Tuesday, 22 September 2015

World quilt

This quilt was originally going to be a "Welcome to the world" gift for a colleague's newborn baby several months ago but in my usual style I left it too late to even start the project, let alone finish it in time for her work farewell or the baby's birth. 

Combine my tardiness with a few technical difficulties along the way and  I'm sorry to say that this one is still a work in progress and will almost certainly go to a different cause if when it finally gets finished.

Free quilt pattern
The pattern for this quilt is a freebie from Schwin & Schwin.

Choosing fabrics
The pattern is rather time consuming to print, trace and cut out because even though the continents are rounded out a bit, the coastlines and islands are still pretty intricate and fiddly.

Once I got the pattern printed I left the instructions and went on my own course which was, in hindsight, probably not the most efficient way of doing things. Somehow I found myself tracing the pattern 3 times - on the quilt front to guide placement, on the fabric selected for each continent and finally on to the heat and bond; and then I had to cut it out twice - once from the heat and bond and once from the continent fabric.

Losing the battle with the 'Heat & Bond'
I selected a variety of fairly neutral gender colours from the same fabric line and went with a plain white background.

I must remember if I ever make this quilt again, to trace the pattern on the heat and bond in reverse. It was a bit of a sticky mess but eventually I got it all unstuck and smoothed out enough to place the pieces properly.

Once the pieces were all stuck to the white background it was time to stitch them there. I went for a rough edge applique with straight line stitching close to the edges of the pieces rather than a satin stitch. (Satin stitching would have taken forever, used thousands of metres of thread and I'm not so confident on my ability to keep the stitching neat and consistent around all those twists and turns of the coastlines.)

Quilt sandwich all laid out and pinned - ready to quilt.
After the applique, it was time to make a quilt sandwich with the batting and backing, pin it all together and start quilting.

I had decided to quilt the entirety of the quilt using straight lines about an inch apart and a decorative stitch setting on my machine (a wavy line). The hope was the stitching would be almost invisible on the land parts, but on the water sections would look like waves.

Nice theory, unfortunately it hasn't turned out the way I had imagined it. So far I've done 3 lines across the top of the quilt (the arctic circle) and for some reason I keep getting missed stitches that look really strange and messy. I've unpicked all the stitching several times and re-done, with the same result every time.

And that's pretty much as far as I got... in my frustration at the quilting issues this one got thrown into "time-out" until I have the patience to try and work though it again.

Just working through this post has been useful though. The more I look at the pics, the more I'm thinking I should give up on the decorative wave stitching, change to a contrasting colour thread (maybe an ochre or dark grey) and try longitude and latitude lines instead.

hmmm...  starting to feel inspired again now... sadly I don't really have the time to pull the world quilt out of time-out and finish it - there's other projects that need to be done before we head off in a couple of days on a long overdue holiday... maybe if I have some time when we get back and before I return to work??


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