A friend’s quilting group is making a couple of quilts for a local foster care facility, and she asked me to quilt one of them. The quilts are oversize twins, so having them longarm quilted was the groups first choice. Luckily we have a group of longarmers in the area willing to do these larger quilts. So, she brought the quilt top, batting and backing to me last week. It is all done with navy on white prints, with red sashing and a solid navy border. It is suitable for a boy, with subtle prints not too girly. I spread it out to look at it, and measure it against the backing.
Loading it on the longarm, I was delighted that the quilt hangs perfectly straight when folded up, showing that those borders were applied correctly and flat!
The batting she brought is Quilter’s Dream Green, the first time I have used this batting made from recycled plastic bottles. After quilting with it, I am a fan and will buy this for myself in the future. I think we have to create markets for recycled materials so we keep as much as possible out of the landfills. This batting quilts just as easily as the Warm and Natural I usually use.
The backing is a light blue with white polka dots. Looking at the top and the back, right away I knew the only choice of thread color was white. It would blend on the back, and give the solid navy border a pattern to blend with the busy prints in the interior of the quilt. My usual tendency would be to go with darker thread, but quilting this in navy would show glaringly on the back, disappear in the border, and might compete with the prints making them even busier.
Quilting the first row, I was happy with the look of the pantograph. The prints are just so busy that the quilting disappears on them, but shows up nicely in the border. I used Essentials thread in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.
This pantograph is called Rosie from Willow Leaf Studios.
The backing was really a bit small for this top, it was only about 5 inches wider, and it needs to be 8 inches wider. Now, you may think this is no big deal, and really it isn’t. Of course, we can work around it, and the glitches may not seem a problem, but let me show you what happens. In the picture below, the machine head hit the clamp, and results in the two flat spots on the edge of the flower which should be a smooth curved line.
Is this a big deal? Well, no. But it startles me as I am quilting, as I never expect to hit the clamp. Luckily this time it didn’t result in a broken thread or worse a broken needle, but it could. And that creates more work for me. Having the right amount of overage on the backing ensures that the quilting goes smoothly, and the result is no glitches. And I can return a quilt without boo-boos, which pleases me. Getting to the bottom, the flat border is just such a joy to quilt!
I took it off the frame, and took a pic of the overall quilt. But the sky was overcast, and the light wasn’t bright enough in the studio to see the quilted border.
So, here is one last look at the bottom corner.
My friend picked it up and was very pleased with the choices of pantograph and thread. I hope it will bring some comfort to a child in foster care. What are you working on?