Tuesday, July 3, 2012

a Little Fling... quilted.

So, it's finished.  And I really liked it!  Until I quilted it.  Then, I felt pretty "meh" about it, to be honest.  I don't mean to be a downer, just getting real here.

a Little Fling

I took my time deciding how to finish the top.  I could have gone either way, but landed on a halfway border (Kona Coffee), which adds some depth and brought the quilt to a better baby quilt size.  After auditioning many bindings, this one in Kona Coffee with a few scraps thrown in at the top won out.  I feel like the color in the binding at top left draw the eye across the quilt.  But, the otherwise brown binding blends with the quilt top to preservs the simple, minimalist vibe I was going for.  That is, minimalist with a pop of bright color.  Or course!

a Little Fling from behind

Also had some fun on the back.  Used up a few mini log cabin blocks that weren't quite right for the front, as well as the rest of my Kona Coffee and Kona Spice and Robert Kaufman Remix scraps.

this corner I like

And then, the quilting.  I like this corner, but the rest...

It was basted well. Promise!  Lots of 505 spray basting, used generously.  I marked out all the quilting paths with a hera marker in advance.  Nice and tidy.  And, I tried to prevent quilt drag by quilting around the log cabin blocks in one direction for about a round and then going out to the middle of the negative space and quilting round the log cabin blocks traveling in the opposite direction to stabilize things.  I figured that if I made a continual square spiral only traveling in one direction, then the quilting would be bound to drag.

the quilting draaags...

I'm quilting on my Pfaff Smarter, which has a built in walking foot.  This quilt wasn't large, so it wasn't hard to maneuver.  I'm just saying - there are no excuses!  Anyways, I thought the quilting wasn't dragging, but then when I finished I noticed the spot where the quilting paths that were traveling in opposite directions meet.  That's where you really see the drag.  It's about 4" above and below the log cabin blocks.  When the light falls on it just right (like in the above photo) it shows.

Other than those particularly bad spots, the quilt look moderately crinkly and wrinkly overall.  For some reason, I like the look of smooth, flat quilting so much better.  Oh to quilt like Rita!  No idea how she manages it!

 serious crinkle

So, anyways, I was bummed because I had put so much thought into the quilting plan, tried to be adventurous and don't know what I could have done differently.  Obviously, the quilting doesn't "ruin" the quilt.  This is not some awful failure.  But, it doesn't improve it to me either.  I seriously liked it better before I quilted it.  And this is not the first time!  I have felt that way before - that my quilting detracts rather than adding to my work.

I washed and dried this quilt.  Was tempted to try to iron it into submission before photographing, but thought that

1. it was 100 degrees out and 80 degrees inside... prefer not to iron
2. some people like the crinkly look
3. who was I kidding.  I ought to tell you all about it anyways!

a Little Fling

So there you have it. Please don't think I'm all down on myself.  I'm pretty jazzed about the quilt, just not the quilting.  I'm just being real here.  This is something I'd really like to get better at!  I do consider myself a "quilter" after all and I not interested/able to send my quilts out to be finished.  Your pointers are so, so welcome!

82 comments:

  1. I think it's gorgeous. And very brave of you! I haven't made my first quilt yet (hope to later this year, with great pointers from bloggers like you) but I do like the crinkly look. Thanks for your honesty.

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  2. I honestly don't see anything wrong with it or what you were pointing out. Quilts should be textured, the whole purpose of quilting, to me, is to bring out that "wrinkly" look, as you call it. It looks great! But thanks for sharing your insecurities, nobody lives in a perfect blogosphere. :)

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  3. Great colours! I'm with you on wanting to quilt projects myself - my current challenge is feathers.

    One tip - I realized (after an un-quilting session) that I was stretching my backing when I taped it to the floor, leaving nasty puckers no matter how well I spray or pin-basted.

    On my last few quilts I was really careful to avoid pulling th back taut, and I think it made a difference.

    Good luck!

