Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Quilting the Blue and Yellow Leaders and Enders Quilt

 One of the most challenging parts of making a quilt is the actual quilting.  I suppose that's why longarmers have wait lists that can be several weeks or months long.  When I purchased my midarm on a frame I had big plans of quilting for others someday.  The only problem was I don't like the quilting process.  I had grand illusions of the quilting machine making the quilting process more enjoyable.  Ten years later and I really don't enjoy quilting anymore than I did on my domestic machine.  Sure it is easier but enjoyable? Not really.  

My quilting setup is one of the cheapest out there.  It has what I call an old school Stitch Regulator with a learning curve that make some owners throw in the towel and buy a different set up. 

 Over the years I've made some modifications to my Bailey Home Quilter.  She looks like a monster   but the old girl gets the job done.  It doesn't matter what she looks like or how much I paid for her, what matters is we have learned to work together and make some pretty good looking quilts.  

 Every once in awhile after finishing the quilting on a quilt I will still need a binding fabric.  The easiest way to find just the right binding fabric is to take the quilt with you to the quilt shop.  Of course a finished quilt in a quilt shop is going to draw some attention.  The questions are always the same...

1.  What's the name of quilt pattern?
2.  Who designed it?
3.  The quilting is amazing, who quilted it for you?
4.  What brand is your longarm?

The Bailey Home Quilter isn't a brand that most quilters know.  And when I explain to them how cheap it is and it's lack of bells and whistles they are shocked that I can make it look like a "big girl" machine did the work.  It may seem like I'm bragging a little but really I'm not.  No one needs a frame quilter to make beautiful quilts.  I too have been impressed with the quilting on a quilt and ask some of the same questions.  And I too am shocked when they sometimes say...I quilted it on my mothers old sewing machine with a seven inch throat.  

The first thing I learned when I first starting quilting on a frame is....
Buying a quilter does not an artist make
Only time and lots of practice is going to produce a pretty quilting design.  Some learn it faster than others but all can and will if they put in the blood, sweat and tears.  I think I've paid my dues and for the most part I can give a quilt a little character with the quilting.  

And then there's quilts like this one.  I love this quilt.  It's simple design and bright colors just tickle me pink.  But my choice of quilting design...EH...I'm not feeling it but I'm not changing it or picking out the stitches.  The quilting doesn't look bad it just looks to be the wrong scale or wrong shape.  To me it's just off.  But it's quilted and that is all that matters.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you don't.

The real win is when a quilt is actually finished and no longer a UFO, right?  Yes ma'am!  So I'm moving forward and getting this girl done.

I'm linking up this post at a new to me link up over at 

Hop over to be inspired or to link up.

My word of the year, MOOVE.  Moving along UFOs and moving physically.

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  1. I hear quilters say that they love the quilting part of making a quilt but I still struggle. Making a decision on the designs is my first hurdle but doing all the stitching is also a struggle. I do have a sit-down but it's still tough. Thank you for making me feel better since I also don't actually 'love' the process. Quilts always look better after they are done!

  2. You are so right on the grand illusions! I'd say even modest illusions like mine are quite crushable. I got a sit down machine with no speed control, was doing fairly well on small practice pieces, but it all went to h*** when I put a full size quilt on and couldn't move it around. I got a hoop frame, it goes a bit better, but now the cord to the controller is a bit short now, so it's a stretch to reach it. It was also a wake-up moment when I realized that about half of the space in the hoop area is not quiltable (machine arm, quilt rolled up, etc take space away). I powered through doing a meander and a fan border on one quilt. My first and last meanders are definitely different size, good thing they are on opposite ends. I've had a quilt layered up and on the frame for several months, indecision on how to quilt it seems to have paralyzed me.

    I'm not seeing an issue with the scale of the quilting on your quilt. Might it be less disappointing to you when the rest of the quilting is done?

  3. Oh, my goodness, you must have written this column for me. I just finished a quilt that I absolutely loved until I quilted it. I didn’t like my design choice, the color of the thread I chose (which I would have sworn was perfect), or anything else, except maybe the binding. Oh, well. I refused to pick out stitches, and went with it, and I’m sure the recipient will like it, given he’s a baby and will make untold messes on it. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and for what it’s worth, I think your quilting is amazing snd creative, and I’ve always admired it, and hope to see more of it.

  4. Hi Lea Anne, good for you for sticking with it. I quilt on my smallish home machine but it does have more space than most. I'm pretty much the opposite to you - it's the part I love best. I would love to not have to go through the process of piecing a quilt but just to quilt it....but I don't love it enough to do it for others! That's a different ballgame. I'm glad that you are finishing it and hope that you will join us on Free Motion Mavericks. Take care.

  5. I think the quilting you've done so far looks very good. The diagonal lines look great over the pieced straight line border, it add contrast to the design.

    I'm a lifetime hand quilter and can easily see the quilting designs in my mind the quilt needs for hand quilting. Unfortunately hand quilting takes a long time so I have started machine quilting with my domestic machine. The largest quilt I've quilted was approximately 60" by 80" with diagonal lines. That was enough! I personally hate the machine quilting process but I do it because I want a finished quilt. If the quilt is going to be for a child, machine quilting is the way to go, it takes the multiple washings better than hand quilting.

  6. Pretty quilting!
    Here is my post about MailChimp if you still need it:

  7. Oh my, Lea Anne, the quilting part, not the piecing is my absolute worst like. That’s why I have most everything long armed. I used to do it for a quilt shop, but only pantograph- all over, as the machine was soooo old, custom was near to impossible. I so admire long arm quilters who have the imagination to create the incredible designs they do on the quilts they take in. I love your yellow-blue-white quilt, and your choice of quilting is lovely! You’re too hard on yourself!

  8. Oh my gosh, Lea Anne -- those are words of wisdom for sure! The marketing for the long arm machines sure makes it seam like if you purchase X machine for tens of thousands of dollars you will become an instant quilting genius, but they are all just drawing tools, really, and if you don't like drawing and don't want to practice drawing you're not going to get anywhere... I think you do a great job with your quilting and would never have dreamed that you didn't enjoy doing it. Although I will say, upgrading my quilting tools did make a difference for me and I do love the quilting part now. That's why I quilt other people's tops as well as my own -- it lets me do MORE of the quilting than just the couple of tops I finish piecing each year!

  9. I have a Sweet Sixteen I bought on the way home from Disneyland in the car in December 2019. The only people who have actually finished a quilt on it is my 12 year old granddaughter, Ally and her friend from across the street from me, Tabby who is 14. Why am I so afraid of it? I really like how you have quilted this quilt. I need to stop being afraid and get in there and get a quilt under it!

    I"m anonymous because I can't remember my google password!

    Cheryl from California


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