Monday, March 25, 2013

Print Parade 4: Expanded

Print Parade #4: Expanded
Hand dyed and commercial cottons, machine pieced, machine quilted, hand embroidered. 76.5 x87.5".
What a difference Quilt As You Go  has made in my quilting life.
I began with this small 2009 work and it grew into this bedsized quilt.
I used flip and sew for most of it, and narrow  connecting strips to attach the top, foot and side panels, and then flip and sew for the final border.

When I tried it out on the queen size bed I saw that it was just a tad short to tuck into the siderails, so after my afternoon nap I got up and sewed on the final borders. This required cutting the batting in long strips and zigzagging it onto the seam allowance where the borders were attached. Then I flipped the fabric over the batt and quilted three rows all around. The binding will be done today, but I was all out of steam when these photos were shot.

If I were to have to quilt this in one whole piece, instead of small sections, I doubt I would have gone for the fancy quilting in the solids. But it was easy to do in this size.
This should also be called Design As You Go, because not much was thought out ahead of time, and that added to the fun.
My newly fixed sewing machine is not totally fixed after all. It speeds up for no reason and then when I walked away to iron a seam it started sewing on its own! I will try a different repair guy and hopefully he'll solve the problem. I was holding my breath all day that I would be able to finish this quilt without the machine quitting on me. And I am seriously considering getting a back up machine, if only I can find one with 1. auto thread cutter, 2. knee lift, 3. fits the cut-out on my table. Is that asking too much?
We're gonna hafta get a bigger chair...

PS: Comparing cottons: Kona is heavier than the two I compared, with each thread in the weave a heavier thread, thus making the fabric more substantial. It also has more of a tendency to ravel, which for fusing which I do alot, it isn't so good.


  1. People have been suggesting quilt as you go to me because there is no way I can handle a bed sized quilt. And all I want is a quilt for a double bed. Not a queen or a king. I've bee saying no, because normally quilt as you go is done block by block and I'm not planning a block kind of quilt.

    But yours also isn't a block kind of quilt. I can see myself doing a quilt as you go with a large center and then the separate borders which are then put together with strips. Which is, pretty much, what you did.

    Great concept.

  2. Re: Kona, I agree. I recently started making coiled fabric bowls for a local gift shop with solid colors. To start, a friend sold me some of her Kona solids, and they worked okay, but were heavier than I prefer and did fray a lot. I have switched to a cotton/poly for now, but may just hand dye muslin, which is lots easier to manipulate! I'm winding 1" strips around clothesline and want the fabric to lay without too many gaps. As for your quilt, you are amazing, but I've known that for some time now!

  3. Melody, you are amazing! I still don't really understand quilt-as-you-go but if I ever decide to make something other than wall-hangings, I'll go back and read through your directions. This quilt is just beautiful and so "Melody". I'm sure several of your readers are pulling out small quilts they'd stashed away and having all kinds of fun.
    I read your blog when I get up so love that you included the laugh-out-loud photo at the end! A great way to start the day.

  4. Love the quilt! Have you considered a Janome 1600p straight stitch only machine? It would fit your table as the footprint is the same. A wonderful accurate machine for piecing and great lighting and free motions so smoothly.

  5. Hi Melody, Love the quilt, so bright. As to the second sewing machine - I have a Juki TL98 and I love it. It is industrial so it goes super fast (which at first takes some getting used to) it has the built in thread cutter button on the foot pedal. And it has a knee lifter for the presser foot. It only does straight stitch, so its main job (for me)is quilting. Also there is a Yahoo list called "Sew its for sale" thousands of sewing and quilting enthusiasts on the list selling sewing and quilting related stuff. I have seen Juki's on the list for $500.00. I have gotten 2 of my daughters NICE older Pfaffs like my 7570 for $500.00. Yes, I have 3 sewing machines and actually use them all for different things. And if you are working on a project that needs 2 different colors of thread you can go from one machine to the other. Go to Yahoo to sign up, you have to jump through a bunch of hoops and get approved first. Be prepared however as the list generates lots of email. Always enjoy your blog and pics.

  6. Judy Morningstar9:44 AM

    Another beautiful quilt! I love that you started with an "old" one and re-purposed it.
    Re: the sewing machine- you could look for a second hand machine the same as yours. Lots of people have traded them in on newer models, or bought the 8900 at Quilt Con, and have the old ones ready to sell.
    It is likely an electrical problem in your machine, and shouldn't be too hard to fix, if the tekkie knows what he or she is doing. Good luck!

  7. Anonymous10:13 AM

    Re: Back-up machine - I needed a back up machine and not wanting to learn how to use another model I bought the same model as the one I use on eBay. Nothing different to remember when one is in the repair shop; I can just keep on sewing same as always.

  8. Beautiful quilt. I love the colours and the design.

  9. What a cheerful, happy quilt! Looks splendid on the bed Melody.

  10. I have the problem of my machine sewing by itself or not stopping from time to time. It's weird, I have about decided it has to do with the foot control and a build up of static electricity. When I unplug the foot control for a bit it stops.


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