Do you all have a lot of pesky fraying threads making your quilt back clean up a dog? Cleaning up the back of my quilt after I have finished piecing is one of my least favorite things to do. I know it is so important to the the quality of my finished quilt but when I finish the top, I am biting at the bit to get to the quilting stage.
This isn’t my first rodeo- I have made light colored quilts before, but never with this much contrasting color (black and red) butting up against stark white. I have fished my fair share of rogue threads showing through the finished quilt with my trusty fine thread hook- no fun at all. The fabric is a decent brand and therefore supposedly, decent quality. But even so ,does it seem to you guys that most fabrics fray more than they did 10 years ago? Or am I just tough on my quilts when piecing? I know I love the feel of fabric, but I swear, I’m not rolling around the floor with my completed quilt blocks (now there’s a visual 🙂 !)- but they sure do look like it!
I do do the obvious and clean up each block when it’s completed.… more or less. My real aha moment or thought is that in the future (and I do have another white background quilt in the horizon) I will dig out my pinking shears and trim up some of those seams after piecing the block but before piecing those blocks together into a quilt top. I am a slow learner, but I think this may help when using white against high contrast colors. I can’t see me doing that all the time, but I would have saved a couple days in prep (and an extra trip to the dollar store for more tape lint rollers) if that aha moment came a little earlier .
I started to try and use my pinking shears on this top, but felt that I was courting disaster. The pinking shears are just too big and bulky to use after the top is assembled. The risk of accidentally cutting my top was a real possibility I could so see me doing.
Am I the only messy-Bessy out here? Do you think our fabrics fray more these days? Do you mind the quilt back clean up? What is your routine to have minimal fraying at the end of the quilt top construction? Do you starch the devil out of your fabric and just resolve yourself that you will wash the quilt top when your done? Inquiring minds want to know!….
Happy Quilting my Friends !
Fraying in Florida
(aka, Debbie 🙂 )
In the beginning of the summer I received a beveled inside circle template from Teryl Loy Enterprises. Teryl McKnight and her husband John are Innovis Longarm dealers out in Utah , run an on-line quilting supply store and manufacture longarm rulers/templates. What is unique about their templates? Well, first they manufacture rulers in 2 different thicknesses -the traditional 1/4” longarm ruler and a thicker 3/8” ruler. The second is that all her rulers/ templates have a beveled edge. Why does that matter??… In one word- clearance.
As quilters we are pretty good at avoiding the sides of our ruler foot that is difficult to get around. As sit-down quilters we are lucky that we can turn our quilt to get us out of those tight situations. But lets face it- if you have a larger quilt, you don’t what to be swinging that quilt back and forth every other pass of the ruler. This is where the bevel may be helpful. Of the 5 ruler feet that I tried this template with, the tightest was (no big surprise) the low- shank feet.
On a low-shank foot, I was able to make circles without feeling like the fit behind the foot was too tight. When I was doing designs like the clam shells or cathedral windows with a low-shank foot and I had to reposition the template half way around the circle I could feel some tightness toward the back . Still do-able, I just needed to be aware of it so I lined up my ruler carefully. Performance of this template with a low-shank foot will vary due to the different clearances in machines.
I think these circle templates are nice if you are using an APQS Longarm style foot (like my George) or high shank DSM. I loved how it floated all the way around my foot without having to reposition my hands. I never felt any tightness or awkward passes when playing with various designs on my George.
My only real criticism is that this template does not have a “key” for the slot that we use to slide it on and off my machine. As sit-down quilters we apply more pressure pushing the ruler against the foot. Most of the time- if I am paying attention- I can anticipate the opening and glide past….but sometimes I get a small hiccup :).
Circle templates are one of those things that most quilters end up needing at one point or another. They are handy for feather wreath spines, shield and buckle designs, orange peel or cathedral windows and clam shells for a few quick examples of a template with multiple uses .
I think these beveled edge rulers may allow us sit-down quilters to do ruler work without having to turn/ reposition our quilts as much- which is a real plus in my book. I am eyeing a few other templates that I think may come in really handy……..
I hope you will visit Teryl’s website : www. terylloy.com. Be sure to check out her great video tutorials on using some of her templates!
Have a great week!
Welcome to The Quilt Journal and My Friday Finish!
I had a long list of things I wanted to finish or accomplish this summer. This thread painted clematis quilt was only one of them. For one reason or another this has been my only significant finish in a few months (funny how that happens when sadly you haven’t really had time to sew in over 2 months). I am so grateful to Laura over at TGIFFriday.blogspot.com for lighting that much needed fire under my butt to make me re-enter life and get quilting!
