This beautiful quilt top was brought to me for quilting and presented a number of quilting challenges. The top maker was a local quilter and she wanted it to go to the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project. She did a wonderful job with the piecing in pretty pinks and greens. Since I have run out of longarm volunteers, I told her to give it to me and I would finish it.
The first challenge was the backing. It was pieced in several sections with seams running both horizontally and vertically.
When the seams run perpendicular to the leader bars, you get sagging on the edges, like this. I solve this by stuffing extra batting under the top leader as needed to bring the backing level.
Second challenge was the foundation fabric. It was a non-woven interfacing which was a bit thicker than I’ve done before. It gave me fits with thread breaks. This was totally from my inexperience with quilting on this kind of foundation piecing, and some set up details needed to be adjusted.
You can see it better here. This was the first quilt I have quilted on the longarm with this type of piecing.
Loading it on the longarm, I noticed one more challenge.
The edges were not stay stitched. This is so much easier to do on a domestic machine at a slower speed than it is to do on a longarm. The corners are almost impossible to hold down straight while the high speed machine goes over them. This results in many points being turned back on themselves. You can see also how the end stitches have come undone simply from handling, leaving the points unattached to the next strip. Quilt tops without borders should be stay-stitched to prevent this.
I just did the best I could. Hopefully the turned back points will be hidden in the binding.
I quilted it with a pantograph that is called Wrought Iron, and has an interlocking Fleur-de-lis pattern.
I started in, but kept getting thread breaks. After a number of them, I tried the bobbin tension a bit looser than I usually use, setting the tension on the Towa Gauge at 170 instead of 180. I changed the needle to a larger size 20 needle. I also had to change the silicone bobbin disk I use in place of a check spring as it was totally chewed up after a few breaks.
Quilting went along a bit better for a while, and I found that going slower than normal helped decrease the thread breaks as well. I also loosened the quilt sandwich just a bit from what I usually do, and rethreaded the machine skipping one of the thread guides at the top to reduce the drag on the top thread.
Then, the machine jammed totally, with the needle down. This was not a quilt problem, it was an issue with the bobbin case not related to the quilt. But just another headache. I keep a pair of hemostats on the machine, and used them to remove the needle, working it carefully out of the quilt, so I could move the machine and solve the issue.
Back to quilting, I worked at a slow and steady pace to make progress.
Finally, I got to the bottom end, more stay stitching and another three panto rows to go.
All done, finally.
Bless this quilter, she made binding for the quilt too. Aurifil thread in pink was perfect for this part, and I attached the binding by machine.
When it was completely finished, and a label added, I put it on my guest bed to enjoy while it waits for the next shipment.
Someone will have a lovely quilt soon.
A shipment went to Wilmington in late April, and you can see that post HERE. What are you quilting?
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