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Attempting a complete quilt

 
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Hi, I’m looking for some advice.

I’ve been quilting for about 3 years now (sewing for 30), and I’ve decided to attempt to make an entire quilt.

Secure batting and backing, stitch together and edge with binding. I probably should have started with a smaller project... but I’m doing a king size quilt. I think.

The plan is to go with “stitch in the ditch” quilting, and to do it in lengthwise panels, maybe 3 panels, depending on the width of the backing material, then combining the panels, either with a 2 or 4 inch of the same pattern as the quilt, or just directly to one another. This is mostly where I’m getting stuck.

Any information/ ideas on how to go to work at this would be great!

Here is the quilt so far. Laid out. Some of the blocks have been stitched together in 8x8 inch rows, each small block is 2 inches finished
C5563E95-7929-4849-BE92-8DA2AE0E6CBA.jpeg
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9EF4DAA2-F610-4DC5-8B58-C39355AC432D.jpeg
And a little earlier in the process
And a little earlier in the process
 
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The batting you're using will make all the difference in the world, as to the best way to go about it. More so even than the backing. That in mind, have you chosen your batting? Also, the squares you have are very small, so, have you decided on a frequency to stitch in the ditch? Some very nice batting types will work for quilting stitches to be as far apart as 10inches. Others need the quilting much closer. Deciding on those things might make it easier to decide how to proceed. I've only done small, simple quilts, but my mom does queen and king sized bed quilts. She also has a huge quilting machine that I hope to inherit, some day, but, would not likely ever consider buying for myself, lol.
 
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I don't make that style of quilt so I have no advice. But I wanted to say it's lovely, Leigh!
 
Carla Burke
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Sonja Draven wrote:I don't make that style of quilt so I have no advice. But I wanted to say it's lovely, Leigh!


100% agreed!
 
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I don't think I can help you either with your specific need. I have been attempting quilts for several years now. I use a machine to sew all the pieces together and use to think this would be a strong enough method. I've hand sewn the actual quilting stitches and they have been fine. The problem I run into is my seams come apart in the wash. I'm not sure how to fix this except to sew the quilting along every single seam. With this in mind, I'm not sure I would attempt individual pieces at only 2 inches, even for the "finished" size. I'm very curious to watch this piece of work as it matures into the end product and how things progress.
 
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Although I don't consider myself an expert quilter, I've made a few queen sized quilts. I've never machine quilted anything, only machine pieced and hand quilted.

I am having trouble visualizing what your question is?

The plan is to go with “stitch in the ditch” quilting, and to do it in lengthwise panels, maybe 3 panels, depending on the width of the backing material, then combining the panels, either with a 2 or 4 inch of the same pattern as the quilt, or just directly to one another. This is mostly where I’m getting stuck.



I think what your saying is that you want to make three "mini" quilts and put them all together to make one king-sized? If not, can you correct me? I've never seen it done like that. I can't visualize how you'd hide the seams.

I agree with Carla in that the type of batting you're using will be a huge factor in how you quilt it. Cotton has a tendency to separate. Polyester, although it tends to be lighter and holds its shape better, is a manmade fabric. (Some people would frown upon that. I do prefer polyester simply for the fact that it is so much more durable.) My hubbie's great-great grandmother used to use old moving blankets as her batting. Apparently they almost had a weighted blanket sort of feel to them.

If you are really in a bind (get it?? LOL) about how to quilt the top, don't rule out the good ol' tufting technique of just tacking it up in various places with thread or a pretty ribbon bow. Just be sure to follow the batting manufacturer's suggestions for maximum quilting distances.

If you do want to hand-quilt your project, I've used something similar to this with good results: https://www.walmart.com/ip/YLSHRF-Quilting-Frame-Cross-Stitch-Frame-Square-Rectangle-Plastic-Clip-Frame-for-Embroidery-Cross-Stitch-Quilting-Needlepoint-Tool/436149285?wmlspartner=wmtlabs&adid=22222222222319288613&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=s&wl2=c&wl3=74904344663303&wl4=pla-4578503899072788&wl5=&wl6=&wl7=&%20wl10=Walmart&wl12=436149285_10001052637&wl14=pvc%20quilting%20frame&veh=sem

(I didn't use this exact product, just something very like it. It's light on your lap and easy to adjust when you need to reposition the fabric.)

