I was so pleased with how the quilt sandwich came together but I have to say, I was a little trepidatious (like that word?) about starting the machine quilting. Mostly, I was leery about how hard it was going to be to fit the bunched up quilt between the sewing foot and the side of the machine, it turned out, I worried for nothing.
Everything I read directed me to purchasing a “walking foot” to more easily machine quilt my masterpiece. The neat thing about the “walking foot” or “Even Feed Foot” is that there are “feed dogs” on the foot as well as on the pressure plate giving a double dose of pull on the fabric top and bottom, making the layers feed more evenly.
I used the “stitch in a ditch” method of quilting by sewing along my quilt square seams. I started with the center row and sewed the first vertical row. I then sewed the middle horizontal row and proceeded to sew in the “ditch” on all the 8″ x 8″ squares rows and columns. After I completed that, I went back an sewed the seams on the 4″ squares.
After I finished, I laid it down on the floor to cut the excess fabric from the sides and promptly my fur baby decided it was the perfect place to sit to encourage me to stop what I was doing and go feed him. As is usual, he got his way.
I was very pleased with how well the safety pins held the fabric in place. There was only one time while I was doing all the quilting that my fabric seemed to bunch a little. One of the things I didn’t do when I was piecing my quilt was press the seams to one side of the seam, toward the darker fabric. Since I’ve sewn since I was young (my mom was a seamstress), I’ve always pressed seams open. I obviously read the directions wrong and didn’t realize that was not what I should do. However, I don’t think that it has made all that much of a difference.
One last step, putting the binding on. I just need to decide whether I want to hand finish the binding or machine bind it. The Missouri Star Quilt Company has some really excellent videos on how to machine bind or hand bind. Both of the methods start with machine sewing the binding, but the difference is whether you hand stitch the finished binding or use the machine to finish it.
I didn’t purchase any contrasting fabric for the binding, so I’m hoping that today’s trip to the fabric store will result in a fabric that I can use for the binding.