I think I am using the excuse of writing this blog post to procrastinate even longer on starting to quilt Downstream. I have a pretty darn clear vision of what I want for a large portion of the quilt, but to be honest, I’m a bit stumped on what to do in the darker (charcoal) areas. So, I’m sure I will have started on *something* (or rather, I hope I get up from writing this post and get started), but I am all ears for ideas on quilting the dark / charcoal. Enough preamble. Let’s see the quilt!
I paper pieced the majority of the quilt top, and it finished at exactly 35.5-inches wide by 45.5-inches tall, just as it should. I had done the block piecing on retreat in Oregon with Renee, but I used my new Juki to piece the quilt top together. I plan to use the walking foot on my Juki to straight line quilt this quilt.
I thought I’d give you a small view of how I prepare and baste my quilts that I sew on my domestic machine. I start by taping down my quilt backing (wrong side up). I start in the middle of the longest side, then go to the middle of the short side. Because this backing is longer than wide, I did a few pieces of tape at a time on the long side before moving to the shorter sides. At the end, I just need to add a few pieces to finish each corner.
I do give the backing a very slight tug to pull out any wrinkles, and I wanted to show what an un-taped corner looks like.
It doesn’t take much, and with a smooth quilt backing, I am confident that after I baste my quilt top the back will make it through the quilting process without tucks or wrinkles. One last thing to note: I use Scotch Masking Tape for “Hard to Stick Surfaces” that I buy at my local Home Depot (not an affiliate link). I have found that regular painter’s tape does not stick well enough as I move around and baste my quilt and the backing just springs up from being secured to the floor.
Because I do plan to do some matchstick quilting, I used quite a few pins to baste Downstream. I don’t think it’s going anywhere. 🙂
Because this will be the first time I use my Juki to quilt (!!), I made a quick quilt sandwich to try out the walking foot and get the settings for walking foot pressure and stitch length dialed in before starting to quilt Downstream. I did nothing other than slap fabric together (no basting), and I am so excited by the quality of the quilting and the results on the front and back. I am sure that Bernina’s are perfect machines for a lot of people, but my machine was not a good fit for me. I never saw stitches with this kind of consistency in length and fabric not pushed around even after lots of trying and samples and adjustments. I feel like with this one small sample, I’m ready to quilt without doing anything more than winding some bobbins!
Here’s a sketch of the parts of the quilting that I know I want to do. The black lines are the areas/directions I plan to quilt, although I plan to use matching thread. The trick is figuring out what to do on the dark/charcoal areas because they need done first before I layer over top with the angled “downstream” quilting bits. I’m leaning toward horizontal lines in the background after having taken the time to mock this up.
What would you do or suggest?