Tip for Cindy who has problems with her seams coming undone in the wash: Maybe increase your seam allowance to 3/8 or 1/2"? Or reinforce the seams with a zig-zag just outside the seam allowance? Or there are several other tips here: https://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/repairing-seams-in-a-finished-quilt.html

Please post back with your finished quilt so we can all see how it turned out. I agree with other posters that the top is lovely!



 
Stacie Kim
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Cindy Haskin wrote:With this in mind, I'm not sure I would attempt individual pieces at only 2 inches, even for the "finished" size. I'm very curious to watch this piece of work as it matures into the end product and how things progress.



Have you tried "strip quilting?" That's the first technique I learned.

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/strip-piecing-tips-and-techniques-2821620
 
Leigh Martin
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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your responses and suggestions. I’m learning so much!

To try and be a bit more clear about how I’m going at it:
The individual pieces are 2inch finished, then 8 blocks of rows sewn together, making the blocks 16inch plus seam allowance. That’s what they’re sitting at now.

My mom invested in a pfaff expression quilting machine, so stats what I’m sewing on. I don’t foresee many problems with quilting from the machine’s side.

The seam allowance is at 1/4 inch, sewing length 2mm, which I find does not pull apart. I start sewing a few stitches before and after the fabric, which twists the thread and helps keep it from pulling apart.

Regarding batting, I was hoping to go for a natural batting, but I do also want it to last forever. I will have to see what is locally available to make a more informed decision on that.

I found this video of quilt as you go, which is how I think I might go at putting it together. Depending on how big of a block I can quilt at a time.

The quilting is going to be stitching in the ditches of the 2inch pieces, which should also prevent the pieces from pulling apart.



Will post updates as it I make progress!


 
Stacie Kim
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found this video of quilt as you go, which is how I think I might go at putting it together. Depending on how big of a block I can quilt at a time.

The quilting is going to be stitching in the ditches of the 2inch pieces, which should also prevent the pieces from pulling apart.

https://youtu.be/VWcIcgDFmzM



Very interesting concept, thank you for sharing! That might be a great method for a large quilt like yours. The frugalista in me sees the trimmed batting as a waste; I wonder what uses I might find for it elsewhere? Pillow stuffing, perhaps?
 
Cindy Haskin
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Stacie Kim wrote:

Cindy Haskin wrote:With this in mind, I'm not sure I would attempt individual pieces at only 2 inches, even for the "finished" size. I'm very curious to watch this piece of work as it matures into the end product and how things progress.



Have you tried "strip quilting?" That's the first technique I learned.

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/strip-piecing-tips-and-techniques-2821620

                              Thank you for the hint previous. I am now increasing the allowance.  
I have done a couple of these. The most recent and largest I would swear I've posted pix of somewhere in permies. If I can find it I'll try to link it. ( https://permies.com/t/148055/sewing/fiber-arts/crafting ) I used an old, heavy, red blanket as both it's backing and filler and it turned out much like a weighted blanket. It was for a special needs toddler who is something of a shirttail relative (the child of the sister of my son's children's mother!).

I've been thinking about how one might provide this batting for the middles of quilts from raw materials rather than already made (purchased old blankets or premade batting of any sort). Animal fibers are first to mind. Sheep, alpaca, goat or rabbit are the most common "farm" animals I think of. These fibers don't require spinning before a usable cloth can be made. They all FELT. And they are all very warm fibers. It's part of my expanding plan for my near future. I figure I've got a good 15 more years of robust activity left in me, as long as I pace myself and take on each new thing only 1 or 2 at a time.
 
Leigh Martin
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Very interesting concept, thank you for sharing! That might be a great method for a large quilt like yours. The frugalista in me sees the trimmed batting as a waste; I wonder what uses I might find for it elsewhere? Pillow stuffing, perhaps?

