Saturday, September 11, 2010

Piper's Polka Dots, Part 2

Quite a bit of time has passed since I worked on Piper's Polka Dots.  It's time to create the quilt sandwiches.  I had to piece batting together.  My method:  overlap edges an inch or so, then stitch a wide, elongated zigzag (number 27 on my Bernina 440 QE) through the middle of the overlap.  Trim the excess batting.  For me it's flat enough without bulk.

Batting pieced together with long, wide zigzag

Design notes

I laid the sections on my bed, but something didn't look right.  By habit, I put a pin in the top left corner of a section to help me know which way is up.  But when I laid them out that way, the layout seemed unbalanced.  I put the sections on the design wall.
Something was definitely wrong.  The circles seemed to be clustered toward the right of the quilt, with nothing on the left.  And where would the last circle go?  There didn't seem to be enough room.  I wouldn't have crowded it that much.  Confirmation came when I noticed two of the same fabrics in the second row next to each other.  I wouldn't have allowed that.

See the second row center, where two lights are next to each other across the gap.

Flipped left section vertically.  Much better.
Figured out that the pin may have fallen off and been put back in the wrong spot when I showed off the sections at my Modern Quilt Guild Meeting.  Everything is fine now.

Design notes

Setting up backing.  Milk bottles fabric isn't long enough to cover.

Enough of circles fabric to cover one side and piece with milk bottles for the other side.
Tried out a couple of layouts, decided to use combination of milk bottles and circles for both sections.
Cut both fabrics in half, laid on design wall.  Will arrange quilt sandwich to show as much of the milk bottles fabric as possible.

Was able to press most of circles to backing.  Tried fabric glue on the back of a couple of circles, but no luck.  So I used WashAway Wonder Tape by Dritz on them.  It's double-sided, won't gum up needles, and washes out.

Circle secured to backing with Wonder Tape

Marked Wonder Tape circles with safety pins to remind me that the edges may be a little loose.

Quilt sandwich for left half of top.  Spray basted with 505 Spray and Fix Adhesive.
Behind quilt sandwich is old sheet used during spraying to protect design wall and floor.

Close up of pins marking seams.  Did same on other side of piece.  Keeps back looking straight.

Quilt sandwich for right half of quilt top

Circle with zigzag applique on edges.  Could have done this earlier, but wanted the 3-dimensional effect of quilting through all layers.  I love the puffiness and would have liked to leave it this way.  But I'm sure that with time the circle would have gone flat, and I don't want the layers of such a large area to be loose.

Circles machine appliqued and free motion quilted with spirals.

Close-up of spiral quilted circle.  Looks like a big lollipop, a cinnamon roll or Princess Leia hair.  I love the 3-D effect.  Piper will enjoy running her fingers over the ridges.

Last circle laid over the gap.  Will not be sewn to the quilt until the sections are joined.

When I quilt in sections I like to leave the center areas unquilted in an uneven pattern.  Once the sections are joined, the center will be quilted.  The uneven edges help the new quilting to blend into the previous quilting.

I turned the left side upside down for quilting bottom to top, doing loop-de-loop free motion quilting.  When I finished I noticed I had quilted the center half by mistake.  Grrrr.  There was a little open space on the inside edges for joining later, but I was kicking myself for getting it mixed up.  I went ahead and quilted the outer half of the section, since it couldn't hurt.

While I was quilting, I ran out of bobbin and had little lime green thread left.  I dumped my stash of thread to find I had nothing remotely close to substitute.  It was 7:15 PM on Labor Day, and I called Joann's to see if they would close early, but they wouldn't.  I had time to run and pick up a spool so I could keep working.  I usually write the color number on the spool but I hadn't done it on the lime green, so I took the spool with me to find a similar green.  I found a close match.  Yippee!

Right section quilted.  To avoid the same mistake, I marked the inside edges with notes that said No! at the top and bottom.

Design notes

Quilt top three-quarters quilted.
Center edge of right section left unquilted for joining.

Joined sections with a similar method used in Joann Sets Sail.  There was little Wonder Tape left, so trying fabric glue stick and pins.

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