Sunday, November 17, 2013

Swooning again....

I decided this weekend it was time to get moving with my Swoon. I didn't want to make a mockery of the 2013 part of the #swoon2013 hashtag, and I knew if I didn't get it quilted in the next week, I would not get to it until well after Christmas.



The biggest issue stalling me in the last couple of months was basting. Swoon is 80" x 80" and I needed to move some furniture in my living room (my sofas) in order to have enough floor space to baste it. But moving furniture is easier said than done with the 2 big kids confined to the house in miserable November weather. So off I went to my friend Google to find out about table basting alternatives, having seen a link to a tutorial for board basting a few months ago.

I read quite a few, and decided to try this method, using clamps. I ran over to the hardware shop yesterday, but the clamps were more expensive than I anticipated and I was too cheap to buy more than four. Really, for this to work, I would need at least 8, probably 10. I think I'll do some searching online for cheaper options for next time, because I really liked this method. No crawling round the floor, and working in defined sections makes it feel quite quick, although realistically I'm not sure it really is any quicker than doing it on the floor. My knees and back definitely liked it better though.



I was pretty happy with the results - it wasn't absolutely perfect on the back, but its a huge quilt, my first time trying it, I only had 4 clamps and its for my own bed so a couple of minor puckers here and there are not going to bother me. I think a bit of practice would sort out those issues very quickly. This is a great option for me. I normally baste on the playroom floor which is not that fair on my kids and their constant in-and-out looking for toys, walking across my quilt sandwich drives me nuts. So I'll be using this method again for definite.


Once it was done, I moved on to quilting it today. I was nervous about this, it's by far the biggest quilt I've ever tackled on my machine.  I had considered sending it to a long arm quilter but decided against it for cost and other reasons in the end. It took a little while to get a flow going - getting used to the weight of it! It's seriously heavy with the batting in there. But, on the advice of my buddy Fiona (BetsyGreyCrafts) who quilted hers just before me, I did it block by block, and about half way through the first (humoungous) block, it just fell into place.




Of course, once I really was moving with it, I had to stop and give the kids baths and do bedtime. But I returned to it once all that was out of the way and in another hour and a half, I realised I had 6 of the 9 blocks quilted. No broken threads. No snarls. No needles snapping. One bobbin change. Pretty much perfect quilting - I couldn't quite believe how easily it had flowed.

So, one more column to do and then it's on to binding. Can't wait.


18 comments:

Sandra Sews said...

Great quilting, it looks lovely. I wondered, do you quilt around your pins or over them? I seem to see pins in the already quilted areas?? Can't wait to see the finished result...

Judith, Belfast said...

It's so going to be worth all this effort S! Jxo

Lynz said...

It's going to be amazing!!! I've thought about the table basting method but never tried it - good to know it works well!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Great job committing to getting it finished! Depending on your table thickness, large bull clamps you can get at the office supply store will work too.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Looks great!!! I still have to quilt mine....Haven;t decided whether to machine or hand quilt it.
I am much better at hand quilting, but should get more machine quilting in....

Tamie said...

It is looking beautiful. You are braver than I to quilt that on your regular machine. Mine is still in the cutting stage.

Conni said...

very nice, My Swoon is hanging unfinished on my project wall as well, good for you for getting to work on yours. I have a PFAFF machine too, but have to ask which one do you have?

Flying Blind... said...

Well done you xxx

Quilterbell said...

It is looking great Sarah!. i have two more blocks to sew (already cut) and I am hoping to start quilting very soon. It needs to be ready by Christmas so I am already feeling the pressure!.

Nicky said...

Fantastic! Well done Sarah! I need a kick up the backside to get on with basting the six quilt tops I have waiting on me.

My least favourite bit too.

It looks amazing you must be so pleased!

Silvia LGD (Little Green Doll) said...

It looks great!!! What a useful method to baste quilts. :))

bbp said...

Thanks so much for sharing this method. I've bookmarked it to try next time I have something large. You should check www.harborfreight.com and look at their clamps. Beautiful quilt.

Andee said...

My hat is off to you! WHOOT WHOOT! Your Swoon is looking great. I would never even attempt quilting something that huge (lol I pretty much stop at baby size, ha!) but you make it look easy!

Kirsten said...

This is so beautiful! You are so brave as I would never have been game to quilt one on my home machine!!

Di said...

It is beautiful and the quilting is fab. Basting on a table sure helps your back. Di x

Very Berry Handmade said...

Looking amazing! The table basting sounds like a bit of a plan...

Katy Cameron said...

Looking great, darn kids interrupting though ;o)

Jenniffier Kramer said...

Looks fantastic. Congratulations!