    Sarah

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    1. Thanks for that, Sarah. I'll watch for it!

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  4. I always (well, almost always) have the same problem. No matter how well I pin or what I try to do to prevent it, it happens in a few spots. I think your quilt looks great!

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  5. I love it Rachel! I do see what you mean about drag though, that gets frustrating! I pin baste very close together to avoid this happening :) I just don't think it works as well with spray baste after trying it. I know other people swear by spray basting though, so who knows :)

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    1. How close together do you baste, in inches? I wonder if I have better results with spray basting because I never really pin basted well enough. Gulp.

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    2. I always pin baste too-about 4 inches apart, or 6 inches, depending on how I plan to quilt it. I have only ever had to wrip out one line of quilting in 20 years due to drag. I'm scared to try spray-basting even though it sounds so much faster. I think it's worth the extra prep time. I just put on a great audiobook, and expect it to take multiple sessions to baste the whole ing. And I've had some of my non-quilting friends help--we gossip and pin!

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    3. Believe it or not, I don't know HOW to pin baste. I can't figure out how to get the pins through the fabric and back up again with out another hand under there...

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    4. Wendy, there are special quilting safety pins you buy that have a bend in them that enables you to put them in and back up without touching the back. It takes a bit of getting used to but pretty soon you get a feel for whether you went through all the way or not.

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  6. I feel exactly like you do about my quilting especially straight lines. I am trying to do diagonal lines on a quilt right now and I am not happy. I cannot keep them straight!!! I think it is ruining the quilt and wanted to take them out and just do a stipple-it doesn't matter if that is crooked. But my husband told me to stop being a perfectionist and finish it straight, he likes it better. I will and hopefully I will love it in the end but I just want to be like Rita too!!!! You are not alone and thanks for letting me know that neither am I.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone! And I hear you about those diagonal lines. I did have to give up one quilt with diagonal lines, but I think it was the voile and double gauze that did me in that time.

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  7. I know it's easy to be hard on yourself because you know every little flaw in your own project, but I think it looks great. I know not everyone likes crinkly, but I love it and think it's what makes quilts so special. Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations :)

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  8. Since starting to quilt (I am on my first two) I am finding that I truly like the quilts before they are quilted. And if I do end up quilting it, it will be with large stitches and not by machine :)

    I liked it before it was quilted also...maybe a different direction? just a thought :-D

    m.

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  9. I like it, the little mistakes add to the charm of being a handmade quilt.

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  10. I'm new to quilting (currently piecing my very first!) - what does it mean when a quilt "drags"? Honestly, I can't see anything wrong in the photos - your quilt looks lovely!

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    1. Welcome to quilting, Abby! You're a no-reply commenter, so I'll only be able to reply here. The drag is how the fabric between quilt lines has pull lines going all in the same direction. It's almost how a too-small top would look across the bust. It's nice to know that not everyone can even see the drag!

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    2. If you want to see real drag (I couldn't see yours either) you should check out the quilting I did on my patchwork potholders... the entire pieces is pulled out of shape!

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    3. Ah, that's a good explanation - who can't visualize a too-tight top across the bust? :)

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  11. In my humble opinion, I don't think sewing machines with a built in walking foot do the job that machines with a walking foot that must be attached does. The only other suggestion that I have is that you have a completely level space around the quilt while quilting. If you don't have a cabinet where the machine is level with the surrounding area, you could make it level with an ironing board, other tables, books, etc. Good luck. fmoore11589@comcast.net

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    1. I'm been wondering the same thing - if my attached walking foot was more efficient at walking than my built-in Pfaff feet. Thanks for sharing that concern! I do work on a quilting table, so I think that's in my favor.

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  12. I totally agree with you that I also like some quilts better before quilting but that´s because I don´t always enjoy a crinkly look. I think it all depends on the batting. The more cotton - the crinklier it will be. Polyester battings tend to be more flat after quilting and I agree with the tipp of avoiding to strech the backing.
    P.S. Your quilt is cute and no one else will see what you are seeing as 'wrong' unless you point it out.

