Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Number 1 Quilting Mistake

Machine quilting has been on my mind a lot lately for two reasons. The first reason is that have just finished machine quilting two large quilts. The second reason is that I have been teaching my Beginners Machine Quilting Class three times in the last three weeks. That is 32 new machine quilters starting out on the exciting road to quilting their own quilts.

There are so many pitfalls on the road to machine quilting your own quilts, but the number 1 mistake that people make is not using enough pins.
Size 2 safety pins

I always use size 2 curved safety pins. They are so much easier on your fingers and hands than the old fashioned straight pins. The container below shows my collection of pins. By the time I have finished pin basting a large quilt, this container is empty!
Make sure the quilt is completely stabilised with pins because that quilt is going to be pushed and shoved through a sewing machine and you don't want any shifting of those layers. Nothing is more depressing than finding a fold or tucks on the back of your quilt after all that work of machine quilting.

I went through my photos and found a couple of pictures that I had taken after a pin basting session.
Eastern Elements Pin Basted

Holiday Waltz Pin Basted


Eastern Elements took 4 hours to baste and Holiday Waltz took 3 and a half hours.

Hello to my students at the Wonga Park Community Cottage and the Geelong Patchwork and Quilters Guild. I hope you are doing some practice. Be kind to yourself and start quilting some small items before you tackle that large quilt.
Wonga Park Class
Wonga Park Class

 We were so busy quilting in Geelong that I forgot to take any photos. Oh well, I hope to be back there next year with another quilting lesson that takes us beyond stippling to the fun of all sorts of different stitches to add to your quilts.
By the way, if someone tells me that they ended up with a fold at the back of the quilt, I know that they haven't basted the quilt properly. Please don't rush this step.

Happy Quilting, it's my favourite part of making a quilt now.

Bye for now,



Andrea Wedell said...

Hi Linda,
This makes me want to sign up and start quilting. Alas, I can't do it all ! Great post though, and I'm excited to be able to follow along now and read more about your beautiful quilts. They're gorgeous by the way.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Andrea, I know exactly what you mean. If I had the time I would definitely be painting as well as quilting.

Suzanne Gibbs said...

I'll have to photograph and show you a recent "painting" I made using safety pins - it's funny because I only made it about a week ago then I saw this post!

Linda Steele said...

Please send me the photo Suzanne, I'd love to see it.