Monday, March 30, 2020

Barnyard Baby Quilt

It took me about 4 months to finally get this baby quilt done.  I started in January of 2020.  I kept getting interrupted with other important projects like face masks.  That's perfectly fine.  It gave me time to think through how I wanted to plan things.  (I have this quilt hanging from the gutter on my deck for photography.)
Quilting Designs:  It took forever to figure out a method to machine quilt this project.  How do I go about quilting a quilt that has all these appliques ?  Every scene is this quilt was an applique with computer embroidery done in the embroidery hoop. It's not like you can slap it on the longarm quilting frame and stitch through the designs.  Although I did use my Bernina longarm Q-matic to quilt a continuous design in the borders. Quilting around the appliques is a challenge.  I felt like my options were limited to free-motion stipple, echo quilting, or channel quilting.  If anyone has another idea I would love for you to share it! 

Quilting:  On my Bernina 790 I tested 'Free-Motion work 'with the BSR foot.  While this does have a slight learning curve I liked the fact that the stitches were rather consistent. Gripping the quilt and moving it around is another issue.  Gloves do help but there is quite a bit of stress on the hands.  I actually tried using one of those 'old school' embroidery hoops so I would have something to grab.  It most certainly was easier to push the frame around and the fabric was taut.  I definitely like the BSR and will use it on another project.  I have mixed feelings about combining computer work with manual work.  In my opinion there seems to be a dis-connect in appearance. I'll get over it.

I also tried Ruler Work with foot #72.  (feed dogs DOWN)  This is also hard on the hands.  I feel as though I need a third hand to hold the ruler while trying to push the quilt.  This takes a good bit of practice to get consistent stitches.  I know this is a very popular technique and many quilters like ruler work.  I guess I simply need a lot more practice.

Finally, I tested the 'walking foot' (feed dogs UP).  The stitches were consistent and my hands weren't stressed out.  You are more limited on your stitch patterns. Obviously you can't do a stipple stitch which is my favorite.  Basically straight or slightly curved lines.  I tested every technique on scrap quilt sandwiches before working on the quilt.

All these appliques are a lot of fun to create and certainly create an adorable quilt.  The quilt is not as soft, flexible or cuddly as a plain fabric quilt.  I feel this type of quilt is perhaps better suited to a wall hanging vs. a bed quilt.  (click on each photo to see the channel stitching more clearly)

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