Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quilting a Small Work

IMG_7207Sometimes when I make a small piece I like to hand quilt it before I add the backing fabric to make the quilt sandwich.

That way the knots from the embroidery floss or perle cotton threads are not visible on the back. The top is fused directly onto the batting, no base fabric is needed.IMG_7206

This is what a fused top looks like before it is backed with batting. Notice the filmy surface? That is the Wonder-Under fusible. This top was assembled on a teflon sheet (see sidebar) which makes it easy to make fused seams. Overlapping fabrics are trimmed away to prevent bulk. Of course my fabrics were all fused before I began, and the paper backing removed before cutting and assembly.

IMG_7192 Once the hand work is finished I am ready to use the Escape Hatch Finish to enclose my quilt top. This picture shows the strip of fusible on the back of the quilt, fused to the wrong side of the backing fabric. I cut through it BEFORE I sewed all four sides of the piece. Then I will trim the four corners and turn the quilt to the right side through this slit in the backing.


I am not done yet! Now I can machine stitch in the ditch. This makes it look like I have machine pieced the quilt.

IMG_7199 IMG_7201-1

Then I use a self-threading needle to bury the thread ends.


Then when all the quilting is done, I machine stitch my signature.


  1. Liz-Arlington10:21 AM

    So all that in the ditch quilting is machine????? with pearl??? Sure looks like hand work. What kind of machine do you have please? Regardless of how you do it Melody I could pick out your work anytime. Just beautiful!!
    You are so generous to share all your valuable information. For all of us who follow this blog, thank you so very much.

  2. Yes! What Liz said! Thank you for your generous sharing, Melody!

  3. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Do you do the hand quilting before you fuse it to the batting?
    Also, what size hand needle do you use? I'm wondering about the WonderUnder if it is "sticky" to hand quilt.

  4. The photos of the big, juicey stitches acrosss the various colours of fabric make my little heart sing. Dreamy!

  5. The piece you are working on is as yummy as ever! Thanks for the in process steps, I should have done some of my hand work before the backing went on a recent piece, the back would look nicer. And I seem to have oodles of trouble stitching in the ditch, I just can't see where I'm going very well, having a clear presser foot like yours would be cool and helpful! I learn something every time I pop over to visit your blog, thank you so much for sharing your work and process!!! <3

  6. PS, stitching your name? Seriously? You got SKILZ!

  7. That's pretty nifty - doing some quilting before the backing goes on. Actually, very nifty! Thanks for the tips, as usual. :-)

  8. Brilliant as usual!
    I love seeing your work...
    Your color choices are very near and dear to my heart!
    About the Escape Hatch...How do you close this once the quilt is turned? is it just sealed with the Wonder under? Inquisitive Mav's want to know....

  9. Self-threading needle to bury the ends? I don't know this one. You're holding out on me!

  10. pammyfay6:19 PM

    Mmmmm! "Juicy Quilts"! You should get a vanity car license plate with that on it--because everytime I see your work, I think yummy, fresh, juicy!

  11. It's great to see this process. Quick question about burying the thread: do you back tack the machine stitching to secure it or you you knot the thread you bury?

  12. Thanks for sharing your closure method using the paper backed fusible. Can't wait to try it.

    And to Brooke...Dritz (and I'm sure others) make these "Easy Threading" needles. There is a top slot cut above the eye of the needle. Just pop the thread in the slot and bury it. Was a major breakthrough for me when I found these little life savers.


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