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  13. Hi Rachel! Isn't it funny how little we quilters talk about quilting? We go on about fabrics and designs but not so much about the quilting part.

    I just learned about quilt blocking a week ago when I finished my first large art quilt to found out that it does not hang flat. Maybe that could make this quilt more likeable for you, because it makes the quilt flat.
    Ps. I just finished a quilt with very similar blocks to yours, great minds think alike :)

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  14. come to the dark side, the crinkly dark side! ;) xoxo i love it, i understand not being happy with your quilting. you spend so much time on the quilt top and love it so much you want the quilting to only add to the end product. sorry you aren't in love with it but i do think it is very pretty. i do love that corner also. i do dream of being able to quilt like rita and elizabeth!

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  15. I like the quilt...the least favorite quilt that I made turned out to be someones favorite good luck charm...so you just never know!

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  16. I like it alot, and I am too new to know about this drag thing. =). But nice of you to also show what you don't like.

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  17. I've about given up on straight line quilting for the same reason-I always have trouble with a little drag at the intersections of the lines. I think our noses are just too close to it whilr quilting, because it usually looks fine when done. I wouldn't have noticed anything wrong with yours-it's beautiful.

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    1. Haha, that's a funny way to put it... and true. I'm watching every single little stitch as I go!

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  18. It's a great quilt, and although I see what you mean when you point it out, you know that most people will be too busy admiring the design to notice the slightly less than perfect quilting. I don't even use a walking foot when I quilt but since I changed machine ( I have a pfaff grand quilter) I find it makes a difference and I get less drag. I also quilt my lines very close together using the edge of the foot as my guide which lessens the drag somehow, or makes it less noticeable. The tip about having a flat surface is good too. At the end of the day none of us is perfect and its particularly frustrating when the last process we do is the one we're least good at. of course practice makes perfect, in the meantime remember no one will be as hard on you as you, because you do great work. I don't have any of the accounts listed but I'm Cheryl ( cheryl62collins@btinternet.com). Didn't want just to be anonymous.

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl, for adding your thoughts. I think you hit the nail on the head about it being particularly frustrating when I do my worst work at the last step. I did used to hate binding and be pretty shoddy at it, but I found a way of shaping up. So maybe, maaaaybe, the same will happen for my quilting someday.

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  19. I like your honesty. I have gotten compliments on crinkly quilts before that I honestly felt my quilting had ruined my hard work piecing, so to each his/her own, I guess. Good for you on getting out there though and gryint something new. And good for you in telling it like it really is. Keep trying new things. Sometimes they'll be great.

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  20. Well I like the finished result with the piecing, and I like how the quilting turned out, but then I don't know what you were envisaging in your head to start with IYKWIM, so I'm sorry it didn't quite hit the mark for you.

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  21. I think it's lovely, but you know I love the crinkle.
    The commenter above who mentions not taping the backing fabric too tightly during basting has a good point, at least for me. On my last quilt, I taped more loosely and it made a difference. I know I do a better job when I slow down, too (I'm usually racing through quilting because I want to be done).

    Either way, I think you made great choices in your quilting, backing, binding, etc!

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  22. I think it is a fabulous quilt. With that being said, I have had similar experiences where I felt the quilting ruined it for me. We are probably just too hard on ourselves.

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  23. I, too, like your honesty. I for one, quilt because I enjoy it. I have had that experience many, many times. But, I'm not trying to win any contests or to sell my quilts either. I make 'em for people to use. And most of them wouldn't know a pulled quilt line from a straight quilt line.

    And you're right. Rita is Amazing. There is just no other way to say it.

    Your quilt looks great though.

    Paul
    www.OutnumberedQuilter.com

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    1. Thanks, Paul. I agree about quilts being made to use. At least mine are. Though I was, ironically, going to try to sell this one. hahaha. uh. So, we'll hope you're right about the "public" not noticing =)

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  24. I can't honestly see what you see. I suppose it's because I've always believed that quilts should be crinkly? Whatever the reason, it looks lovely. You did a wonderful job!

