Thursday, 26 September 2013

From Inspiration to Quilt 
(the visible parts of the process, anyway!)

Snapshot of poppies in my garden.

Pattern prepared . Considering fabrics.

Creating an interesting background using an improv piecing technique I learned in Judith Trager's Craftsy course

Poppies take shape.

Ready to stitch.

Elements are stitched. Adding background filler. This was worked on my domestic sewing machine.

Finished quilt.

Now, a bit about minky.

Even though I'm relatively new to longarm quilting, I did manage to use minky successfully on both of my grandkids' quilts (shown in a previous post) and this little baby quilt.

Beautiful! The minky is sculpted, and the thread tension is perfect.

BUT...Here's what happened on Sunday:

Ugh. I shouldn't see anything like THIS on the back!

The thing is, while the quilt was on the frame everything looked reasonably good.

My guess is that I had the layers rolled too tightly on the frame. The stitch tension looked good until I took the quilt off the frame. When it "relaxed", the flaws became glaringly apparent! Oh, no!

First lesson: minky is stretchy (duh), so looser is better.
(I already knew this, but why, oh why, didn't I do it?)

I also think thread choice played a part. I had used a 40 weight cotton thread on top and glide in the bobbin. This combo can work very nicely, but takes a lot of "testing and tweaking" to get the tension just right. (As I said, it looked fine while the quilt was on the frame.)

Second lesson: it would make life easier to use a "friendlier" thread combination on a "difficult" fabric.
It would have been smarter to use a fine poly thread on top to better balance the fine poly in the bobbin.

I had chosen the thread based on its colour, not on its properties.

Sadly, I have now decided I don't even like the thread I chose.

The even sadder thing is that this quilt started out so beautifully. See?

Beautiful circle pizzazz quilt, about to be slaughtered.
Oh, well. I'll bind the thing and see what happens when I wash it. It'll make a snazzy car quilt, if nothing else.

Off to try something new!

Try, Learn, Grow,



  1. Hoping it all comes out in the wash.... Trials and tribulations of a modern quilter - you seem to have enough of them!
    I'm enjoying your posts and am still in love with your poppies.
    Take care!

  2. Well, maybe the wash will fluff things up so the stitches don't look as bad. I've decided to chalk this up to experience and move on...I'd lose my mind if I tried ripping stitches and starting over!
    Thanks for commenting, Judy. I appreciate your kind words.

  3. A beautiful quilt. Thanks for showing how you do it from photo to quilt.

  4. Carole I can almost see you poppies swaying in the wind. I also love the pops of purple in the adds another dimesion.


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