Keeping on the Straight and Narrow Down Under

31 Oct

When I’m not appliqueing or quilting I can usually be found doing a bit of machine embroidery. I like something to make me laugh so I tend to go for quirky, humorous but always well digitised embroideries. There is nothing worse than investing in an embroidery pattern and spending time and effort embroidering it to find that the stitches don’t look good or the outline stitches are not where they should be. This is especially irritating when the design has been bought for a special reason.

The designs that started me off were from Loralie Designs in America but one of my favourites actually has an australian theme. I am not sure why I am attracted to australian designs in quilting and now embroidery but I suspect it is because they are great fun.  When you work in a dungeon every little ray of sunshine helps.

I found some australian fabric and made up a simple design as the embroideries are all the character it needs.

I also did a bit of simple diagonal quilting to make the background more substantial. For a bit more dimension I sometimes embroider with the wadding already in place. It depends on the effect I want to get.

The only tip I can give you for this type of quilt is accurate measurement. I have found over the years that my seams have become automatically more even and so my measurements are usually what they are supposed to be. I still always measure, not just the piece I am working with but also any other piece that should be the same length. If opposite borders are different lengths then it is no good cutting pieces the two different measurements. As you can see this will mean your top will not be square. If you measure at each stage, if there is a discrepancy you can put it right when it has happened other than when it would mean unpicking several stages.If your top is not square your finishing and quilting will be a nightmare.

Do not ever be tempted to take a long piece of border and just stitch it to the quilt top without measuring and cutting first. If you do this, a perfectly square top could end up distorted. You need to keep complete control of the strips.I think this is why I have never tried mitred corners on my binding. I cannot see how to keep the symmetry of the quilt and all my carefully measured edges if I use an unmeasured piece. It is not helped by the number of quilts in magazine pictures that seem to have wonky edges. I am open to conversion if you have found otherwise. Let me know and tell me the secret.

I also find that any project on which I have had to fudge something whatever the reason and whatever the project becomes a bit of a bugbear, nagging me every time I see it. So even if you manage to fix it so that it looks fine, you will always know. The more you progress the more this will be the case and the more careful you will be. Why not cut out this stage and start as you mean to go on.

There are a lot of straight lines and corners in quilting. Measure, measure, measure and you won’t go far wrong.



2 Responses to “Keeping on the Straight and Narrow Down Under”

  1. Karen November 1, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    The embroideries are delightful. I am especially taken by the kookaburra and the cockatoo. Great.

    • quiltaholic November 1, 2011 at 7:57 am #

      I rather like the birds too, although there is something about the expressions on the kangaroos’ faces.

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