Hooked on Needles

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mystery Quilt Project Finishing Begun

Myra's Mystery Quilt Project, Criss Cross Applesauce, is almost finished! It was so fun to work on a little project like this that could be completed in such a short time. The layering and quilting is complete and I used something on my sewing machine that I have never used before -- the darning foot. You must understand that I've only had this machine for 25 years, so we can't rush into things you know!

Here's how it all came together...

Mystery Quilt Project FinishingThe backing is the same green leaf fabric as in the 9-patch blocks. I layered that with the batting and the quilt top and then pinned it at regular intervals to keep the layers from shifting while I sewed the quilting lines.

Mystery Quilt Project FinishingI got my darning foot all attached and my thread and bobbin ready, then I folded up the quilt so it would be more manageable at the sewing machine. Then I stitched diagonally from corner to corner, right through the green squares making a big X of green machine stitches on the quilt. I then stitched in the same manner the four shorter rows of green squares. This wasn't enough quilting so I decided to stitch an X through each of the four big tan blocks and extend those lines through the border blocks as well.

Mystery Quilt Project FinishingI am not very good at eyeballing longer straight lines, so I used masking tape to mark where I wanted this second set of stitching lines to go. Stitching just along side of the tape, I was able to stitch four pretty straight lines starting from the corner of one border block, going through two big tan blocks and finishing at the far corner of the other border block. I used tan thread for these stitching lines.

Mystery Quilt Project FinishingThis is the design that the quilting lines made on the back of the quilt -- nice neat squares, unless you look too closely. Then you would see that this really is my first experience with the darning foot and having to guide the piece myself and move it along to regulate the stitch size. Some stitches are longer and some are shorter, and sometimes the stitching strays from the path just a bit, usually from where I had to stop and adjust the quilt and then start again.

Mystery Quilt Project FinishingAnd here's another mistake I made. Can you tell what happened here? The edge of the backing was folded underneath the quilt and I stitched it to the back. Ooops! Luckily I was able to cut around the stitching and not cut into the fabric that was needed for the back of the quilt. Whew!

Mystery Quilt Project FinishingSo here's what it looks like with all the quilting done. I really enjoyed using the darning foot once I got the hang of it. I liked how it raised itself up with each stitch so that the fabric wouldn't bunch up on the top and leave puckers. I also like the simple straight line quilting design I did on this, sort of in keeping with the "criss-cross" theme of the quilt.

Now all that is left to do is the binding which I will show you next time, along with a super easy and efficient way to make a really long piece of bias binding from a square of fabric. If you've never tried this trick, you won't want to miss it!

Happy Stitching!

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