Putting the Layers Together and Quilting
I want to cover the Quilt as You Go (QAYG) method I mentioned in Part 4 first before we get into putting the backing, batting, and top layers together. QAYG puts the backing, batting, and quilt top layers together all at once as your assemble the rows into a top. I have done this method before and although a little cumbersome, it is a great way to finish a quilt yourself. I have even gone over the QAYG quilt with more machine quilting once it was all together. Here's how it's done.
STEP 1 Place the pressed quilt backing wrong side up on a hard surface or floor. Smooth the backing so there are no wrinkles. Tape the edges of the backing to the floor to secure. Center the batting on the backing. Use safety pins to pin the layers together at 8" intervals.
STEP 2 Find the center of the batting/backing and draw a horizontal line to use as a reference. Noting orientation, place block row 5 from Rush Hour right side up with the bottom edge aligned with the center line. Remove any pins that are beneath the row or near the bottom edge, repositioning if necessary. Again noting orientation, place block row 6 right side down on block row 5 with edges matching. Pin the rows together. Smooth the rows and place pins through all of the layers to keep the sandwich flat. Remove the tape from the edges.
STEP 3 Roll the sides of the batting/backing toward the center to reduce bulk. Sew the 2 rows together through all layers. Press row 6 open.
STEP 4 Noting orientation and working from the center outward, repeat steps 2 and 3 for row 7, 8, 9, and the border row. Flip the quilt. Stitch rows 4, 3, 2, 1, and the remaining border.
If you plan to have your quilt longarm machine quilted, check with your quilter for their requirements. Press your quilt top well and press the seam(s) on your backing open to reduce bulk. Be sure to keep the different layers separate.
If you are going to be machine or hand quilt the quilt then you will need to make a quilt sandwich from the batting and pressed quilt top and backing. I really like to use spray baste as a way to secure the quilt sandwich layers. Spray baste holds everything together without the pins to get in the way and it is fast! I saw an example of this from Patsy Thompson's video and thought I'd make my own video of this method. I use my garage door as my wall and do my spraying out side. This wont work well come winter--but is great for now.
Now I'm already to get started machine quilting my quilt! I am still working on my machine quilting skills and trying to have smoother lines using my mid-arm machine. I could describe my current quilting style with one word - PRIMITIVE. I have a long way to go till I can even call my work - Good. Right now this quilt is a practice quilt. I can work all day long on small test pieces but it wasn't until I started working on a full-size quilt that I really can start learning how to use my machine.
I truly have no idea if the quilt design I chose for this quilt it easy or hard, I chose it because it had nice curved lines to counter balance all the straight edges of the quilt pattern and I could stitch it in one continuous row. I chose a Baptist Fan design. I didn't bother to mark the quilt top but rather am eye-balling it on a row using the block pieces as guide. In a perfect world, here's what the design would look like on my quilt.
I like this overall design, it reminds me of the quilt designs I have seen on simple utility quilts. Since this is a very visually busy quilt top, the quilting is hard to see on it (thank goodness!) this design works well and is a great way to practice fee-motion quilting. Here's how to stitch it in one continuous line. I am working across one row at a time and have started a row on the right side. The arrows show the stitching directions.
If you'd like to work out your own quilting design, here is a printable worksheet of the quilt to play with.
We are just about done with our Design Process series for this quilt. Next time we will bind the quilt and in a future post we will talk about how to photograph your quilt.