Friday, 27 July 2012

The Art of Quilting

Quilting is an art form within itself; people produce magnificent pieces of art and devote a phenomenal amount of time to it.  These people are true artists.  Do I fall into that category, I ask myself - NO.  I am too impatient and sometimes get really frustrated when things don't go my way.

Firstly, I managed to break the walking feet (which costs around £40, so gonna look on EBay to find another for preferably less as it didn't belong to me!). How did I do that?  Well, I set up my machine with the walking foot attached - a walking foot keeps the layers of fabrics together and prevents the top layer from 'walking' forward - then decided that I didn't need the spacing bar as I was going to sew in the ditch (seam).  Instead of taking the foot off the machine, I tried to pull (more like wriggle) the bar from out of its housing, thus putting the foot under a lot of stress by the movements and breaking off a small but vital piece!  I decided that the foot would work without it but I was wrong!
Bernina walking foot

So now, no walking foot, what am I going to do?  How will I control the layers?  Eventually I attached the buttonhole foot as it has a wider space in the middle and did a lot of pushing forward whilst sewing.

Next, because I had taken a shortcut and not sewn vertically down my quilt, I had too much movement!  They say the devil was very active on that day!  Nevertheless, I managed to simply sew in the ditch of my quilt, it took a while but I eventually finished.  I considered quilting random patterns on the long plain pieces but decided that there was enough to attract the eye and not to give myself any more stress but more than anything - not to tempt fate! 

I have not worked on such a large piece before: the only other quilt which I had made was for a baby's cot and I loved doing it - it was small and manageable.  Imagine rolling up your double (I think mine feels like a king size) duvet and sewing straight lines in different directions - very hard.  It is times like these that I long for a quilter's machine because it has a wider arm space.  Remember, any challenge, we creatives can overcome it and I think I managed to overcome the major ones.
With the quilt quilted, I decided on the binding, looked at a few books on how to get mitred corners (but had to work it out by myself) and added the binding; I must say I am very pleased with the result.

Isn't it funny how trouble happens in threes - my machine decided to literally grind to a halt (you should hear the sounds!) whilst I was sewing the hanging sleeve and no amount of oil could cure it!  Arthur (my machine mechanic), where are you?  Luckily us creative types always have more than one machine, so I took out my other Bernina (I have 2 Berninas and 1 Janome) and finished my hanging sleeve and carrying bag. 
All bagged and ready.
The quilt is finished, clipped and dusted for loose threads, and ready to go!  I am debating about revealing the finished product - I need some encouragement from you all!

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