Friday, 13 November 2009

Hello, I'm still here

So I've finished this one for the sofa at the cottage all but washing it and burying the threads.

Then I've gone back to the dreaded wholecloth. The one which has given me more problems than most of my quilts put together which is going some when you think there is no piecing an no appliqué.
For those of you not with me at the time, it was going to be a whole cloth with white batting under the trapunto areas and wool batting under the background. It was to be quilted in very fine YLI silk, white thread on the motifs and cream in the background, a sort of soft coloured trapunto.
So I did a quarter sized trial to test various stitching effects. It was looking good. It had diamond grid between the central motifs and the borders. These diamonds were to alternately trapuntoed and background quilted. I prepared all the trapunto round the motifs and worked at cutting out half of the diamonds when I discovered the alternate diamonds had swapped places when I got back round the circle.

Plan 2 was to gently disolve the water soluble thread so I could remove the diamonds and re-mark the grid. So far so good (Ferret helped me). Except some bits of the motifs broke away and some bit s of wetted water soluble thread had dried in hard lumps which were capable of breaking needles. grrrr.

Plan 3 was to start again. I cut out a piece the same length of more cotton sateen to discover it wasn't wide enough, nor was any I had in the house. So I washed everything out of the original top and remarked it. I planned to use a glue stick to stick the already cut out motifs of the white batting and stick them to the back. It was fine for the very central motifs but as I worked round the top the glue came unstuck. Then I used 505 spray. It worked fine until it came to the very fine ¼" lines of trapunto work. This is when I started screaming, rolled it up and put it away.

Until yesterday.
Ferret had mentioned the longarmers faux trapunto method. The longarmers use two layers of batting and heavily quilt between motifs to increase the loft. I used the lightest weight Quilter's Dream polyester, Request with Hobbs Wool on top.
So today I started to quilt it. And found how hard it was to stuff a quilt with two layers of batting into the harp of a normal domestic machine. Is it possible?
Read on....

Meanwhile the kittens disappeared, I searched the house and eventually found them hidden half way up the shelving of fabric about three foot above the floor.

Yes you can!!!! It wasn't easy but I slowly, slowly I've managed to quilt the middle. I still have to go back into the middle to do the background and that will probably take a few more hours as I have to reposition it so often.

This is the back, it isn't bright yellow (that's the camera), it's off white but it does show up how great the loft looks.

This is nothing like the original plan with the white and cream but the basic design is very good so I can save that technique for another day.


  1. I have to admire you, quilting that on your home machine. It does look very nice. I do love whole cloth quilts. I started designing one a couple of years ago (on paper) but haven't got much farther.

  2. Sally, it's looking beautiful! From your description, I'm assuming that you aren't using the technique where you cut away the part of the batting that isn't in the trapunto, right? What a good idea!

  3. Dear Sally
    So glad it is you and not me tackling that with your 440.

    Robyn K

  4. Great to see this project is working out, after all that effort! I see the kittens are helping out too...

  5. gosh, i think I would have chucked it out the window. way to stick in there!

  6. WOW! Talk about from one extreme to the other. One minute you are easing yourself back in, and the next you are doing the quilting equivalent of climbing Everest.
    It is looking really impressive and I'm not even a fan of whole cloths.

  7. Glad to see you were able to work out the wholecloth! The kitties look very comfy.

  8. I admire your perserverance...many would have given up.

    Love the pic of the cats...looks like heaven!!..sleeping amongst fabric! Ahhh

  9. the KF quilt is so lovely - the feather quilting is just right!

    As for quilting a large quilt on a domestic machine - I have just finished a king sie for my daughter and have said 'never again' - but after Christmas I am planning to start another for the other daughter.......glutton for punishment! you can manage it if you take it slowly and in small bites - it can make your shoulders ache!

  10. Ah Sewing Granny, if your shoulders are aching either you are not sitting in the right position or you are holding the quilt wrongly. Perhaps you need to reposition more frequently? Really you must at the very least take lots of breaks before you do permanent damage to your shoulders.
    And Sandy, I did do the cutting away trapunto, that was Plan 1 (grin)
    Thanks for all your positive comments everyone!

  11. I am still a little unclear-----are you still cutting away the batting or are you quilting in the fine batting and then the wool or?????? Are you willing to share a bit more about your technique?

  12. Too funny where the cats were hiding. I'm rather impressed that you can quilt on a regular machine...I've tried and have given up...everything of mine gets sent out.

    I love the quilt for the cottage: It's the perfect colors and pattern for a cottage quilt!

  13. Sally
    so glad to see you back at work and blogging - your work is an inspiration to which I can only aspire at the moment.