Thursday, April 14, 2011

The process - Tutorial 4

It has been a few day since I have posted. The car now has a new battery and air filter, and the oil has been changed. The service men were looking at my PM maintenance and notice that I have not had my timing belt changed. I guess that needs to be done so that is scheduled for next week - $500.00 it will cost. Tuesday I spent all day on my feet wearing the wrong shoes. It was an out of the blue thing so I didn't know I was going to be on my feet all day. I went home and I hurt from my chin to my feet. Wednesday was another day that I was on my feet all day, but I wore my Timberland boots so even though I was still tired at least my whole body wasn't hurting. I altered a jacket last night and went to bed early. So that's my story.

This is where the last tutorial left off. I had the scrap backing from the t-shirt quilt. I pieced together some of the scraps and fabric left over to join the backing together to make the back big enough.

Here is the back completed.

Here is the tape I use for taping my quilt backs down (I also use it to hem my pants that I don't get around to shorting). It is 3M's Green Painter's tape. The green tape is sticker than the blue tape. When it is more humid in the summer the blue tape just doesn't stick to the fabric well.

I started taping the back down at the short end that had the piecing. I put a piece of tape on each seam then I went to the opposite side and taped. I went back to the side I started and put another piece between the first two and then worked my way out to the sides. I went back to the opposite side and repeated.

This is the back before I start taping the sides. Looks pretty bad don't you think? No problem. After I finished taping the short ends I started in the middle and taped one side down and then the opposite side. My technique is to stick the tape to the fabric and gently pull the fabric, release the fabric then find a nice inbetween tension to put on the fabric. If you pull the fabric too much it will spring back after your done pin basting and the top of the quilt will be wrinkled. If you don't pull it enough, you may end up with wrinkles on the back and those wrinkles would get quilted into the back. I just watch the fabric see how far I can work it. After I have the back taped down I go back and look again to see if I need to adjust any places where I pulled too hard or not hard enough. I usually end up with the tape about a fist apart from each other along the sides and as close as I need them any place else.

Here is the back all taped down. See how the big wrinkles are gone?

Next lay the batting (this is 80/20 warm and natural) and smooth it with my trusty worn wooden yardstick. Again, I am just smoothing and not over stretching the batting.

After I placed the quilt top on the batting layer, I carefully smooth the quilt top with the yard stick. After smoothing I very lightly press the quilt moving the iron ever so lightly from the center to the edges. If I am doing a extra special quilt I will get the tape measure out and make sure every thing is squared up. This is the last chance you have to manipulate the top to get the size right.

The top is now ready to be pin basted. I ususally space my pins about a fist apart. I use an old seam ripper to help close the pins. I use safety pins that are straight and not the curved ones. I bought my in bulk bags from a company call Homesew in Pennsylvania. There are 144 per bag and over the years I have probably bought at least ten bags.

Here is how I pin baste the area outside the quilt top. I find pin basting the batting and backing together prevents the problem of the backing folding under and it getting quilted by mistake. Yes, I have done that before and it is a pain to fix.

After pulling off the green tape I trim the sides if it is needed. I usually leave about 2" of batting and backing extending beyond the quilt top. This gives me something to hold onto when doing the quilting. If there is too much backing and batting it just gets in the way.

Here is what the back looks like pin basted.

Next tutorial is free motion quilting. After quilting it is on to the binding. >


GerryART said...

omg, Patty, I am going to have to ARCHIVE this post ! !
I've learned so much from it. I can't believe it. You've packed so much info into this post.
Thanks for taking the time - time that your car is all alone, parked there, waiting for a little more attention from ya - all the time it takes to put together a tutorial such as this.
You're generous.
Hugs to you,
I'm going back through your post and make some notes IN INK ! ! !

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have been quilting for years but you gave me some great tips to solve some of my problems. Like the back folding under...........duh!