Still Retreating

The Patchwork Times Retreat of 2012 is on its last full day.  I hope everyone here is having as much fun as I am. Even though there’s lots of talking and giggling going on, there’s a tremendous amount of sewing happening too.  I did finish the January QOV top.

Several other of my projects have had a little work done on them but not enough to show.

If you think I sew fast, you should see my friend, Doris!  She’s finished about a dozen quilt tops since arriving!  And just when I was thinking I was about to get a whole lot done late last night, she brought this out of her bag!

Vince was going to come out to the retreat this morning and I had told all the ladies he’d be showing up.  We didn’t know Doris’ husband was driving all the way out here to bring her a Sonic iced tea and when he showed up, everyone thought he was Vince.  One lady even told him that he looked nothing like his pictures!  He works with Vince so, of course, they know each other so that was funny!

Back to my sewing ..

Flat Non-Waving Quilts – Part 3

Even if we do everything perfectly as far as piecing our tops and adding borders, the quilting itself can make or break a quilt in so many ways but specifically as far as whether the quilt will lay nice and flat.

I am not a hand quilter so I am not qualified to give advice or recommendations about hand quilting so I will discuss longarm quilting, and this will include short arm and mid-arm quilting also.

One of the main issues affecting the “lay” of the quilt is the tension.  If too much tension is placed on the backing or on the top, that pulls the quilt, stretching every part that can stretch.  Since the center is usually pieced and the borders, at least one of them, isn’t pieced, the more tension placed on the top, the more stretching will occur on those non-pieced borders.  The quilt is quilted and then when it’s taken off the machine, the borders are going to flare or ripple a bit.  Be very careful with the amount of tension you put on the backing and on the top!

Another issue can occur with loading the top.  Whether the top is loaded by zippers, pinning or floated, if the edges are pulled and not allowed to lay flat, the corners are going to get stretched and again cause rippling.

Finally, when adding the binding to a quilt, be careful that the quilt is flat with no rippling and that the binding is not being stretched while being sewn onto the quilt.

I love lots of different battings and it would be hard for me to tell you which one is my favorite.  Some I like for different quilts, some I like better today while tomorrow I might like a different one better.  But, the quilts with Warm & Natural batting always seem to lay much flatter than those with other battings.  There’s hardly ever a ripple when Warm & Natural batting is used.

If you’ve read through these past three posts, please don’t worry about making perfectly flat quilts.  Most, if not all, of the quilts most of us make are quilts going to love ones or to those in need and I doubt any one of those recipients might scrutinize your quilt to see if it is perfectly square, with no ripples.  The quilts are loved and appreciated as they are meant to be and no one is passing judgment!  And, if you are making quilts for competition or to be photographed for magazines or books . . and you’re looking to me for advice, you have a much larger problem than a flat quilt!  :)   I was simply responding to questions about how I make my quilts flat.  If your quilts are wavy and it bothers you, hopefully something I’ve written here will help you!