Friday, January 31, 2014

FMQ...“Bears In The Air” baby quilt

A while back I was given some baby quilt panels one of which is a Daisy Kingdom print of some teddy bears in a hot air balloon.  I matched this panel up with some dinosaur flannel because of both pieces have the primary red, blue, yellow, and green colors. 

After sandwiching these up with some 80/20 cotton low loft batting, I tried a new basting technique.  I did use spray baste to keep the layer secure while I added machine basting. 

BITA-markingFirst I marked the approximate centerlines (vertical and horizontal) and then I proceeded to stitch those lines with a very long basting stitch and my free-motion foot.  I set my stitch length to 6, but I made it even longer by lowering the presser foot, taking a stitch, bringing up the needle, lifting the presser foot, and then moving the fabric.  I stitched this way about every 1/2- to 1-inch.  After a bit I got into a rhythm and was grateful for my new sewing machine knee-lift feature which raises and lowers the presser foot.  I spaced the stitching rows/columns about 6-inches apart.  The only thing that I would say negatively about this technique is that occasionally as I was free-motion quilting the basting thread would get caught in the presser foot.  In that case, I would stop and cut the basting thread and continue on with my quilting.

For the most part I used Coats & Clark 100% cotton 50wt thread for quilting with Presencia 60wt 3-ply cotton in the bobbin.  I have tried to use other brands of 60wt but they tend to fray or break perhaps because they are only 2-ply.   I also used various brands of colored thread, whatever I had on hand, to quilt the outlines around the balloons and ribbons.  I was concerned that if I used white it would show where two colors meet

BITA-hatchAnother first for me was the diagonal cross-hatching I did in the quilt interior.  At first I made the lines 2-inches apart, but later added the intermediate lines to make the spacing 1-inch.  I like the smaller hatch much better. 

BITA-borderFor the interior border area I made my own design using hearts and ribbons which I marked using a Frixion pen.  When I quilted only a single line for these features it seemed dull so I added a second echo line about 1/16 to 1/8 inch away.  That made the ribbons and hearts stand out more.  I love how the Frixion pen markings just disappear when heat from the iron is applied. 

BITA-CornerIn the outside borders I quilted a simple hearts and loops design and tried not to get the quilting too dense.  I was concerned that some areas of the quilt would been heavily quilted and others very sparsely. 

At the moment I have four baby quilts that are done except for the binding.  It’s funny, I’m enjoying seeing them hanging around together so much that I keep putting off the final step of adding the binding.  Each quilt has it binding all cut and pressed and ready to be applied.  I think I’ll just leave them there to admire a while longer......or I could finish them and hang them back up.  These will be donated in July.    

I'm linking up with FMQ Project Link Up over at The Free Motion Quilting Project.

Happy Quilting!

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