Saturday, May 22, 2010

Second Finish for May

I put the last stitch into the binding of my Hourglass Log Cabin this morning. The top sat unfinished for nearly a year while I tried to decide how I wanted to quilt it. The quilt measures only 24" x 24", so it seemed a little silly to load it on the long arm, nor did I want to stitch in the ditch or hand quilt. I'm no good at free motion quilting either, so there weren't a lot of other options.

I considered trying to machine embroider a quilt design in each set of four blocks but decided there might be too much of a learning curve. I'd still like to try that at some point, just not right now.

I finally decided to try stitching a design through the Golden Threads paper. Golden Threads quilting paper is a thin, translucent, gold-colored paper that is used as a no-mark method of creating a quilt stencil. It's available on a 20-yard roll in three different widths, and I'd guess it's available in most quilt shops. It's like tracing paper, but it seems to be more durable. I pinned and repinned the paper, stuck tape on it, rolled it and rerolled it, and generally abused it in the quilting process, and it never tore. However when I was ready to remove it, it tore off very easily and cleanly. It even came off pretty easily in those tight places where there was a concentration of stitches.

Here's how I did it. I chose a design from Electric Quilt's Quilting Designs series. After I drafted the log cabin into my EQ program, I imported the quilt design and sized it to fit my blocks. Then I printed out the design and traced several sequences of the pattern to create a small continuous-line pantograph. Next I pinned it to my quilt ready for quilting. Because the paper is translucent, I could see exactly where I wanted to position it. The pins poked me too many times, so I switched to double sided tape which worked just as well.

I used a walking foot to quilt the design, which meant I had to pivot the quilt round and round to stitch on my line. It might have been tedious except that I got pretty engrossed in it. I suppose you could do this on a larger quilt too, but if the quilt were too big it would more difficult to roll it up and maneuver around the needle. Free motion quilting would probably make it much faster.

This method worked so well for me that I'm excited to try it again, so I dug out the Pineapple Blossom quilt to work on, which will also measure 24" x 24".


Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

I *LOVE* log cabins! Yours is wonderful. I recognize a lot of the fabrics. And I think we talked about that little strip of volley ball fabric, too, come to think of it!

Thanks so much for sharing the information on the paper. I've wondered how that would be to work with. Now I'll have to give it a try.

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

Wow Sue! This is beautiful. Thanks for showing your quilting process.

Joan said...

Sue - thats fantastic! and thanks so much for sharing how you accomplished this. I may even try to purchase some of this at a later date . I have used the tearaway paper and the Press and Seal, but they are hard on the this may be better. I will read throuh you post again and check it out. Thank you. That really is a beautiful quilt

Jeanne said...

You did wonderful work with this quilt! Your loops are nice and smooth and give the quilt a lovely finish. Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

Your log cabin quilt is adorable! Sometimes you just have to let things marinate for awhile. The quilting looks great. The variety of colors and prints is just what a log cabin should be. No wonder the log cabin block has been popular for so long.Sweet!