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.
First 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.
Another 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.
For 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.
In 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.