a Cotton Seed quilt
Merry Belated Christmas! I hope you and your dear ones had a cozy time together during the winter solstice and Christmas holiday, if you celebrate. The New Year is coming soon, which brings year end reflections and best 9's on Instagram, all of which suit me fine. I love looking back and looking forward. More on that soon!
Since returning from Gammill Training, Brandon has quilted a handful of quilts on our own machine. We recruited practice quilts from friends near and far, allowing us to experience a sampling of common challenges. No quilt is perfectly square or perfectly sewn, as is the wonderful nature of handmade. Each is unique with peculiarities like the loops and leanings of a human signature. All better than perfection, indeed! This quilt top was made by Harmony circle of do. Good Stitches to be donated to seriously ill children through Project Linus.
Notice that the edges of the quilt blocks are 100% exposed bias, making for a stretchy top. Brandon carefully loaded and basted it, only to find that the block intersections were too bulky. The blocks had been joined with seams pressed to the side. Side-pressing in conjunction with points at the block corners created super bulky seams every 12". Fortunately, he figured this out before he even started quilting! Just passing the machine head over the quilt would catch at the bulky seams. Any catching could mar the quilt pattern. Hmm.. what to do?
The first step was to unbaste the quilt top. (Darn!) Next, I re-pressed the bulk seams open. That flattened the bulky seams some, but not quite enough. Online research revealed that many quilters correct bulky seams by striking them with a rubber mallet. Yes, I'd heard of that! I've never had to do that, maybe because I press all my seams open? Brandon bought a new rubber mallet and struck each offending seam with a batting scrap between to protect the fabric. Eureka! After that the quilt loaded smoothly, and we were ready to quilt.
I chose a meandering pattern called Cotton Seed for this quilt. It has a classic aesthetic that fits the quilt, while still feeling open and updated. I selected a cream colored thread to blend into the quilt top, which is my tendency. I prefer thread and quilting to read more as a background texture than as a strong design element.
After several hiccups in preping and basting the quilt, the quilting itself went quick and flawlessly. Hooray! Cotton Seed is part of our nature-inspired edge to edge quilting design catalog. I've been working on loading the quilting design options, and now I'm having trouble choosing just one for my Indie Geese quilt. Too many options that I'm eager to see in the cloth!
As part of our quilting service I'll be offering quilting design suggestions when customers desire, so I'd better get used to choosing just one, haha.
I'll be back tomorrow with another practice quilt... quilted!