Several weeks ago I blogged “Spray Basting for Free-Motion Quilting“, getting a baby quilt ready for machine quilting. This step turned out beautifully, with the basting spray holding the quilt package together nicely for quilting. The time came though to finish the project!
So, with great trepidation, I got the machine set up with the darning foot, which also works as a machine quilting foot. Be SURE to drop your feed dogs, which allows you to move the quilt around effortlessly. This is mandatory when doing a meandering stitch or ‘drawing’ designs on your quilt top.
Admittedly, I’m a beginner at the process of quilting a design on the quilt top. Following are the steps I followed (and the unfortunate outcome!).
First I determined that I wanted to quilt a flower in the white areas of the quilt, so I went online and found a pattern, and printed off about 20 of them onto onion skin paper. Those were my sewing templates.
Then I got started stitching around the template.
As you can see, the stitching on the front, although ‘okay’, was less then steller – a little wonky around the corners and I had trouble with the stitches going over the seams being inconsistent in length.
And the stitches on the back looked HORRIBLE! The pink thread pulled through to the back, which looked really bad!
I removed the stitching – very carefully so that I didn’t break any of the fabric threads – and tried again! Same result :(((( After doing this on about four squares, and having to remove the stitching very carefully, I gave up! I’m not generally a ‘quitter’ but I didn’t want to take a chance on ruining this cute little quilt completely.
Obviously the quilt was not useable as it was – –
even though I managed to get out all the stitching, the pin holes were not pretty at all!!
So, to Plan B –
I ‘stitched in the ditch’ around each white area to secure the batting to the fabric, and then cut out felt flowers to cover up the stitching.
I secured the felt flower, along with a contrasting fabric ‘button’, to the center of the white area with white quilting floss, tying it in the back.
It turned out nice –
but not as I had hoped. Next time I try this (and I will) I will do three things differently!
1. Use a “topstitching’ needle (made specifically for this type of sewing),
2. Use the same color thread both top and bottom, and
3. Practice, practice, practice on a sample that is the same as the original before I start sewing on the original!!!
Although I wasn’t able to show you my successful steps to machine quilting, I think it’s also important to know that a project isn’t necessarily ruined – it can be something different!
Have you had project ‘failures’ that you’ve managed to save by going another route? Please share your story in the comment area – you never know when your success story may help someone else save their project!!