Monday, June 28, 2010

You Can Quilt That Out

I had to chuckle loudly when I received this via email from one of my clients. She's a great applique quilter, and has probably heard me rant about quilt quality and the grand multitude of anomalies that we as longarm quilters get to see. Most of these issues are truly minor. But now and then there are ones that make me really wrinkle my upper lip with bewilderment, and think long and hard how I will make it actually lay flat. Please, do have a look - It is funny, I promise!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzoL7ddTEnA&feature=player_embedded!



Funnier too because I had JUST finished this top and felt that rolled lip of disgust when I couldn't get that left side border to lay flat. It was my own doing and I knew exactly what was the culprit: My old sewing machine (of course it was not ME!!). My good Singer was being serviced. It has an electronic stitch width setting, so I can get great repeatability with my .25" seam. I borrowed my old (25 yr) machine back from my mom while the other one was gone, and it has 3 mechanical foot settings, so I guessed where to set it. I knew that it was just shy of 1/4" and hence the stoned middle border came out nearly 1" long. Curses. I did my best to reduce seams a little and ease it together, but it still ended up a tad big, and had that awful lettuce edge. I am a better quilter that than and I was pretty mad.

What did I do?


What else? I loaded it on the longarm and quilted it. And to my surprised eyes, it quilted perfectly. I didn't have to float the top, or use excessive pins, or even have to shout obsceneties and spit. It just quilted fine. Shock. Now I hope that this is not perceived as an invitation from all you out there that have D-cup quilts - I never suspected it would do this and i don't love getting quilts that are not flat. But, if you have ones with small imperfections and a little fullness here and there, do not fret.

This is a Bento Box pattern which I have been working on writing up. It is strip pieced rather than stitched the traditional log cabin way which we usually make a Bento Box block. It requires many less seams and fewer cuts. On top of that, the blocks were done from a jelly roll and result in about only 1" waste per full 44" strip! Here's the link to my tutorial. I made this top in about 2-1/2 hours.
I told you earlier in the month how much I LOVE this Moda OZ line. The fabrics are graphic and cheerful. This 60" quilt took just half a jelly roll, which I found for under $20, and 2 yards of ivory Bella. The backing is a rose Bella solid, and it took 3 yards to back and bind the quilt.

Not being a fan of stippling, I chose a different and completely non-linear quilting design. I think that juxtiposing a linear quilt with a non-linear quilting creates visual interest.

If you find yourself in the mood to try a Bento Box quilt, consider trying this method. I am sure you will be surprised how fast the quilt makes up.

7 comments:

Jeanie said...

Hysterical video.....well, at least it was to me, but I'm not a long arm quilter! I quilt by check too!

floribunda... aka Julie said...

that video was great! of course now I've passed the link to a bunch more quilters...

creativedawn said...

Thanks for the laughs...that was a hoot! Your bento box quilt is gorgeous. Now that I've seen the video, I'm going to ask the woman who quilted the first quilt I ever made (a 110 x 110 quilt) if it was in any way straight! I need to know now! lol...
Thank you for that!
hugz Pam

Tatkis said...

Your quilt looks sooo beautiful! Thanks a lot for sharing photos and this funny and optimistic video and song :))

Best wishes,
Tatyana

Angie said...

That is beautiful!

Julie Anne said...

I found your blog and picture of Bento Box Quilt and fell in love with it. I had a mixed group of 2-1/2" strips I had to turn into a project, so I chose your Bento Box pattern and I am very pleased with the result. I wound up stitching in the ditch around all the 12" blocks and around the borders and then machine quilting two large circles in each 12" square.

Jan said...

What happened to the Bento Box tutorial? The link doesn't go anywhere.