Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tying quilts....and who's on first?

Many of us have a large library of quilting books - some that rarely get opened, and some that were used for a particular pattern and then not looked at much again. I use almost all of my books for inspiration, never knowing when a border, block layout or colour scheme might trigger an idea on how to start or finish a quilt.

Yesterday, I found myself flipping through the reference type quit books I have to find information on tying a quilt. Its been a long time since I tied that one quilt, and I want to make sure I do it "right" as the quilt police just might be at the local fair's quilt competition.

My favourite batting for machine quilting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 - I've tried all the others, but have always come back to this one. And now its avilable as fusible, wow! - a whole other topic. I do use a cotton batt sometimes for smaller wallhangings and table covers.

It seems that a polyester batt is the best for tying a quilt, and what do I know about polyester batts? Not much. But as usual the web as a wealth of information to ponder - manufacturer's website for one, and most important - this article from Quilters Newsletter

The chart lists most current battings being produced (most because the new bamboo blend batts are not listed) - whether it should be machine or hand quilted - quilting distance required. A great reference.

Next comes the decision making about what thread or yarn to use for the tying - I went through my drawer of heavier threads, and decided for now to try the Sulky blendable cotton 12 weight, with two threads through the needle. I've ordered that with the batt, and started practicing my tying on an orphan quilt block.

I thought at first, well why practice tying a knot? I came across a method where you don't cut the thread inbetween knots, and, you do make the knot while you go. Then just snip the connecting threads. Pictures next week I hope when I get to work on the quilt.

Now I'm thinking that the quilt I'm going to be tying needs some hand embroidery in places - when I had sewn the top I had been thinking of all the places that machine quilting would enhance the top, and now that that will be missing, I'm going to spread out the top and see what some decorative stitches might do for it.

Who's on first?

My kids are teenagers, and my husband works shifts as well as a second part time job. When my oldest was at home, he was a shift worker as well. I would have to keep track of their comings and goings - who would be home for dinner, when would dh be home at the same time as one of the kids so they could talk, who needs a ride from here to there and when, etc. It always reminded me of "who's on first" - that sketch by Abbot and Costello. So we're back to "who's on first" and "what's on second" for the summer - Wendy and Scott running different schedules and my husband with assorted vacation days and more shift changes. I'm thinking of tying a voice recorder around my neck so I can just simply talk into it, to remember who is where and what time they'll be home.

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About Me

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southern Ontario, Canada
I began quilt-making in January 2001, as therapy following diagnosis a chronic autoimmune condition. I enjoy creating and exploring hand and machine applique, machine piecing, english paper piecing, machine quilting, and machine embroidery. I have been working with Electric Quilt for several years and I'm comfortable with just about very aspect of using EQ to design pieced, applique, and embroidery quilts. I'm an early retired Mom with two teenager and a son who'll be married in Fall '09. My husband is my biggest quilting supporter.

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