This week I’m working on a custom quilt, and with my customer’s permission, I will be blogging this queen sized quilt, step by step.
First thing I noticed about this quilt on intake is that it has an outer border that is pieced with small scrappy pieces. Really effective visually on the quilt, but that meant I couldn’t pin the quilt top to the quilt roller, it had to be free floated. Which is what I usually do on custom quilts anyways.
Not pinning it to the quilt roller could potentially leave the quilt dragging on the floor; but since I wouldn’t want that done with my quilts, I don’t do that with customer quilts either! Instead I loosely fold the quilt bottom up and pin it to the quilt top. This keeps it off the floor very well:
One of the first things that I do on every quilt, custom or not, is to baste the sides as I go. That means each time I advance the quilt, I stop and baste the sides. On pieced borders this usually requires more pins than on plain borders:
What I’m trying to accomplish by doing this is to keep the piecing visually horizontal to the quilt, even if there is a bit of fullness or taughtness in a certain piece.
After that the bones of any custom quilt get done. For this quilt it’s taken 2 full days to put in those bones. What are the bones? That’s the SID (stitch in the ditch) that stabilizes the piecing and creates a sharp crisp finish to the entire quilt.
There are two methods of doing SID, with a ruler or freehand. For years I have used a ruler (or various assorted rulers) and it looks like this:
So with white knuckles gripping the steering wheel (oh wait that was driving the other day)….. anyways, I proceeded to slow down and do my SID without the use of a ruler!!!!! And I like it better! Of course it’s slower, but I can see easier where I’m going and I have more control if I need to skootch (is that a word) the fabric a bit. It’s something that has to be done SLOWLY though…..as you can see, your fingers are very close to that needle.
Here’s a closeup of my hand guiding along the seam line:
How do I maintain control, first this is done very, very, very slowly; secondly I use my wrist as a stabilizer between the fabric and the machine. The micro handles my husband made are just the perfect height for resting my wrist against:
Once the SID is completed, I let the quilt rest, usually overnight as it’s normally the end of the day before I’m done. This quilt is resting now and tomorrow I’ll start the motifs.