Hi Stacie,

I agree in so much that I cringed quite a bit at those massive overlaps that were cut off. I'm sure that better planning could likely avoid that kind of waste.
I have not looked into strip quilting, I'm not very familiar with quilting jargon, but I understand what I want to do... which often results in me watching YouTube videos to have the words to explain the things. I will go see what it is all about.

I got myself a dog bed as a couch (there might be a fancy yoga term for that), which I will use as a test run for my quilting project.
Thing is, that means that I have to finish laying out the top of the quilt, to see how much of what I have left for the "couch" cover... so a lot more sewing and ironing needs to happen.
I didn't work out how much of what I needed from the beginning as its made up of various left over pieced of material from other projects, a box of scraps I was gifted, and some of it I bought.
Figured I would make some pillows.
 
Leigh Martin
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I've been thinking about how one might provide this batting for the middles of quilts from raw materials rather than already made (purchased old blankets or premade batting of any sort). Animal fibers are first to mind. Sheep, alpaca, goat or rabbit are the most common "farm" animals I think of. These fibers don't require spinning before a usable cloth can be made. They all FELT. And they are all very warm fibers. It's part of my expanding plan for my near future. I figure I've got a good 15 more years of robust activity left in me, as long as I pace myself and take on each new thing only 1 or 2 at a time.



Hi Cindy,

I used to keep Angora rabbits with this purpose in mind. I did brush out and spin their wool using what I assume was a Turkish hand spindle.
Could be used raw. I didn't wash or process the wool prior to spinning, but I did find that some (maybe 2-3) years later some mites got in it and ate up all the wool and left behind a powdery dust.
I don't know if there is something you'd treat it with, but would advise looking into it, cause that could result in a lot of sadness for a lot of hard work. it did discourage me from ever spinning wool again.

Let me know if you have a way of treating natural fibers.
 
Leigh Martin
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Quilt pictures!


The top is just about done.
Spent a lot of time thinking whilst working on the top of this quilt.
Eventually the biggest issue was getting the blocks to meet up, and figured if I quilted them in sections and then tried to get them to meet up it might be quite challenging.
The other concern was all the hand work that went into stitching together the batting in the ‘quilt as you go’ video.
So I’ve decided to sandwich the whole thing... or half & half, then secure (pin down/ knot up) by hand, then machine quilt the sandwich.

Any recommendations on the best way to secure a quilt sandwich?
D22AFB9F-FA6B-44FC-9D7B-083A2D3FF384.jpeg
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77000F2A-94A8-40B3-ACC4-E82FB1103E44.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 77000F2A-94A8-40B3-ACC4-E82FB1103E44.jpeg]
 
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Hi,

I've helped my wife with her quilts.  For the king size we get some tables together and lay the whole thing out. Backing first, then batting then finished quilt top. Square it up, tape it down, and pin it. Then she machine quilts the whole thing, using stitch in the ditch. She starts quilting long ways first. The fabrick is rolled and bunched up under the arm of the machine, and she moves it along as she quilts. Half way through she turns it around and starts from the other side. Then she starts on the shorter sides. After it is quilted we take out the pins. (Of course having a non quilter help you can be well Ive put pins in the ditch sometimes. Yep broken needles.)

 
Cindy Haskin
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I use the largest safety pins I can find, and plenty of them. I know that Joann Fabrics carries a large bag of like 50 or 100. I use like 30 or 40 for a twin/full size.

Your top is spectacular.
 
Carla Burke
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Beautifully done, Leigh!
 
Arthur Angaran
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Hi,   Your quilt is really beautiful. I hope whoever receives it appreciates all the work you put into it.   Please show us a picture when you put the binding on it.

If I read this right you have quilted as you go. And you have 2 halves needing attaching. It might be hard depending on the thickness of the batting but try rolling one half and put that under the arm of the machine. If it fits then the other half rolled up outside the machine and sew the two together. If its not exactly perfect, my wife's favorite saying is "2 feet on a galloping horse". or if you can't see it from 2 feet on a galloping horse it's perfect.

Oh and those curved safety pins we use, why is it she can put in four for every one I do.
 
Carla Burke
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There are safety pins made just for this. They look like someone took a bunch of normal safety pins and bent them. Joann Fabrics carries them.
 
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