I am celebrating with Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts as she kicks off a blog hop for her new book "No Scrap Left Behind". Amanda Jean is such a generous person and has freely shared so many wonderful tips, creative ideas and quiltalongs over the years. So when she publishes another book, I want to support her! As soon as I heard about the book I pre-ordered it and have enjoyed reading her new ideas and seeing her fabulous scrappy quilts. Click here to see the blogs on the celebration tour and enter the daily draws for free copies of the book.
With one week left to the finish line, my April UFO (which started with a Crazy Mom Quilts quiltalong!) has been pin basted.
Only quilters can appreciate how much time it actually takes to go from a quilt top to being ready for quilting. The thread has to be chosen for the top and the bobbin, and the quilting design has to be figured out. The backing fabric has to be chosen, measured (and pieced sometimes) and pressed, the batting has to be cut and fluffed up in the dryer, and the quilt top has to be pressed. Then the layers have to be smoothed out, one on top of the other, and finally the pin basting can begin.
This quilt insisted that the quilting design had to be the spiral pattern, which is also something I learned from Crazy Mom Quilter Amanda Jean Nyberg from her tutorial here. I have quilted this design once before and remembered that the beginning of the spiral is a little tricky using the free motion foot, but when you change to the walking foot, it's a little easier.
However, you are shoving half of the quilt continuously through the harp of your sewing machine, around and around, trying to keep the curves smooth. Shoving the quilt through the machine and repositioning it constantly means that your shoulders and hands will be aching, but it's the price you pay for leaving it to the last week and trying to finish it before the end of the month! LOL
Once you get to this stage of the quilting, when you are farther away from the centre of the spiral and moving to the outside of the quilt, it gets way more fun! There is less fabric to shove through and the curves are more gentle and easier to manage. I am lucky to have two large tables to spread the quilt out on when I am machine quilting and it holds the weight of the quilt (except the part that is on my lap, which in this photo is the top half of the quilt that is hanging over the front of the table).
An important spiral quilting tip - always make the spiral go clockwise, or the bulk of the quilt will accumulate to the right of the needle in the harp of the machine, instead of to the left of the needle and you will not be happy!