Monday, November 10, 2008

A baby quilt finished

I know a large group of people are tired of meandering/stippling as a style of quilting, but it is still the best all over pattern for quilts that are going to be washed and look crinkly and old fashioned. I made the 9 patches that are in this quilt back in the mid 1990's and finally put them together with some plain squares to make a baby quilt. I really liked this soft large flower print for the border. This first picture is before washing.
The next picture is after washing, all crinkly.

I still think meandering is the best pattern for people to learn when just starting out in machine quilting. I don't think anyone should feel intimidated to do it (I know several that are) because a certain group of people have said it is "old hat".
I have been asked by a couple readers whether I prewash my fabrics. I only prewash my batiks, which don't have any sizing or finish on them anyway. When the first ones came out they smelled so waxy and sometimes even had little pieces of wax still on them. I got into the habit of washing them to get the smell out. They don't smell anymore but I am still in the habit of washing them.
I don't wash any of my regular quilting fabrics unless I am going to use a fusible web (Wonder Under, etc.) on them. If you leave the sizing in them, it repels the fusible eventually and it will start peeling away. Shrinkage on good quality fabric is 2% or less, that is 2" per 100".
I make most of my large quilts about 4" bigger than I need them to be so even if there is some shrinkage in the final product, it will still be large enough. Drying a quilt until it is totally dry in the dryer is the easiest way to shrink a quilt if that is what you want to do. Drying them for about 10 minutes in a dryer then laying them flat to dry and smoothing them with your hand while damp is the best way to retain the original size.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

This baby quilt is perfect. Nothing more soothing than pastels. Although I love the vivid colors you posted yesterday also.

Another great tutorial for us today. Not all of us out here are seasoned quilters.

J~MT

Christina said...

absolutly beautiful

Christina said...

I just went back and read the post (a lot of times I just look). It's packed full of usefull information, thank you.

Quiltdivajulie said...

What a very lucky baby to receive that GORGEOUS quilt...

Your comment about removing the smell is precisely why I do pre-wash all of my fabrics... I prefer to handle them knowing that the dust and odors (etc.) from their life before coming to my house have been washed away. Personal preference on my part.

Thanks for a great post!

Quiltdivajulie said...

What a very lucky baby to receive that GORGEOUS quilt...

Your comment about removing the smell is precisely why I do pre-wash all of my fabrics... I prefer to handle them knowing that the dust and odors (etc.) from their life before coming to my house have been washed away. Personal preference on my part.

Thanks for a great post!

The Calico Cat said...

From the places that I look for "modern" inspiration quilt wise, they all use stipple - because the fabrics & the patterns are doing the talking, not the quilting.

Shasta said...

When my LQS first started sending their quilts out to be quilted, everything was meandered, and it did get old to have every single quilt meandered. I really like the look of meandering, but some quilts need other finishes. The quilt I am making right now is being meandered - I think that will keep the attention on the piecing design. Besides, I don't have a lot of meandered quilts - a lot of them are straight line stitching!

jovaliquilts said...

For a quilt meant to be used as a blanket, overall meandering is great (stippling makes a quilt too stiff for cuddling). I have been afraid to try it on my home machine because of the difficulty of keeping the quilt moving and of having different sections at least look like they all mesh together with the meander.

Mary said...

I can't remember the last time I meandered a quilt. I don't dislike it, just feel that a pantograph or other overall design will give them more interest. However, I have a few HeartStrings tops that I need to catch up on and I've been tempted to go ahead and meander them - they are busy and I always tell other people that meandering is perfect quilting for them because all you'll see is the texture.

I don't wash my fabrics either and my quilts are tossed in the washer and dryer as soon as the last stitch is put in the binding. I love the soft crinkled look.

Joyce said...

Gorgeous quilt. I love to meander and most of my quilts are done that way.

meggie said...

Love that baby quilt!
You are a wealth of tips & information.

hetty said...

Very cute baby quilt. I love to meander! I haven't perfected it yet, but I am practicing! I think it looks great in quilts.

Laura Wasilowski said...

You are a wise woman. As an avid fuser, I know you must wash the fabrics to get rid of any sizing so the bond with the web is better.
Love the baby quilt!

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

I love this quilt, and also the ones shown in the Color-Catchers post. Very nice baby gifts!

Denise said...

Thank you so much for the info on washing your fabric. I like the crinkled look that you get after washing your quilts so no more prewashing for me! (Except the batiks).

Denise

Vicki W said...

What a cute little quilt!

Catherine said...

I love it! So soft and pretty!

Jean said...

This quilt is so pretty and pastel! Perfect for a baby. Reminds me of a colorwash quilt.

Michael5000 said...

Agreed -- meander is a great basic quilting pattern, always a reasonable choice for machine quilting. Saying you shouldn't use the meander because a lot of other people have used it is kind of like saying you shouldn't make quilts because there are plenty of blankets for sale at the store.

Susan said...

I love this quilt. Not only are those pastels pretty and soft-looking, the whole quilt looks nice and soft.
Thank you for what you said about meandering. I think that there is so much access today to long-arm machines--lots of people have them, and it's also easy to send out a quilt to a long-armer to be quilted--that we are spoiled by seeing quilts with all the great designs that can be quilted on them. Sometimes a simple meander can show off the piecing just as nicely, and it's not too hard for the home quilter to do on a domestic sewing machine.

Lynda said...

The quilt is beautiful, and the meander is a perfectly good quilting pattern. Some people really think they are the Quilt Police! I use meander a lot, and sometimes vary it slightly as I meander with leaf, star, heart etc. to just add a little more interest.