Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blue Diamonds - Quilted, Bound, DONE!

On November 5, I shared a photo of  my Blue Diamonds quilt in pieces on my design wall:
At the time I was contemplating adding some other blocks of varying configurations, to show how a simple HST grouping can produce SO many cool designs, as borders.
I apologize for the yellow quality of these photos - I snapped them with my cell phone but I think you can see what I am talking about in them.
I really didn't like how the blocks
 took away from the simplicity and impact of the simple repeating diamond pattern on the quit top,
they are now part of the backing:

This particular quilt is a sample for a class I will be teaching in January on Beginning Quilting.  What block could be more versatile yet basic to all quilting but the HST?  It teaches anyone the basics - stitching an even precise 1/4 inch seam, how to deal with bias, chain piecing, and the most fun - assembling into lots of patterns.
I have long decided I really do NOT like machine quilting on my domestic machine - it is just not smooth enough for me to really get into the thread play.  I am always yanking, stuffing, rolling, getting exasperated....    HOWEVER - in light of the fact that the students taking beginner quilting will be making a quilt START to FINISH it was important to show how it can be done.
As those of you who quilt on your domestic machine know there are a few ways to attack the undertaking.  My first decision was to decide how to baste the sandwich together - pin-basting or spray?  I opted for spray so I didn't have to stop and remove pins as I went.

It is not a large quilt (14 - four inch squares by 14 - four inch squares) so I laid it out on a hardwood floor outside my sewing space (lots of air/ventilation recommended) and taped (painters' tape) it securely to the floor. 

 It needs to be TAUT not STRETCHED.

The batting was roughly the same size as the backing, which I make a good 4-5 inches larger than the top all around.  I positioned it over the backing (which was face down).

I pulled half of it back, sprayed the backing, positioned the batting then did the same for the other half.  The process was then repeated with the actual top, face up.

Once I had the sandwich together I went to the machine and began the quilting!  I have discovered this awesome stitch which has a nice curve but is uniform and stitches up like a straight seam.

Here you can see I use my walking foot and how this stitch creates a nice undulating curve.

I always use needle stop down for pivoting at corners:

Again because of the poor color qulaity of the pics it is hard to see.  I chose a light seafoamy green for the light diamonds and a variegated green/aqua/turquoise for the dark diamond quilting:

 This shows the final effect of the stitch choice I made for the quilting:

 and here....

This is very hidden but I did manage to sew the corner under to have a nice DOUBLE quilt.  Sheesh!

Another reason I dislike machine quilting - the small space to maneuver in.
  I am very happy with the final product (even with all my complaining - LOL).  It is a quick pattern to stitch up.  A design wall is really helpful in laying out the pattern.

BACK VIEW (in natural light):



  1. Great job!!! Maybe it's time to get a longarm?? I haven't doubled up a quilt on mine, ever!!! Your quilting is lovely - I admire anyone who can quilt on a DSM!!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. The longarm has crossed my mind many times but is SUCH a commitment...enticing though!


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