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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.

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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

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Quilting Know How Pinning Your Quilt

Quilting Know How Pinning brings you good quilting practices you need to know to make professional looking quilts. Last week I talked about some of the practices and this week I am taking a closer look at pinning your quilt.

Preparation – Pinning

Quilting Know How Pinning this week shows you how to get rid of those ‘tucks’ that appear in poorly quilted work. Recently I made two One Block Wonder quilts with panels. I have always been able to keep my quilting flat, right from the beginning. It was a box I ticked proudly.

Then disaster struck. As I quilted the first panel, I got tucks. I realised the fabric was perhaps a little stretchy, the border a little tight to the rest of the quilt but most importantly I had been meagre with the pins. I was desperate not to make the same mistake with the second panel. I made sure my border was perfect. But I did something else that made all the difference – Pinning.

Quilting Know How Pinning
Puckers happen when a quilt is not well pinned

Quilting Know How Pinning is all about using enough pins. I am a sparse pinner! This time, I took the time to pin thoroughly. I wanted this to look right. It worked. I stitched one way, adjusted my pins and stitched the other way.

Quilting Know How Pinnng
Pin well for a flat quilt

It is fabulous when you get it right, but a disaster if you get it wrong. It is simpler to get small projects flat. Large quilts are usually the problem. Having the space to lay out a large quilt can be problematic and result in your quilt not being flat. Follow my tips:

  1. Take as much time as it takes
  2. Never rush
  3. Leave it and come back to it if you have to
  4. Smooth and pin from the centre
  5. Check as you go
  6. Before you start to quilt ensure the back is also flat
  7. Start to quilt in the centre
Quilting Know How Pinning
Check the back is flat

Quilts pucker when washed and that is ok, that is what they are meant to do. This is entirely a different thing to the uneven surface of a badly pinned quilt. See our tutorials online here

Words, Images and Work Copyright Karen Platt 2019