|Home School Quilting
Sewing seeds of creativity!
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A quilt is made up with three layers; the top which we just pieced,
the batting and the backing. There are numerous types of batting:
cotton, cotton blend, poly, wool, silk, bamboo and even recycled
plastic. Batting also comes in different weights or thickness (loft).
The quilt’s intended use (heirloom, utility, decoration) determines
how it will be quilted; hand quilted, machine quilted or tied. And how
it is quilted determines which batting is appropriate. Basically: thin
soft batting for hand quilting (easier to needle); firmer thicker for
machine quilting (can better handle the fast speed and handling);
high loft for hand tying (keeps it soft and puffy). Each batting has
directions for washing and quilting on the packaging.
Hand quilting takes time to master and complete. In this day and age
when everything is fast and a get it done mentality, hand quilting is
almost a lost art. There are those who believe a quilt isn’t a quilt
unless it is hand done. Thankfully they are keeping hand quilting
“alive”. Everyone who calls themselves a quilter should try hand
quilting at least once. Who knows you may become addicted. I would
recommend taking lessons to learn the correct method. You don’t
have to do the whole quilt by hand; you can mix hand and machine
work. A wall hanging machine quilted in the center with a hand
quilted border is a beautiful blend of traditional and modern
techniques. There is just something about hand sewing that leaves a
lasting memory. I can remember exactly where I was and the
conversation I was having with my Dad the day I hand finished the
binding on one of my favorite quilts.
Machine quilting may be faster but it takes skill and practice to get
those beautiful designs. And then there is the space issue. How do
you get that big quilt under the needle and stuffed into that small
space to the right? Well it isn’t easy but there are better ways to do
it. The great big long arm machine can handle anything but it is
expensive and takes up a lot of room. Solution: send your quilt out
to a longarmer. Mid-arm machine set up is less expensive still
requires a good deal of space but is doable and best of all FUN (can
you tell I have a mid-arm set up). Your regular sit down sewing
machine can get the job done too, just take your time and
concentrate on one small section at a time. There are machines
made just for sit down quilting as well as domestic machines with
larger harp space.
Tying a quilt is an old and true method. It’s easy, can be
accomplished in a small or large space and is a good excuse to invite
some friends over…just get the quilt tied before you serve the wine
Whatever method you choose take your time and enjoy the process.
Any questions e-nail me at Joanne@homeschoolquilting.com