The Hunter’s Star quilt is back! I neglected it while I worked on my charity quilt, but I have managed to make considerable progress anyway. I did the machine quilting a month or so ago, and I’ve been slowly working on the hand quilting. My goal is to be done by the end of the month but I think that’s overly ambitious. I’ll do my best!
It’s been so long since we talked about it that I’ll link to my old posts. (I looked back and I posted my teaser on it six weeks ago! Sometimes I debate about which projects to post, especially right now when I’ve been working on two different quilts and other small things. I decided to post continuously on the charity quilt for a while.)
Today we’re going to talk about the machine quilting. I spent a lot of time trying to decide how I wanted to quilt it, because I didn’t want to distract from the cleanness of the pattern and the two-color scheme. It’s so rare for me to make a quilt like this – normally my quilts are scrappy patterned quilts and I don’t worry about distracting from anything. I’d originally thought I might quilt only in white on the white parts and navy on the navy parts, but eventually I rejected that because what a pain would that be?! I finally decided to quilt straight lines horizontally across the quilt, in white thread. (I had been reading http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson, I think, and she had mentioned that she thinks a light thread distracts less than a dark thread on quilts with varying shades, so I thought I’d try that, since I wanted to distract as little as possible from the pattern.) I didn’t want to machine quilt over the stars, though – I decided to highlight those with hand quilting, as you’ll see in next week’s post. (That’s the reason this is taking me so long. I’m a slow hand quilter.)
On http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson she had recommended quilting your quilt in sections or quarters, and that’s what I did with this one. It worked out pretty well. I would mark and pin only one quarter of the quilt and then quilt it from the center toward the outside edge. It’s not completely flat but it worked nicely.
I traced the lines approximately an inch a part, so three lines in each row of squares. Here’s the lines traces:
I was having a lot of trouble with quilting on my machine, more than I’d ever had before. My machine doesn’t really have a walking foot and I started to fret that it really isn’t suited for quilting so many layers. I was having to basically pull the quilt through the machine, resulting in very uneven stitches. I don’t think M will notice or care, but I was feeling angsty about it. Finally, after quilting the first three quarters, I went to sew something else – not quilting – and I still had the problem. I decided to clean out the bobbin area and I realized that my feed dogs basically weren’t moving because they were so clogged with fuzz. I cleaned out my bobbin area as best I could, and voila! No more issues. Quilting the final section went so much better. I’ve had my machine for almost six years now and I probably need to take it in to the shop for a proper cleaning.
Here’s the quilt when I was in the process of quilting:
Next week: the hand quilting!