Posted on

Day 18 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Day 18 quilting takes a look at things that go wrong and makes suggestions for putting them right. Quilt tips and more. Join me on Instagram, find me karenplatt_textiles

Quilts need to be flat

When you make your quilt sandwich ( a quilt usually consists of 3 parts: the quilt top, the wadding or batting, and the backing) it needs to be flat. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it is challenging. It takes time, careful pinning and checking.

day 18 quilting
Flat at the front, but the back was not right and need attention

I used to think that it was tricky, but my first few quilts gave me no problems. However recently, I switched from crawling on the living room floor (my biggest space) to making the sandwich on my work table. Whilst this was better for my knees and back, it seems to not have worked so well for me.

For my latest quilt, I went back to the living room floor. I have never known a fabric like this one, it wanted to walk. If I got one bit straight, it pulled something else out of whack. I straightened it several times, got the three pieces pinned together, only to find problems on the back.

day 18 quilting
even those small puckers need to be straightened out

I took this to the work room and unfolded, unpinned where necessary and made sure it was all straight before proceeding. This is of extreme importance, flat front and flat back, otherwise you have puckers when you quilt. It is just a matter of patience and time to get it right and makes for a professional looking quilt.

day 18 quilting
Much better, flat and ready to quilt

Quilt Tip

Day 18 quilting tip is for quilting the sandwich. In general it is good advice to quilt circles or wavy lines, stippling even on squares and vice versa. However, my approach is often to ‘freeform’. By that I mean, I just take the needle where it wants to go and approach each square individually. It makes for an interesting quilt. I have used this method in both my hand and machine quilting.

quilting
quilting the top

Today’s discount

Day 18 quilting discount is 20% off the Design in Quilting and Patchwork ecourse, so there has never been a better time to do this. Learn how to design your own quilts in 2020.

Check back tomorrow for more quilting.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

Posted on

Quilt Design And Problem Solving

Quilt Design is often about problem solving. It’s about making things fit into the mold or breaking that mold as the case may be.

When designing a quilt there are so many decisions you have to make before you begin. It is an ordered process and a process which can be learned. First decisions boil down to materials:

1. Which fabrics?
2. Which colours?
3. Which sewing thread?
4. Which batting?

I see so many questions on social media – do these fabrics go together? Does this look better than that? Yet there are formulas and guidance for which fabrics to choose and how to put fabrics together. Then you see really beautifully made quilts, but with the wrong colours, or poor fabrics, and even badly stretched ones.

Quilting takes time, so it is best practice to get to grips with the essentials. That does not mean following a colour wheel slavishly. You need to understand colour, in the same way you need to understand fabrics.

Once you have made these basic decisions and applied the rules, you open the door to fabulous design and all its glorious permutations and possibilities. That’s what I love about quilting. If you are just beginning, click this link to join my beginners’ quilting ecourse.

My latest quilt was a not-so-scrappy-scrappy-quilt. I wanted to use leftover scraps from two OBW quilts. I was faced with design choices and decisions at every stage. So I pause now and then and consider design principles and my options and work out the best way forward. That’s what design is all about. Scraps rarely come in uniform sizes and that has to be accommodated. I had some hexagons, rectangles and squares and I had to figure a way to use them all. I did, eventually. I am pleased with the result. Of course, I made more scraps along the way!

Why not learn to design now, the ecourse is available wherever you are, by clicking this link

If you need to see quilting in action, join me on a quilt retreat, workshop or holiday in the U.K., France or India, by clicking this link and scrolling through the pages.

Happy quilting
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018