Some of you may remember that I started this quilt back in January after taking a class taught by Melinda Bula at my local quilt guild. This quilt is made from my friend Sherry’s and my stash (outside of the background fabric). Funny how saying it came from your stash practically makes you glow with pride….justifying all those purchases right??? lol :). Pooling our stash really helped. It’s harder then you think to come up with a variety of color values to try and make your palate work. I don’t know that you will ever actually see a clematis that looks like ours, but I love pink and purple…..so I’m a happy camper.
Things that did or didn’t work for me during this project
Melinda likes Steam-A-Seam 2 to fuse her quilts. I like Steam-A-Seam too, but it does add a lot of fusible . Not entirely a bad thing. Due to the Steam-A-Seam and heavy quilting my quilt is rather stiff and lays really flat. Both good things for a wallhanging. The negative is I had layers of the fusible, some areas 5 or 6 fabrics thick to quilt through. Not all thread or machines like that. I started quilting this on my Baby Lock Ellisimo with Sulky 30 wt Rayon (Melinda’s prefered thread). No matter what needle I put in (topstitch, mirotex, embroidery, sharps, jeans ,titanium) the rayon shredded. Changing my thread to Floriani or Glide helped, but my Ellisimo wasn’t in love with this project. Consequently, I quilted the bulk on my George.
The other consideration is paying attention to your tension.If you look closely at the picture of the stitching on the back, you can see my tension wasn’t always ideal, not terrible, but not perfect either- depending on what area I was quilting.
I thread painted this quilt with Floriani Polyester, Glide poly, and Superior threads variegated Omni and Magnifico, all 40 wt in top and in the bobbin. These threads were great- no hassle threads. I used a variety of manufactures to get the colors I needed to match the fabrics.
Finally the last thing that didn’t work so well for me, was Melinda’s technique of starting and stopping a stitch line. Melinda pulls her threads to the top takes a few stitches and clips the tails. She feels that all the fusible will fuse the thread ends in the quilt when you hit it with an iron and make your stops and starts invisible. I found that sometimes my threads did come loose in-spite of all my ironing. Little bird nests do show more on the back where I start or finish if I take a few extra small stitches with 40 wt to secure those tails. It’s also difficult to bury threads with the heavy stitching and fusible. I think it’s just one of those things that I need to work on perfecting that technique. Maybe my big ole Rowenta steam iron doesn’t get hot enough??? Inquiring minds may want to figure that out. haha
I had a lot of fun with this quilt and would love to do a poinsettia for the holidays….some year !?! Thanks for stopping by and visiting!
This past week I helped my son move to Richmond Va to start a new job… Sigh… What a crazy summer this has been!! I have been away from home for weeks at a time for various reasons and am longing for some quilt therapy.
I was catching up on my email and I am in awe of the wonderful amount of creative sharing that goes in our quilty worlds. Jill McDaniel is a talented quilter who also quilts on an APQS George. Jill has shared wonderful tips in the past and this one was for a Pinmoor DIY alternative . I have seen the Pinmoor video put out by Leah Day. Pinmoors look like it could be a really quick way to pin-baste a quilt without cramping up your fingers fastening and unfastening all those quilt pins. However, $34 for 100 pin toppers made me think more then twice about how much I really wanted to try them…….Enter Jill…….
Jill felt the same about the cost of these little do-dads, so she had tried different types of foam but they were not performing the way she had hoped. While shopping in Target and thinking about another source/type of foam for the ends of the Pinmoor DIY alternative she looked down at her feet and realized she was wearing flip flops……foam!!!
Initially she purchased a pair of children’s flip flops and cut them up into little squares. They held up beautifully to pin basting a quilt . Jill also loves how easy they are to remove as you free motion quilt.
After going to Walmart and buying an adult XL pair of flip flops for .98 cents, Jill said she ended up with about 300 Pinmoor knock offs that work great! That many Pinmoors would cost $101.85 plus shipping!!! I shared Jill’s pictures so you can see for yourself this creative idea.
I also agree with supporting small business whenever possible, but this is such a simple solution with huge savings that I had to pass this on.
I can’t wait to give these a try- I have several quilts calling my name 🙂 I hope you will too. Drop us a line and let us know how they worked for you!
Thanks for sharing Jill !!!