulous. Just perfect for the look you wanted to achieve. I'm going to have to try double batts soon.

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  6. You have got to be so pleased! It looks fabulous. Just perfect for the look you wanted to achieve. I'm going to have to try double batts soon.

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  7. Linda, your quilting is absolutely fabulous - as always. It looks superb!

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  8. I love the quilt and the quilting. You must be very proud.

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  9. A fantastic collaborative quilt! Your quilting skills are truly amazing! And your stamina! Good luck in the quilt shows too.

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  10. Spectacular quilting, Linda!!! Way to go!

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  11. Wowsers, Linda! What a fabulous quilt! I think that you enjoy the quilting almost more than the piecing...am I right? You are so talented at both...hope you girls win some ribbons for Ad Lib...it's deserved, that's for sure.
    I have never washed and blocked a quilt before binding it: nor have i sewn on the binding before trimming. What a pro you are!

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  12. The quilting is glorious! The "clam shells" just jumped off the screen. Then there was all the other quilting to look at as well.

    Interesting to hear that real quilters have machine problems from time to time just like the rest of us.

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  13. Your quilting is wonderful!! Love the blocks as well as the placement of them. This is my first visit to your blog and I'm so glad I came!
    Cheers from Australia

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  14. Love the texture created by your quilting! I'll be waiting to hear what ribbons your quilt wins.

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  15. Oh. My. Gosh. This is fabulous Linda. I love it. Such wonderful texture and a very playful feel to the overall quilt. A winner in my book.

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  16. Your quilting is just stunning. wow!

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  17. OMG Linda the quilting is amazing! Will you be entering in a group/collaborative category?

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  18. Oh Linda, your quilt is spectacular. The quilting shows up so well with the double batt, I'm quite envious of your skill. A prize winner for sure.

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  19. WOW that is gorgeous. Your quilting is exquisite Linda!

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  20. So gorgeous - wow! That quilting!

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  21. Absolutely stunning!!! I really want to make a quilt with more solid color fabric so I can practice using more quilting designs that aren't hidden in the fabric prints. Such an inspiration! Good luck at the shows!

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  22. Fabulous quilting! I'm glad the double batting wasn't difficult for you. I really must try some free-form quilting like this; I hope I can pull it off as well as you have!

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  23. Well there you go, seems as though everyone loves the quilt! Hope the judges do also. Linda, the quilting is spectacular and I can't wait to finish up with the binding. Don't worry, I trim after I sew on the binding. Don't want no skimping binding!

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  24. Wow, your quilting just gets better and better. It was good before, its stunning now! And what a beautiful quilt.

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  25. Wow! Your quilting is beautiful, Linda! You must have had such fun just letting go and 'ad libbing' with all those designs.

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  26. Wow Linda that is such gorgeous quilting and I loved how it popped with the double batting. Blessings Sandra

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  27. As always your quilting is a joy to see. Using the two batts really added to the quilting! blessings, marlene

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  28. Your quilting skills just keep blowing me away! This is just beautiful, Linda!

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  29. Guess who just saw this post of your quilting on Ad Libbing. You did some amazing designs and it looked like you had fun doing it. I too like to wash and square up my quilts before trimming and adding the binding. So glad you had your Bernina for backup. I recently received an old Pfaff machine which will be my 'new' backup for retreats and such.

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