Hunter’s Star Quilt – Part V

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, 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 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!


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