Tuesday, August 4, 2009

End of Sabbatical

Well, August is here, and I'm back to work, literally. My quilting-for-hire business is up and running again, so that means that I spent yesterday basting quilts. Yes folks, for those of you who don't know it, I quilt-for-hire with my Bernina. I have no long arm. I have no desire for a long arm.

My "welcome back" project is a sad one. This beautiful wedding quilt was given to a quilter more than a year ago. I don't know what happened, but when the owner picked it up, not only was it not quilted, but it had been dismantled. Seriously. She said that the quilt top had been washed (thereby shredding seams) and taken apart. I don't know how many pieces it had been turned into, but wow. This poor quilt has been through serious trauma.

The back is stained. Did she spill coffee on it? Luckily the backing piece was ample enough that I was able to avoid including this portion in the quilt.

The quilter had begun to quilt the quilt before dismantling it. It was covered with thread snippets that needed to be removed.

Not only was the top covered with thread, but it was covered with animal hair. I picked off the visible threads before I rolled it. I still got this much debris from a very small area. Imagine multiplying this by 20, and you get an idea of what I'm working with.

Washing an unquilted top is a bad idea. It hurts the seams.

Finally, the outer borders are bigger than the interior of the quilt. Perhaps you can see that the quilt is square, up through the monkey wrench border. When you get to the T blocks, the ripples begin, and the fans continue the waving, with excess fabric.

It's going to be a challenge to quilt out these ripples without quilting pleats into the top.

Before pinning, I massaged the ample border, trying to soothe it and get it to distribute the excess evenly.

I'm not sure if you can see the difference here, but it's "better" than it had been. I've actually begun quilting, and so far the outer edges are not pleating. The quilt is going to look lovely once it's finished.

Getting that quilt basted was a long and tedious process. It took four hours to clean and baste it to my satisfaction.

Once that quilt was basted, I basted a second, simpler quilt, which took about 1.5 hours.

Since I had the tables up, I decided to baste the color-strip quilt that I threw together back in May. I love how it lies there, so flat and square. It didn't give me any trouble at all, other than the fact that I ran out of pins.

This morning I began quilting the wedding quilt, scavenged pins, and finished basting this quilt. I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish the wedding quilt in the next couple of days, because my own work is calling to me, asking for my undivided attention.

It's good to be quilting again, and it's even better to be doing it in a Studio. I am so thankful to have this beautiful workplace, I may find it hard to get myself out to the computer to blog. ;)


Anonymous said...

Suzie, wow, that wedding quilt is a huge job to repair, but it will be spectacular when you finish it. I washed an unquilted top once to get the dog hair off and had the same result.....so.... never again!

By the way, I have finished my January through July steps!
Have a great quilting day.


Suzanne Kistler said...

Wow Brenda,


I'll be sending the June/July rewards this week. (It's been tough getting anything together without a workplace.) --that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :)