Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fish Quilt: The Process Part 2

Step 3: Quilting

Substep A: Marking the Quilt
The next part in the process is to decide how you are going to quilt the quilt. There are multiple ways to do this including doing it by machine or by hand. There are different styles for quilting by machine or by hand. I have never quilted by machine, so I can't speak to that. We chose to stitch in the ditch around the fish, which means to quilt along the seams. It is good to decide that you are going to do this while you are still making the quilt top, so that you can press the seams accordingly. Somehow we still had a few going the wrong way. I also marked the quilt. We did scales on the fish, which I made a template for, and swirls in the blue background, which I drew free-hand. I did most of the marking in pencil, but on some of the fish that were darker I marked them with chalk.

Substep B: Quilting
The next step is to actually quilt it. Each quilt consists of three layers: the back, the batting and the quilt top. You sandwich them together, and then the quilting is to keep them together. We put the quilt in the frames, which temporarily holds everything together and stretches it out while you quilt it.

You start quilting at the outer edge, and when you can no longer reach any farther, you roll the sides under, so you can get closer and closer to the middle(sorry I forgot to take a picture). We always roll the long side. I believe it's so that it doesn't get too thick, but I made that up.

The Cast of Characters
In order to quilt you need quilting thread, sharp scissors, a needle and a thimble (and a quilt). One of the challenges with this quilt was that the swirls went in every direction. It is definitely easiest to quilt from right to left. After working in a knot, you work your needle up and down, so that you have a number of stitches on your needle and then pull it all the way through.

Here is my needle with a few stitches on it
waiting to be pulled through.
This is an example of stitching in the ditch
Step 4: Finishing Touches

This is where everything comes together. Once you finish quilting everything, the quilt comes out of the frames. Next you attach a binding to the quilt. This is a piece of fabric that wraps around from the front of the quilt to the back and covers up the raw edge around the quilt. The binding gets attached on one side by machine, and on the other side by hand.

This is the corner with the binding attached
I also made a tag for the back of the quilt. Usually I would hand write it, but I couldn't find my fabric pen, so I decided to try out the full extent of my mom's new machine, and stitched the letters. I forgot to put some interfacing behind the fabric, which meant it puckered a bit, but overall I was happy with it.

And that's it. You're done. Wasn't that simple? We started at the beginning of September, and finished by mid-November for the baby shower. At first we worked only on Sundays, but once we started quilting, the race was on, and we worked almost every day on it. I'm going to leave you with a few more pictures of the quilting, and the finished product.

This was my favourite fish. This picture also gives you
an idea of the scale quilting and the swirls.

Here's the finished product. The sunlight really brings out the quilting.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Love the fish quilt - the scale quilting really fits well with the theme