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  25. This is the same exact problem that happens to me on almost every quilt. I work so hard piecing and planning and my quilt top looks so good, and then the quilting happens. I think my husband hears me go NOOO! every time I quilt. I seem to always have issues with tension and even when I draw my lines out with a marker some how they end up "Wavy". Up close my quilting is just not where I wan't it to be and really need to be improved. People always say it looks fine in the pictures, but I know its not up to par. So I definitely can relate!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear it happens to you too! I think this is something that so many would like to take a class about. Specifically a class from someone who works successfully with straight lines though, because I do think it's different than FMQ. And, preferably in person! So, that's pretty much impossible.

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  26. Oh, and noticed you have a Main Nav now, super helpful!!!

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  27. I can hear what you are saying more than I can see it, so I'll comment strictly from an intellectual place. ;) But even with a walking foot, I have not found that it works well to alternate the direction that I am quilting. I always quilt from one end to the other consistently within the quilt if doing straight line quilting. Anytime I try to do otherwise I end up with at least a slight drag in the fabric. and that is always exaggerated as you work on a larger piece.

    So my advice is to start at one corner. Sew in one direction and move your way across the full length of the quilt.

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    1. Thanks for chiming in, Angela. I've had the opposite experience with going that one-way route. I bet it differs on how well a quilt is basted (I'm guessing I could improve there?) and how nicely a sewing machine works. So many variables! Blech.

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  28. i think it's beautiful! and even though i frequently experience the drag, i have a hard time seeing it on your quilt. while i still get a drag in my quilting, some things that have helped me are to slow down (way down), pin baste very very very close together, and alternate directions. the main thing that i think will help me (beyond lots and lots of practice) is just having a better machine. but rita is totally my hero, too. one day i will quilt like her... i will!

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    1. Thanks, Ara! I was quilting slower than normal on this quilt, which may explain why I got the drag only in the one spot. So, how close do you pin baste?

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  29. I think you've got a really nice quilt, but I understand your frustration with the pulling.

    My suggestion is that you need more quilting. Lots more. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but I like to use a cotton or wool batt and then quilt the dickens out of it. Then when I wash it and dry it in the dryer, it shrinks up just enough to enhance all that crinkly wonderfulness - all my goobers are hidden in the creases and it looks texturally interesting. The extra stitching will give it more body too - you have nothing to lose by putting it back under the machine.

    Good luck! And thanks for a delightful blog!

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  30. First off: I really love the back!

    Ok now that that's done, I will commiserate. I, too, end up stumped a lot of times with how to quilt. Then I end up doing a "simple" diagonal pattern with some fancy stitch pattern on my machine and get so frustrated when the diagonal goes a bit crooked or I get puckers on the back. But you know, in the end they are always loved and no one ever notices the flaws because they are impressed with the creativity, love, and care it took to make it.

    That said, I did find that a nice big sewing area to support the quilt on all sides of the machine as much as possible helped, and also as many are saying to go slower than you think you have to. Hard for me!

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  31. I love the quilt...more importantly I love the fact that you're not pleased with the overall product, but recognize that it's a starting place. I'm at the "starting place" also, so it does help to hear someone voice their concerns.
    Would it possibly help to use a thread that would blend better? I'm immediately drawn to the white thread...maybe if you used a variegated in the future it would help?
    Toni
    www.lifeinapinkbunnysuit.com

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  32. Thanks for your honesty about your frustrations, Rachel! I think it helps to remind us all that not every project we undertake will be a smashing success (in our own minds at least). It's all part of being creative and trying new things.

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  33. I have not even ventured beyond stitch-in-the-ditch. To me it looks great. But I know that we are really hard on ourselves when something does not come together like we want it to.

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  34. First off about Rita - I believe she prewashes her fabric AND her batting, I also think she irons her quilts too. I know she doesn't like the crinkly look on her quilts.

