Can you believe May is here? The year is flying by, isn't it? Tuesday night, my Autumn House bunch are coming over to divide up fabric for the fifth block of this project, so I spent much of the evening tonight sorting out which of my fabrics are called for in this next block.
Since I didn't have anything new to show you, I thought I'd post a few miscellaneous things and answer a couple questions. When I went back to re-read some of the recent comments, I got sidetracked over to Nicole's blog (Sister's Choice). Since one of the things I thought I'd talk about was quilting, I was interested to read Nicole's post asking for opinions about spray basting--there were a lot of comments from people who spray baste and love it. Are there any nay-sayers out there? Because when I tried it, I thought it was okay, but I wasn't completely sold, and here are a couple reasons why I wasn't.
Nicole tried three products and had good results with all of them. I tried two--and I can't remember off hand which ones without going off to the Sweat Shop to dig out the cans, but I think the two I used are two of the three Nicole tried. One seemed to accumulate gunk on my needle a little more than the other. Not a terribly large amount of gunk, but after quilting a bit, it would build up some. I don't think I oversprayed although I'm not certain. But that gunk on the needle made me wonder about the rest of the machine's workings and the quilt itself.
The thing that bugged me the most, though, was that quilting left an adhesive residue on my sewing machine--little black streaks, although I couldn't figure out where the black was coming from. The quilt wasn't black, it was made with good quality fabric, and it didn't seem to be bleeding. It was a mystery. But the slight "texture" and adhesive being transferred to the machine meant the quilt didn't glide around on free motion quilting quite as much as I like.
So, I wouldn't say I hate spray basting, and I'm sure I'll do it again, but I'm still waiting for someone to invent the perfect method of basting, and I don't think this is it. Have any of you had issues similar to mine? Or other problems? Or do you absolutely love it?
So what did I plan to talk about before I got sidetracked by spray baste? Lately I've seen several photos out in Blogland of quilts that have a minimal amount of quilting. Part of me says, "Hey, at least you tried! Good for you!" But the other part of me says, "Stick that sucker back under the needle and add a little more quilting!"
I don't, by any means, think I'm an authority on quilting, but I do know there are some good reference books out there that talk about the types of batting, what they're best used for, and how much quilting the different battings require to stay in place in a quilt. Harriet Hargrave, for instance, has a book called Heirloom Machine Quilting that starts with all the basics. She also has a blog, HERE. There are other books out there with good information. If you haven't quilted before and are ready to give it a try, check out a good book with all the basic information--or, even better, take a class. If you have quilted before and aren't sure how much quilting your quilt needs, check the recommendations on the batting you use--most will have the recommendation printed on their packaging, and quilting lines spaced no more than 3" apart is pretty common. And this means that in a 3" wide border, it's not enough to stitch along one side and then bind it--there should also be quilting all the way down the border, at least every 3". I hate to see a beautiful quilt end up looking wonky because the quilter didn't know any better--knowledge is powerful stuff and can make all the difference.
Tina asked in her comment about the Country Cottages blocks what applique method I use, but she's "no-reply" so I couldn't email her back. I hand applique and I've been using the freezer paper and starch method since my friend Imelda taught me several months ago. Some of you wanted me to do a tutorial a little while back, and I plan to do that. I've even talked to Imelda about doing the demonstration while I take photos, because she's really the expert. She's willing to do it for you, but I haven't scheduled that with her yet. I'll do something soon, though.
For now, I think that's about all the loose nuts I had rattling around in my brain. Did I forget anyone's questions? If so, let me know.
Oh, and don't forget to visit Sherri and Sinta for the Schnibbles May Parade! They should have photos posted sometime today. I think there will be some excellent quilts to admire!
Happy May Day!