Monday, September 01, 2008

2 Experiments, 50% Success

Some of you may be getting bored with my project! But, if not, and if you like the learning process, hey, I am still learning also, so I'm mentioning how I slogged through the process.
My "Gobsmacked Kaleidoscope" is done. I will thank Sheila in Australia for that perfect name.

I used a rayon heavier thread for the swirl-y borders, and a variegated pastel cotton, 50 wt. for the top, which was quilted a LOT with "innies and outies" and "dwirling" ...(hah, guess who has been watching her quilting DVDs a LOT!). I DID go back with invisible thread and stitch in the ditch between the top and the first white border -- it was a little pooched up. My batting is 80/20 blend.

I tried two experiments with this quilt. Since I quilt on a DSM, and this is not a small quilt, I wanted it to really stay together, during the pushing/pulling through my machine harp. It was already spray basted it, and pinned.

Experient #1: Water soluble thread. After sandwiching, I machine sewed long basting stitches with water soluble thread (that thread is white). This worked very well, and this quilt has not even one pucker on the back. I was less stressed when sewing my real quilting stitches, because I knew the basting stitches were holding it well. A spool of that thread is $6.95, 300 yds (kinda expensive but ...) I figured I could do 2 quilts with one spool - yes, I calculated it! LOL

The down side is ... that thread is white, as were parts of my variegated quilting thread. And in these close quarters, sometimes I started quilting/echoing the soluble thread line instead of echoing the previous quilting line. It might be a good idea to use one straight direction for the water soluble thread. While not part of this experiment, note how busy some of that fabric is and I became 'lost' a number of times, needing to do the ole frog stitch! On a DSM, your nose is right down there next to your fabric, and you can't see the whole picture as you can with a long-arm! And, long swoopy lines are not easy.

After a brief washing, the soluble thread is gone, and the quilt is lovely!

Experiment #2 - I tried FUSIBLE thread on the binding. My theory (hey, I heard it on the Internet!) was fusible in the bobbin when sewing on the binding, then when I press the binding to the back, it would fuse itself down, eliminating the pinning project that always sticks me. I would still hand sew it down.

Well, after sewing 12 inches of it down, I had the good sense to give fusing a try ... uh, ouch, burned fingers, turn iron hotter, ouch, dang it, not sticking, hold it on longer, dang it ... well this did not seem worth the trouble so, I finished the binding the traditional way. After a quick wash to dissolve the water soluble ... Uh ohhh ... fusible also does NOT take the place of regular thread -- who knew? I did manage to hand sew that open 12 inches down with no problem. Even DH says he really likes all the puckering. 8-)

BTW, do you know you can use a fabric softener sheet with your hand sewing, and pull your thread through it. Works for me. I've never bought the "Conditioner" ...

14 comments:

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

I love the quilt and am not bored with your blogs about it! I did buy one of Patsy Thompson's quilting DVDs, but haven't had time to view the whole thing, let alone do the practicing she recommends. I really hope to get to that soon. It is encouraging to see someone doing the quilting on a rather large quilt using a regular sewing machine. Hopefully, I will get to that point some day! BTW, do you have one of those machines that regulates the stitches?

meggie said...

Love that quilt!! also love learning about the processes on quilting, binding etc.

Joyce said...

Love the quilt and learned a lot from this post, not least that I love my frame. Lol.

Lindah said...

Oh, Elaine, you are brave...experimenting on that beautiful quilt! But thanks for sharing your findings with us. ---Now I won't need to do so much experimenting! :-)

Sharon said...

Oh Elaine! I am so impressed with your quilting! Especially since you use a DSM!! The quilt looks fabulous! I too love the crinkles - just like the old quilts! Wonderful job, and just so you know, I never get tired of hearing how other people make their quilts!

Catherine said...

Love that quilt. And really appreciate hearing the review on the fusible thread -- I wondered about it but now shall not even try!
I'm impressed with the machine quilting -- keep saying I'll try some free motion but never quite work up the nerve!

sMC said...

I am truly gobsmacked. But I must say you definitely are a perfecionist.....just look at that striped border. Mitered as well.
gobsmacked from downunder.

Anonymous said...

At guild we were shown a method of stiching the binding on, then gluing the binding down. This works great! especially on projects with difficult corners or points. Very nice to take along in the car without getting stuck! check out http://www.sharonschamber.com/free%20stuff/images/Binding%20Class.pdf
on page 17 it will show the glue bottle, page 41 shows the method. This really works. Karen in MN

Candace said...

Your quilt is wonderful and your quilting is so nice. I may try your method when I know that I will be basting and quilting immediately. It would be so wonderful to not have to worry about pins, or tearing out basting stitches. I am not at all bored, I just appreciate getting the benefit of your experiences.

Julie said...

Gobsmacked has turned out just gorgeous. It has been fun watching this one from it's beginning all the way to DONE. I have learned so much from you in the process. Thanks for sharing all the info. I'll keep plugging away on my machine quilting. Someday it may be good enough to show close-up instead of blurry far away photos!*LOL*

jovaliquilts said...

Love that kaleidoscope and really appreciate all I've learned from watching you make it. And what a neat trick with the fabric softener sheet and the thread. Thanks!

Tanya said...

Your quilt just shines and the quilting is so lovely! Just an inspiration to all of us that are beginning domestic sewing machine quilters. I've never tried that disolvable thread but I'd like to give it a try. Machine quilting always gives me some puckers on the back.

Marilyn said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Your quilt is just beautiful. Good to know about the products.

Rhonda said...

Thanks for sharing all your tips. It's always great to learn from someone who's already been there. :-)

Don't you just love those dryer sheets... so many uses.