Saturday, 17 September 2016

In the ditch

Several people recently have confessed their fear of and insecurities about quilting. These people will confidently tackle all kinds of piecing challenges, but a completed top is something to dread.  One friend even told me that she had a completed top high she was particularly pleased with, and she kept looking at it, thinking, 'it looks lovely now, but I'll ruin it when I quilt it'.  That's such a shame (as well as being completely untrue!).  A lot of people prefer piecing to quilting, which is fine, but they can easily quilt their tops without stress.  
'I'll just quilt it in the ditch' is one solution, although sewing a straight line isn't as easy as it sounds. 

You can see here a couple of examples of how 'in the ditch' isn't always as straightforward as it seems.  I quite admit that I could do better than this if I wasn't so slapdash, but keeping the sewing line straight over all those layers and intersections isn't that easy.  So what to do?  Try something else. 

Sometimes I cheat, and sew 'not in the ditch'. I choose the colour of one of the sides, then quilt deliberately just a fraction of an inch on the same colour fabric.  I still wobble, but hopefully I wobble on the fabric, not in the intersection.  Less visible with the same effect.  

Or explore some of the decorative stitches on your machine.  You can still use your walking foot to do all kinds of different stitches.  This is one I've never used before, and I know it's not in the ditch, but it could be.  

And here is a detail from a Linus quilt of a great use of a decorative stitch.  Again, not in the ditch, but easy and effective, or even easier and more effective.  A bit of lateral thinking can work wonders!  Push that box! 

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