This morning was productive for me. I finally finished quilting this bluebird quilt. Although I am frustrated with myself for rushing, I think it turned out nicely. My problem is I hate to pin. I just want to get to the fun part of quilting. Pinning is so boring. So, I ended up with creases in the quilting and wonkiness around the edge. I chalk it up to my style.
Now to add the hanging sleeve and maybe even make my own frame!
So, you’ve finally finished that quilt top! The piecing is done and maybe you’ve even added some applique or embroidery. Now it’s time for quilting. Putting together your quilt sandwich is a very important part of finishing your quilt. Take your time and do it right. Choosing the right batting and backing fabric will have a permanent effect on the look of your quilt, so don’t rush through this process.
What is a Quilt Sandwich?
A quilt sandwich consists of three layers that will be quilted together to make a finished quilt.
1. Top piece – This is the layer you’ve been working on for the last few days or weeks (or years). The top piece is the side that will show to the world. I bet it’s beautiful! Be sure to trim any loose threads, especially on the backside. They may show through after quilting which, from experience, can be very frustrating. If you have a lot of piecing, you may want to stitch a 1/8 inch around the outside to prevent your piecing from coming apart.
2. Batting – This layer makes the quilt officially a quilt. The thickness and type you use depends on your desired look. I tend to use Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting from JoAnn Fabrics. The quilts I make generally aren’t washed so I don’t have to worry about shrinkage. If you’re making a table-runner or quilt that may need washing now and then, use batting with some poly in it to reduce the shrinkage. The batting should be cut a few inches larger than your top piece.
3. Backing – The bottom layer of your quilt can match the front but is not necessary. Sometimes I use plain muslin which shows off the stitching beautifully. The backing fabric should also be a few inches bigger than your top piece to allow for stretching and maneuvering.
Watch for future posts on free-motion quilting tips.
Here are some Artfully Sew examples of quilted wall-hangings I have done. Some are available in my Etsy shop at www.artfullysew.etsy.com. I also love to make custom orders, so don’t hesitate to ask!
- This piece is densely quilted with curly ques and flowers.
“Hope’s Horse” is from my personal collection. I loved quilting the clouds and the hair on the horse.
“Sammy” is also from my personal collection. Our cockatiel made a perfect subject for quilting. I especially enjoyed doing the feathers.
I love to doodle with thread! Although this project isn’t finished yet, I wanted to share my progress so far. Experimenting with various embroidery stitches on this appliqued heart was very fun. Now off to add the verse and more embroidery doodles.
Doodling with embroidery thread by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew
This image has been tickling my imagination for a long while. I finally got to sketch it out on paper today and will soon turn it into an art quilt. I was inspired by Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”. I like to picture myself guided by God with my eyes closed, resting and trusting in Him guiding me.
Off to pick out fabrics!
I’ve decided that my next big quilt is going to be based on our 5 original chickens. From left to right, Ruby, Ms White, Woody, Golda and Dottie. We refer to them as the Fabulous Five. Only Golda is left, poor dears. But I loved them dearly and they will make a marvelous subject for a quilt. Now off to sketch some ideas for the layout!
The Fabulous Five
I’ve been going through my ufos (un-finished objects). I found this quilt top I pieced a couple years ago. Poor thing has been sitting in a box on my top shelf. So I blew off the dust and unpacked it. I’m determinded to finish it and bring it back to life.
The colors are great, but to make it more appealing, I’ve decided to add a boarder using white fabric with embroidered flowers. I love doing hand embroidery! Thankfully, I kept the extra fabric in the box, so I was able to use coordinating fabrics. So far, so good…
I can’t wait to show you the finished project, especially since the last photo is kinda fuzzy. I’m hoping to have it ready to quilt by the end of the weekend. Quilting is my favorite part, so yippee!
What quilting goals do you have for the following week? Do you have any nagging ufos on your shelf? Post your goals below and we can hold each other accountable.