Friday, February 4, 2011

Dilemma...need your input!

Remember this quilt?

Notice the leaves on the ground? That's how long it's been since I've tackled the quilting on it!! It was supposed to be given to my stepson as a present for him LAST YEAR and it still isn't completed! Now, to be fair, I have been busy with having another baby and all, but I can't hide behind all of my excuses anymore:) Ahemmmm..(embaressed look on my face)

I'll be totally honest, I have been avoiding it! The quilting process is driving me crazy and I've run into a few problems! I'm turning to all of you and the Workshop in Process participants (over at NaptimeQuilter) for input.

I'm having a heck of a time quilting it because doing concentric squares on my machine is a killer! I'm having to stuff the whole quilt through the arm with each turn of a ends up taking me way too much time. I feel it's a completely daunting task. I can't imagine having to still do another 15 squares of this quilt! At this rate, it will be a present for my stepson next year! Ahh...

Here is a pic of the quilting:
Now, I have to say, I really like the look of this particular square but they're not all like this one.
I guess the issue I have is that if it's supposed to be linear it should look that way....

Another issue is the back. I must have pinned it a bit off. I know I could still fix it by adding a few extra rows on the side and bottom but I'm afraid when I finally square it up before adding the binding, it's going to look funny.

I have found the name of a woman who has a long arm machine that I could rent. I have to say I'm seriously tempted to rip out all of my quilting and just stipple it. That's one solution.

Another thing I've considered is to rip out the quilting and do free form concentric squares a la Malka Dubrawsky ( Here is an example from the cover of her book (bottom right):

I bought one of those Heras Quilt Markers and thought I would give it a go before I do anything rash - like ripping out the entire quilt. If that works, I could always free form my squares following the marks giving the look of using a walking foot (hope that makes sense).

So, what do you think? I'm leaning towards the Heras marker route first....ripping it out, fixing the back and freeform square quilting would be my second option. Of course the thought of all of that seam ripping makes me cringe and then I'm wondering if ripping it out, will you see the old marks? Would love to hear your thoughts!!!


  1. I think if you run a fingernail over the old sewing holes, that will push the fibers back together again. Why not leave what's there & attempt the square quilting on the long-arm? (provided the throat on the LA is big enough to accomodate the blocks, which it probably is)

  2. I haven't used a long arm before but they say once you've started quilting I would be unable to load the quilt on the longarm because you feed all three layers separately? Hope that makes sense Michelle.

  3. I would try free motion squares or very radical free motion circles. The squares would work better with what you have already done but I love the circles over pieced squares if you are taking it all out. I agree that the fingernail and then washing at the end will get rid of any holes.

  4. I have a longarm, wish I lived closer so I could help you out. I'm not sure how many squares you have quilted. It sounds like you may have two rows quilted. You should be able to load this on a longarm and finish the quilting. Load the quilted squares on top and finish quilting the other rows. If the quilted rows are in the center It may be harder to finish on the longarm.

  5. Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for letting me know. My quilted squares so far are in the middle:(

  6. How many of the squares have you quilted? I would simply switch to doing the same thing, but free motion to save yourself. Or keep what you've got and start quilting lines in a grid on what's remaining. It might look kind of neat to mix it up like that? Or do much larger concentric squares?

    As for the back, I'm not sure what's wrong entirely. Are you short a little? By how much? Can it be fudged with a thicker binding? You should be able to add some extra fabric without too much trouble.

  7. I love love love your quilt!

    I had a similar issue come up and I ended up doing free-motion squares. It worked really well, and honestly once it's washed and dried you really won't be able to tell the difference. You could even just use the quilt top as your guide rather than try marking with the Hera marker.

    OR since the quilting you've done thus far is in the centre, you could combine it with some free motion concentric circles.

    Honestly, though, I find circles harder to quilt than squares - they don't have natural stopping/regripping points like squares do.