Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Finish...and how MQIS works for me

OK, the last post was my fail.  A rather epic fail, I think.  It was the idea that I could hopefully post this finish, except it decided to break my washing machine.

Well folks, here is the finish.

It's 58 inches square.  And it's done.  I donated it to my Relay for Life team for a relaxation basket.  Hopefully it will fetch our team some serious cash.  Yes, I do my own quilting.

Now on to the MQIS part.  Machine Quilting in Sections is a book by Marti Michell and it illustrates the technique of quilting quilts in sections so that more of us home sewists can use the machines we have.  I have decided that I just need to get on board with this and learn this technique.  I have dedicated this year for this purpose.

I decided on this goal this year after thinking long and hard about my life.  Although I am 25 years plus from retirement, my husband and I know that we want to have an RV.  We also have stuff.  So we need to start paring down now ever so slowly.  And since an RV is not a cheap thing, decisions and choices need to be made.  The decision that I have made (at least for now) is that I'd rather have money to retire and have an RV and not own a longarm.  (I also want a condo, but that is another post!)  So clearly I need to learn to quilt my stuff.  Plus I have college to pay for my DD in 5 years or so.  While Ted can get her half tuition, it still costs some serious cash.

Anyway, this was the first quilt I tried this on.  I sandwiched the first row and basically did SITD around most of the parts in each block.  This is FAR MORE quilting than I have ever done on a quilt.  Then I trimmed up the joining edge, and did a 6 layer seam, which from top to bottom, is wrong side up row 2, row 1 quilt sandwich, right side up backing and then the batting.  sew the whole thing together and then bring the row 2 pieces together and quilt that row.  I did that for rows 2 through 4.  By row 4, some of the quilt was being drug through the tiny harp of the machine (I sew on a Jem.  Yes, really.  It's all I could afford with daycare at the time.)

When all 4 rows were on, I quilted through the sashings in the rows and columns - just a quick stitch down the center.  Then I trimmed and attached the binding.  I used white thread on the top and brown thread on the back.

It worked flawlessly.  No puckers.  No tucks.  No requilting.  Some frustration, but beginner frustration.  I was worried about a bump where the rows were attached because it's two layers of batting sewn together.  You have to step on it to feel it and you have to really look to find the bump.

HEre are some random photos of the back.  See if you can find the bump.

You can see it here in this last picture if you find the horizontal center of the quilt and look for it.  Again, you and I would know to look for it, but I don't think others would care.

What I have learned from this quilt:

It might have been smarter to do two halves and then do a center join that has the strip down the back that needs to be hand sewn down.

I can now try more complex quilting per block because I can manage the quilt in the machine.

I was also able to not worry about time on this one.  I didn't care how long it took.  I normally do not look forward to quilting and want it done as quickly as possible.  For this one, I said each strip had to be done within a disc of the Lord of the Rings movie (each disc is between 1.5 and 2 hours).  This is a manageable way to quilt over several days.  I was done withe attaching the binding by the end of the first half of the Return of the King.

For my next MQIS quilt, it will be an oversized king in the Yellow Brick Road (YBR) pattern.  Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Caro said...

I love your quilt,and am interested in the idea of quilting a part at a time.

For your next quilt, sew part2 top to part1 top, sew part2 backing to part1 backing - and just butt the new batting up to the first batting (you can baste the battings together if you wish, but it isn't necessary.

That way all seams are enclosed- no bumps