Putting It All Together

Today I tried quilting for the very first time, under the guidance of my Mum, an experienced quilter. She had already made the top piece from four different fabric strips to make a simple but very effective seascape.

I’d like to share the process with you.

First up – ironing! A non steam iron and dabbing water on the more stubborn creases did the trick. The top right of the panel gives a particularly good sense of before and after.

Then I smoothed the top piece onto the batting, pinned it and cut it with the batting larger than the top panel. I cut it a bit more than was needed – first time over cautiousness!

The final layer was the backing fabric which was cut to the same size as the batting. It’s actually pinned and cut already on the right hand pic above. It’s the most gorgeous fabric!

Following the cutting and pinning I tacked it all together and took the pins out.

The sewing machine finally got a look in at this stage! I learnt how to ‘sew in the ditch’, joining the three layers together with three lines of stitching along the joins between the strips of fabric. Mum’s machine has a walking foot which apparently makes sewing quilted items much easier.

After sewing in the ditch, I had to trim the batting back to match the top layer, whilst being careful not to cut the back layer! That was when I realised I’d been overly generous with my margin – the batting is cut bigger in case the top layer shifts when sewing it, but it didn’t need to be quite that much bigger.

Then, we worked out how much the back piece of fabric needed to be trimmed, using a very high tech gauge (a piece of card cut from a Weetabix box) so it would be big enough to fold down to the batting edge and then fold over the front piece. I don’t think I took any pics of this stage.

I folded the pinned the long edges first, then I tacked them and finally I sewed them on the machine, aiming to keep the seam 1-2mm from the edge.

Once the long edges were done, I did the same with the short edges, trimming the corners a little so the folded fabric didn’t poke out at the corners.

The last steps were to sew the corners by hand, using the thread ends which I’d cut long and then to remove the tacking threads. I’m really pleased with how it looks and Mum is delighted too – she is both pleased with the sea-scape she created and being a proud Mumsie having shared a skill with me.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to today! I’m really looking forward to doing some more (there are two more top pieces made that I’ve pinned to batting – have you spotted that the first three pics are a different panel from the other pics?!), but my next immediate focus is the start of my Summer Knit-along tomorrow! There’s still time to get a ticket for the Zoom Cast-On Party at 7.30pm (BST) tomorrow evening.

What have you been up to? I’d love to hear all about it. K x

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