Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ABC Wednesday--A Quilter's ABC--Q

Initiated by Mrs. Nesbitt. Maintained in the ABC Wednesday Anthology. Accessed individually at the ABC Mr. Linky.
All worth a visit.

Well, were you wondering what I could possibly come up with for Q?

Of course, Q is for QUILTING.

All of the blocks and procedures that I have shown in my Quilter's ABC lead up to the almost final step--QUILTING!
Quilting is the stitching that holds the layers of the piece together--the top, the batting (known in some countries as wadding) and the backing. A quilt can be held together with ties, with hand stitching, or with machine stitching. The stitching can be very straightforward or very decorative no matter how it is done.
Here are the hand quilting stitches of my grandmother. Very utilitarian, a bit uneven.But remembering her age and eyesight when she did this quilt, very special to me. Here is some machine quilting by my friend Julie. She is a wonder at it. Julie is into miniatures, BTW, so note that these squares are about an inch.
These stitches are what shows on the back of part of the balloon wall hanging that was in the paper piecing post. Stippling is used to fill in space in some pieces. This isn't very good stippling, but it serves.
I don't do hand quilting. Many people still pride themselves on their hand quilting. I just can't do it. I am improving quite a bit on my machine quilting, though.
These are some tools of machine quilting. The one on the left is an even feed foot, usually called a walking foot because of the way it moves. The walking foot helps the fabric layers feed evenly so that they don't slip and change position. Of course, the three layers are securely basted and tight. (B could have been B is for Basting.) I baste with pins. The walking foot does great for straight lines or gentle curves.
On the right is the free motion foot. This is used with the feed dogs lowered (the little gizmos that pull the fabric through.) They do not pull the fabrics at all and so any motion is possible in any direction. Julie used free motion on the purple piece.
Also needed are lots of bobbins. Quilting uses a lot of thread.
Once the foot is in place and the machine threaded, it is wise to do a practice piece to check the tension of the thread and get a feel for the motion.
If you have a particular design in mind, you might use stencils to mark it. It takes a lot of practice to follow a marked design.
But it can be done.
So, here I am machine quilting one of my Breast Cancer Awareness Quilts. It took me a few days, working a half hour or hour at a time to stitch the names of Breast Cancer patients--both survivors and those who've been lost into this quilt. For me, stitching words is like handwriting, and much easier than following a marked design. I kept the writing fairly straight with lines of masking tape.


deslilas said...

Very informative post.
I should try one day !

Lily Hydrangea said...

Yours is a true labor of love-very inspiring & your quilts are beautiful to look at.

Liz said...

Fabulous! Your grandma's quilt must be very special to you.

RuneE said...

I think I'll leave this one for my wife - only, it is getting cold...

Neva said...

I knew you would have a beautiful quilt!! What a great post for today!!thanks for sharing.

Daryl said...

What a wonderful post ... and your rememberance quilts are so very special .. and as a survivor I say thanks!

I cant believe ABC Weds. is up to Q already!


Reader Wil said...

Quilting is a very good hobby. I have an aunt,( who is my age) who quilts . I got a white cushion from her. I see that you also have white quilts. Good post.

Sandi McBride said...

Such lovely work...I remember my mother telling me about the Feed Dog on her sewing machine and I was as tickled then to hear the word as I am now! Thanks for that beautiful memory!

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

Ah... it's a pleasure to see a post about quilts... very nice. I knew you would do this!! =)

ChrissyM said...

Gorgeous quilits. I love the colors on the 2nd one. Thank you for sharing.

Jay said...

Goodness, those quilts are lovely - both your Grandmother's handstitching and the more professional looking machine work, both in their different ways.

I don't have the patience for it, but I do very much admire the work of others.

PERBS said...

I could never do machine quilting! It is very nice and I commend you for doing it. When I lived on Oahu, we did some Hawaiian quilting. I still have the piece I was working on incomplete. . . It was back in the days when blue and green were very popular. I couldn't bear to throw it away. maybe one day, I will finish it.

Powell River Books said...

My sister is a master quilter. I've never tried. I like to do crafty things, but sewing seems hard for me. I invite you to come take a ride on my quad into the Powell River, BC, back country. - Margy

ellen b. said...

Hello Katney! Love all your quilting magic!! The pink one is calling to me :0)

earthlingorgeous said...

Another Q word for you! Queen of Quilt! I now dub you that! I always admire your quilts! Amazing!

By the way, maybe you would like to join my bloggy anniversary giveaway :)


Mary said...

I wish that I could really learn to machine quilt. I need to take a class or something. We have a visiting teacher here right now, but I didn't get signed up soon enough and her class filled up. I get the tops done and then have to give my work to someone else unless it is really small like a baby quilt.

lisaschaos said...

Quilts are my favorite covers! Thankfully my mom and grandma make them so I have a few. :) I bet quilting names would be a challenge.