Thursday, 7 July 2011

Country Houses "quilt as you go" blocks progress

Last Thursday, I finished putting the sashing on my Country Houses quilt blocks ready for class on Monday.

In class, Jan and I muddled our way through one block!

the first block quilted - that shiny "line" on the left is a pin
Well, let's be honest. There was talking and eating of chocolate biscuits (dark chocolate mint Tim Tams to be precise).

There was also some preparation for quilting - like determining how much batting I needed and purchasing said batting (wool/polyester) and measuring the batting and cutting the batting (with scissors) and folding the uncut batting (to be used later at home); followed by the pressing of the inaugural "quilt as you go" block.

Then there was the making of a sandwich (no, not more food) involving clearing a space and tearing of masking tape and checking the fabric was taut enough and adding the batting and the quilt top and opening of curved safety pins and pinning and closing of safety pins (with the intriguing addition of a soup spoon handle as a safety tool) and finally the removal of masking tape.

Then, because my "getting to know your machine" class is not until the 20th July, another student (who has the same model of machine) showed me how to attach the "Upper Feed Mechanism" which is the substitute for a walking foot on the 6600.

Upper Feed Mechanism
 There was consultation with the owner's manual.

All this was followed by threading the machine and the needle (fortunately the bobbin was already wound) and determining just how the block would be quilted.

quilting one quarter of an inch from the applique
Take a deep breath (or two, or six, or twenty) - what the heck, Lynne: it's only stitches, it can be ripped out! And the first block was partially done; I had quilted the green stitching, I still had to do the beige around the windows and door; I ended up doing this at home.

quilting around the window (in the ditch)
Yesterday, I quilted the windows and doors of three more blocks - all in different colours, of course!

one window quilted - a view from the back
I have three more blocks to do the windows and doors on, then I can put green thread back on the top thread and finish the quilting on the six blocks that have been turned into sandwiches!

Alas, I have run out of safety pins and am waiting for a mail order which I paid for yesterday. Then I can do the other eight blocks!!

Are you all still with me or have you dropped from sheer exhaustion? ;-)

And now, look at the back of this block: does this look familiar to you (a lot like my knitted squares perhaps)? I still have to tie off the ends then hide them neatly inside the quilting sandwich! I've done half of them in the block in this photo!
threads to be sewn in!
Yes, Jan has automatic thread lock and automatic cutting of thread but it only works at the end of the "seam". One has to do reverse stitch or stitch in one spot to lock the beginning of the thread and one would still have to sew in the ends anyway! I'm sure after I've taken my "getting to know your machine" class, I will have a better way to do this!

We're getting there - Jan and I!


  1. Yahoo-wonderful progress! You know that you can do what long arm quilting taught me-put the needle down at the beginning of stitching, pull up the bobbin thread, take a few stitches close together to lock and then after an inch of stitching, cut the thread from the top-no thread knots or strings to take care of on the back! REALLY and easy habit to learn and no more thread tails to deal with! Have fun!

  2. was going to tell you what delighted hands has already expressed so well - so agree x 100


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