    Also I like what you did with yours and the idea behind the quilting, I'm sorry about the drag - I have no words of advice that hasn't already been mentioned.

    dxx

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    1. Thanks, Dolores! Yes, she does prewash the batting. I tried that once and couldn't tell a difference, but there probably was a difference! I didn't realize that she irons hers. That does seem to make the flat effect a little more possible?

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  35. The coffee brown used as only a partial border and then continued in the binding for continuity is brilliant! I love it with the spice color and it does nothing but enhance all the beautiful, colored squares.

    I, too, find that I often experience drag and the perfectionist in me has a very difficult time not focusing on every little "error" in my quilting. Since I don't have the budget to afford a super nice machine, I scoured the internet and discovered by decreasing the pressure on my walking foot, I get A LOT less drag. To me it seems so counter-intuitive, but boy has it helped. At least for me, the pressure from the walking foot was preventing the top fabric from moving at the same speed as the bottom fabric, creating lots of drag.

    Maybe this can be a quick, free solution to your drag issues.

    And, yes, Rita is incredible.

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    1. I don't think I can reduce the pressure on either of my walking foots (the built in on the Pfaff or the attachment on my Kenmore). Does your machine have a dial for that? What kind of machine do you have? Thanks for sharing!

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    2. I have a Janome Model 11574 Heavy Duty (sometimes labeled as a Kenmore) which is identical to the Janome Pink Ribbon without the pink detailing. My walking foot is not built in, but is made by Janome and I find that it works better than the universal one I used before. The pressure adjusting lever for my machine is found in the upper housing, toward the back behind the light, and has three different settings. My manual gives recommendations as to which setting to use for different weights and types of fabric as well as different tasks. Hope that info is helpful! Kate

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  36. Hi Rachel, I find the best thing for me is to quilt all in one direction, things look much smoother that way for me.

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  37. I really love how it turned out! So sorry about the drag...happens to me sometimes too.

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  38. you have made a great quilt and it is unusual. I am still new to quilting and I did a quilt with a stipling effect and was amazeds at how it changed the quilt and the feel of the quilt. i say 'hats off' for being brave and not just ditch stitching it!! I think the quilt is great and I really like the square on the reverse.

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  39. I think the quilt looks great. And if it ends up finding a home with someone who doesn't quilt, they will never know the difference and think its perfect.

    All great tips shared. Also, I like to increase my stitch length when using a walking foot - this seams to help a lot as well.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Chrissy! A longer stitch length is definitely something I could try. Makes sense. What length setting do you use on your machine? I think I was at 3.

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  40. That sort of thing drives me nuts too. I'm sorry you didn't finish on the highest of highs, but it's very nice. You did a great job!

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  42. I hate the quilting part of quilting for the very reason you mentioned above. It's the last step and I feel like all my hard work is being ruined at the last minute. At every other step in the process it is easy to fix my mistakes, once you baste and start quilting there really isn't any going back. I don't know how to make the quilting enhance the piecing. I feel like the best I can do is not ruin it, never mind enhance it.

    Sorry about the previous deleted comment. I didn't realize my husband had logged in on this computer.

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  43. Hi, Rachel! I've seen several people above talk about taping their backing down too tightly when spray basting - I tape my batting to the floor, spray it, then smooth the backing on it. After trimming the excess batting off, I flip the whole mess over, spray the other side of the batting, and smooth the top on. I don't usually have any problem with drag. And I also use a walking foot that has to be attached - I have often wondered if they work better than the built-in kind.

    By the way, I love the quilt! Great design, and no one will notice those things you consider shortcomings in the quilting if you don't call their attention to it!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. There's no reason why I shouldn't try that way! I appreciate you sharing.

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  44. I love the brown you added and the binding too. It really does look great. As far as the quilting goes, I think the baste vs. pin debate is far from settled in my mind. I'm definitely going to take the time to pin my +&x like crazy and see if it makes any difference. Who knows. Sounds like plenty have chimed in, but I suspect there is no right answer :)

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  45. Love this one! I love when bindings change fabric. I also love the contrast of hte bright middle with the brown surround! Cool!

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  46. in my (very limited) experience the drag is all about the machine. i had an old janome that i bought a universal walking foot for and i always got crazy drag. the machine didn't do well with multiple layers (quilting or otherwise) and it quilted little practice pieces great, but it always looked pretty crappy when i moved on to bigger things. (and the stitches would be really uneven, especially over seams.) half was through my last quilt i bought a juki off of craigslist and it literally looks like two different people quilted it. i'm pretty sure i didn't get any better over night, so i've decided that it's the machine... which is probably little or no help to you, sorry...

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    1. Well, I already wanted to try a Juki. I've been thinking about it lots lately!

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  47. Beautiful! It's handmade after all - part of its beauty and charm. Maggie xx

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  48. it's beautiful, rachel! i really didn't notice the drag until you pointed it out.
    my two cents: i always quilt in opposite directions, starting in the center of the quilt. this really does lessen the amount of drag. when i took a workshop with denyse schmidt, she told us that if we were sewing lots of long stripes of fabric together, or many rows, to complete a top, it was better to alternate the direction those seams are sewn. because of the way machines feed from the bottom, the fabric gets pulled, making things slightly off-kilter. that is why opposite directions in piecing tops and quilting help even everything out. i also think i get better results with pin basting (or sewn basting) vs. spray basting. i pin about 3 to 4 inches apart and remove them as i go. my machine has a built in dual feet, but i still use my attachable walking foot for straight line quilting - it just feeds the fabric better. and sometimes, i have to remind myself to let the machine do the work and not to push/pull the quilt as it sews. also, walking feet work better at medium to slow speed instead full throttle. it's hard for me to resist putting my foot flat on that pedal, but i always have better results when i slow down.

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    1. You know, I never thought about using my attachable walking foot on my machine with dual feed (which is the one I use to quilt). I'll try that! And, it sounds like I really must try pinning again. It would be worth it to feel better about my quilting!

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  49. You have had many helpful tips in your comments, but I will just add MHO....
    Kona cottons tend to crinkle up - I believe it is due to their looser weave. I happen to like the crinkly look, but understand that others might not. I don't pre-wash fabrics, because I like to have the washing shrink everything up and highlight the quilting, but that is for quilts for the home and to give away.
    One thing I learned about quilting, when turning a corner, which I'm not exactly sure if that is where you are talking about with your quilting drag; is to do a stay stitch in place where you turn. Once I learned that neat little trick, it helped tremendously with my quilting turns. Also, slowing down, which you have said you were going slow. I haven't tried pressing after quilting, but after reading several comments here, I think I will.

    Next, your thread. I don't recall you mentioning the type of thread you used. I don't particularly use 'quilting' thread in every project, however, I have realized the type of thread you use makes a difference with quilting as does your needle. When I am quilting a project that isn't densely quilted I try to use a heavier thread, labeled for quilting like Aurifil 40 wt, with the green spool (the color spool is how I tell them apart). When I am quilting something like a wall hanging or art piece I might use something else, because for those projects the color is more important than the strength of the quilting. I always start with a brand new needle, and if I go through more than one bobbin, I change the needle with the bobbin thread. You would be surprised at the difference a fresh needle will make. A needle will dull quickly piercing through 3 layers.

    Finally, sometimes, no matter what we try, the quilt is going to win out and have it's way. You said you were 'being real', and this is your quilt to critique. I am sure that whomever it is intended for will not have any issues with your quilting.

    That is my two cents, and by the way, I love the back of your quilt, I like using of the the extra bits on the back. I adore the brown on the front, and I like your idea of a little pop in the binding.

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  50. The amount of time I have spent fussing over the color of the quilting thread and how I'm going to quilt a quilt. I find that most people I make quilts for don't even notice the quilting. I think we look too closely at our quilts. Put the quilt on a bed and step back, that is what people see, the over all effect is what is important. I think your quilt is wonderful. I love the bright colors.

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  51. i am obsessed with trying to straight line quilt!!! i have read and reread posts about this. i've done lots of unquilting! and keep on stippling, honestly. i got a new horizon last year and still have issues of puckering. i like the crinkly, but not the puckering. there were lots of good tips throughout these comments - some good things to try i hadn't thought of before. i'd really like to try again, but unquilting is so horrid!

    having said all that i love the way this one is pieced together - love the orange and the brown border off center the way it is. it's a delightful quilt!

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  52. too bad. I'm sorry you're disappointed. I've sooooo been there.
    I have good luck with pinning and well...just luck.
    Most often it works out but I'm inevitably disappointed one out of 10 quilts. i don't know what you could have done differently.

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  53. We are always so critical of our own work, I do the same thing! I have been known to take out quilting stitches AFTER a quilt has been washed, carefully picking out the stitches on both sides of the binding to make sure the quilting lines are hidden under the binding. On another note, I totally agree with you about Rita's perfect stitches...she is amazing at straight line quilting. I am always in awe of her perfectly straight lines. I don't know that I have ever seen a quilt of Rita's that has been washed though? She typically doesn't wash her quilts prior to photographing, so maybe after batting, fabric and stitches shift in the wash and dry process, hers look a lot like ours? I dunno, maybe they are still perfect. ha Anyway, just wanted to add my thoughts here because I LOVE this quilt, quilting and all. Best wishes!

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  54. I like it! the colors are great and so is the quilting. I know I'm so critical of my own work, so I understand what you're feeling about your own.
    I say ~ get to the next one ~ you do such lovely work!

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  55. I think the boarder turned out great and does really give the quilt a lot of depth. It's a beautiful finish, even if there are few areas that you wish had quilted up differently! I think quilting is always the hardest part of the process for me. I feel like my imagination constantly runs up against the limitations of what my machine can actual handle and my skill level, but with every project, I try to learn new things and it does seem like the quilting gets closer to what I want. I'm taking notes on all of the great suggestions that folks have offered here and hoping that it helps.

    Oh and I agree with you on preferring smooth quilts! I am slowing coming to peace with the crinkles, though, and starting to see the beauty in the extra texture it provides.

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  56. Well, I think it looks great and I would've never thought that crinkle was a problem! I LOVE that Kona Coffee and how you used it. Thank you for sharing all of this - I had never heard that term "quilt drag" and learned a lot from this post. All of these comments are so interesting...so many factors to consider, huh?

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  57. Well, I love it, Rachel! I know how it is to not be happy with your results. I hate to admit that I've cried over quilting...it's supposed to be fun!

    Crissy mentioned stitch length and that's what I was going to mention, too. I found going up to about 3.3 REALLY helps my quilting. I haven't been able to acheive Rita-esque lines, but that one thing has helped me heaps.

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  58. I think you have pretty much described why I have such a large stack of quilts patiently waiting to be quilted...deep down I am afraid of "ruining" them with my quilting. ha ha!

    But seriously, I think yours turned out great despite a little bit of drag. Seems like there are a lot of good tips in the comments though for all of us to try to improve our quilting a bit. I might have to give the pin basting another try too just for kicks.

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  59. Hi! I'm late to this post, but thought I'd add my two cents about your drag problem. I don't like using basting spray as a rule, because I can never get the top and backing as taught as I'd like. I use safety pins, start in the center, and work my way out to keep the material flat and taught (not stretched, just taught). I leave them on while I'm quilting unless they're in the way. This way, I've been able to get rid of pulling and crinkling on the top of the quilt, though I usually still have some puffiness on the back side of the quilt. If I were to turn it over and treat the back the same as the front...well, then I'd have t un-do the front pins...

    Short story, I haven't been able to purge both sides of a quilt from the drags, but I feel like one side is better than none.

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