Quilting the Quilt

I’ve only quilted a larger quilt once before, and it must have been quite a while ago because I’d forgotten what it was like. Which is like wrestling a big, fuzzy, floppy mattress. I had to put my sewing machine in the middle of the cutting table to have enough room to handle it. I’m certain my stitching would have been far neater if I hadn’t been constantly pulling, pushing and manipulating it.

The plan was to use ‘serpentine’ stitch, which sews a wavy line, but when I selected the number for the wavy line shown in my machine’s manual I got a completely different stitch. The manual had no other info – just a chart – so I gave up and did the ‘stitch in the ditch’ method instead. Though this does make it look a bit like a puffer jacket (which I loathe) the bamboo batting makes it feel appealingly cushy rather than full of air.

Even though this is possibly the plainest quilting topstitch patten, it still ate up four and a half reels of thread. I had two in the right colour already, and I’d already bought more, but it turns out the number on the edge of the G├╝termann thread reel is the same on all reels, and the actual colour number is the ends of the reels. So I made a fourth trip to Spotty in as many weeks only to find that every colour in that thread was in stock except the one I needed. I asked a staff member and they said the shelf had been restocked the previous day.

Fortunately, there was a thread in the same colour in another brand.

I wanted to bind it with the same fabric as the backing, but flannelette probably doesn’t make the most robust of fabrics. Unfortunately, the quilting cotton was nearly twice as expensive and the only colour that came close to matching was too dark. Then I remembered a friend’s method of finishing: just turn over the edge of the backing to the front. This wouldn’t be any less robust than making bias binding out of the backing, and it’s much faster. So that’s what I did.

I like it. The colour lifts my mood.

However, when I looked at the leftover fabric a hard truth settled over me: I did not succeed in reducing my stash. I started with three of these bundles:

And now I have probably more mass of fabric left:

I did add Mum’s pyjamas to the initial bundles, but that just means I’ve ended up with as much unused fabric as I started with.

At least one piece isn’t cut into strips – the piece I was going to make bias binding out of. The options for using that are much broader.