Design machine Monday 1-23-12

Last year I offered to quilt some tops that were donated after the tsunami. Then shoulder stuff happened, then other things. To make a long story short, I’ve now started on them. I had expected tops ready for quilting, but since I don’t quilt for others, I guess I don’t have an appreciation for how some toppers prepare their quilts. I’ve done quite a bit of work on the few tops I’ve worked with, some of work at my own choosing.

I quilted some Heartstrings tops last, and sent them to Las Vegas for the VA hospital. Since I think they are still short, I was looking at this box of tops to see if I could add borders to some to make them large enough for VA needs. (I figure the Japanese quilters have taken care of the tsunami victims by now.)  I had navy fabric that worked with the first top, and there weren’t but a few tiny flowers in the strippy parts, so I added borders to it. The second top was obviously of kid fabrics, so I left it as is. It was the only one in the box that was nicely trimmed, all the seams were backstitched on the sides, and actually ready for quilting.

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I do wish I had remembered that offering to quilt these also meant that I would have to bind them. So far these two are finished. The navy one has some white in it, and I used white binding as I’d used up all the navy, so I may try to tea dye it a bit when I wash it prior to sending it to the VA.

My DGD that is 5 was here playing when I had the quilts like this, and she had to say all the numbers, check out the numbers on the race cars, etc. It is definitely a kid quilt, but I think it could be male of female. We cleaned out a toy box, and all of the cars had to be retained for the DGDs.

I was fortunate to have a whole bolt of wide yellow muslin donated by  the sisters I quilt donation items for. It was donated to them, and they couldn’t use it. I washed pieces of it, and it is making a nice soft backing for these quilts. I decided that I needed to do some practicing of other long-arm skills with these, so for these first two (I loaded them both at the same time on one piece of backing) I tried a pantograph. I haven’t tried one for years since I struggle so, but I needed to give it a try again. I’ve always liked how other quilts looked with the Popcorn panto, so I tried it. It looks okay, but I had a lot of trouble with thread breakage, not the thread’s fault, but me spending too much time in the points and shredding the bobbin thread. I used So Fine on top, and Bottom Line pre-wound’s in the bobbin. I tried some Fil-Tec bobbins at first, but I was really having a hard time with shredding it, so changed to the Bottom Line. Those bobbins hold more anyway, so I don’t have to change them so often.

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I’m now working on this top. I help a person with CP make quilt tops, and usually have to spend some time ripping and resewing some of her joins and seams to make the tops flat enough to quilt. This one was similar. A LOT of the seam allowances were turned the wrong way, and the block seams were pressed towards the white muslin sashing and were fraying badly, so the threads showed through the sashing. I’ve fixed all that, then decided that there might be a patient at the VA that liked horses, so since I needed to stabilize the edges before loading it on Black Bart, I added the border. This fabric was leftover from the backing I made for the last VA quilts, and was just perfect for the colors in this top. I’ve picked another top to work on with similar colors that can take added borders and then I will quilt the two at the same time on one piece of backing. I think I’m going to try free motion quilting this time, so I can add more quilting along the edges of the shirts and pants to keep them from fraying. I don’t want loose threads left on it.

Thanks for taking time to visit! Happy Quilting,

Becky

Comments

Kathie said…
I am luck in that I have a binding fairy to do all the binding on donation quilts. She is a widow and says it helps keep her mind occupied at night. Maybe you could check with a local guild to see if you could also get a "binding fairy"
Kare said…
so did the panto go well enough that you may soon give it another go? You sure are keeping busy!
Bonnie said…
Um, Becky -- your panto looks great. It doesn't have any flattened curves which is my problem. And, charity quilts are great for practicing on. I need to get some or make some as I haven't touched Ruthie in nearly 3 months. I should have a quilt or two to do in the next week or two. Especially if I stay home and in the studio!

Nice to see all these quilts you are finishing off. How about doing the binding by machine... both sides? I tend to do that for charity quilts. It does go faster. Thanks for sharing.
Sue Daurio said…
well someone has been busy! Your panto looks awesome! Way better than I can do a panto. I keep practicing and improving. Someday mine will be as good as yours :)
Diane said…
popcorn is a great panto-I need to get it and learn how to do panto's. I think finding someone to do the binding is a great idea.
Almost every article I come across has the almost same piece of information, but you provide with variation. That is what I like about your blog. Keep it up, pal!

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