Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Eat an Elephant

....or make a king sized quilt.

Finally, I'm ready to start machine quilting my King George quilt today!   I'm sharing the steps I've taken to prepare this for quilting half at a time.

Here is the backing.  I just LOVE this fabric.   I bought it years ago when I first designed this quilt.


It sure is great to have a railing to hang 10 yards of seamed and pressed fabric.


I decided on this cable pattern for the machine quilting.  I taped 2 of them together so I wouldn't have to move it as much.  I wish they made these border stencils longer!  I marked a line on the stencil to place on the seam so it would be centered correctly.


I used the pounce marker that erases with steam.


I used my buffet table and started pinning in the upper left hand corner.  I checked, checked and CHECKED  all the measurements of the top, batting and backing and thought this was the best way to approach it.  (I usually start in the center and work out).  
 

I moved across to the next section.  I decided on a good 1/2 way point to stop.  I felt it best to stop mid-block not too near a main seam.


I folded back the top, took a deep breath then I carefully cut the batting away to reduce bulk while I quilt the first half.


I folded up the backing and top of the other half and used binder clips to keep it neat.  It was too thick to use safety pins.


After about a week preparing everything we all took a rest.


I plan to start in this afternoon.  Wish me luck!

A drive to Ohio this past week gave me a chance to work on my "car trip" doll quilt.   I've been working on it for over 2 years, lol.   I can't applique' in the car, but I can quilt.


I am taking a real casual approach to quilting this - no marking - no fuss.  If it looks a little crude, it will be just right for my little doll bed.


Good Luck to Hanna and her housemates - have a great semester!


I'll be back soon, hope you all have a great week.


27 comments:

  1. Wow -- what a production! I sucked in my breath while you were cutting that batting -- what a job! Your little doll quilt is adorable -- the quilting looks just perfect. And Yay to back to school -- Good Luck to Hanna!!!

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  2. Oh that doll quilt looks great on top of your coleus! What fabulous color! You sandwich your quilt the same way I do. So did I understand that you cut half of the batting off and remove it until you get the first half quilted?

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  3. Oh my gosh I am so happy you are quilting this quilt using this technique. I have been thinking about giving it a try. I would love detailed posts as you go along, pretty please!
    Your doll quilt is so cute and your coleus looks luscious!
    I am sure you must miss your baby )-:

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  4. My goodness, Barb, I have never seen this approach to machine quilting a large quilt before. I'm glad you checked things thrice--and I am hoping it all goes well. Can't wait to see your progress when you are done "resting." : )
    That is a great little doll quilt. Love the relaxed approach to the quilting!

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  5. That is the perfect "Barb" backing. Temporarily eliminating the bulk of the batting sounds like it should make quilting a king size quilt a little easier. Let us know how that technique works.

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  6. I am trying to understand. You cut away about half of the batting, will quilt the part that is ready, then add back the batting and will be working with the whole quilt and batting at that time?

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  7. You are a very brave quilter Barb! It all looks beautifully thought out and carefully executed - I bet it works great! I look forward to watching your progress :0) Gorgeous backing fabric!!

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  8. I've never seen anything about your method before, but it sounds like a very clever way of dealing with a large quilt on a domestic sewing machine. How will you join the batting together?

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  9. That is a new method by me too - but such a clever idea! What happens when you join the batting on the second half...won't you then have the whole monster to manage again? Lovely stencil choice !

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  10. Fingers crossed for your quilting. I'm sure it will work out just fine!!

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  11. Good luck with that king quilt! I don't envy you doing that size quilt but, hey! On,y really a bit larger than a queen, right? Smart to do a somewhat one way pattern so you have less back & forth. is you daughter at Miami of Ohio? that's where my daughter went.

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  12. It looks great so far. I've never used the pounce to mark for MQ, let us know how that goes.

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  13. Oh, and I forgot to tell you that your header is unbelievably gorgeous!! I need to update mine!

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  14. Another great tip from Barb! I always worry about dealing with large quilts, and now I know. Thanks! Love the doll quilt. There were a lot of hexagons floating around QAYL yesterday; wish you had been there. The best of luck to Hanna! She looks so happy! XO

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  15. Now, I have never heard of clipping out 1/2 the batting! It's ingenious!!
    Ah, summer is over and Hanna is back at school. Sad and happy times.

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  16. It is a huge job, but somebody has to do it! Good luck with the quilting! I have quilted 2 or 3 king size quilts with the batting all in them. I haven't had very good luck using the pounce for marking, however, as it rubbed off before I got to all the lines. Do you have that trouble? Maybe I did something wrong. I need to try it again some time. Of course, I don't like to follow lines as it is hard to stay on them.

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  17. Congratulations on basting and marking this beautiful quilt--well, half of it, anyway! I use the table method too, with the same clips. I see you've got a tray of pins. Great idea. Love your quilting design choice. It's going to be gorgeous!

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  18. I'll be watching this with interest as it seems (seams?) like such a clever way to do a quilt top. I LOVE that backing, too! Glad to know someone else buys fabrics with an eye to using them on the back. Good luck!

    Elizabeth

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  19. You make it look so manageable, but it is very cumbersome! I think I will try your method as scooting around on the floor is not as easy as it once was. And the doll quilt is too cute. Love the green!

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  20. Good post, good photos, good ideas, well written, AND beautiful quilts. Niiice!

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  21. Love the doll quilt! So cute. And your 'elephant'. Wow. That is going to be a project. I know it will be fantastic when you finish. I hope you will keep showing your progress. I have some big quilts to tackle. ;)

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  22. WOW--what a job getting King George ready for the quilting process...do you have a longarm? I finished one (what I call a) big quilt today--YAY! and hopefully binding the 2nd bigger one tomorrow...they have both been tied rather than quilted. I love your stencils--so neat...this will be an heirloom for sure...cutest little dolly quilt..( the last and only time I made a king-sized quilt for our bed was my Millenium Quilt and then I was burnt out for 5 years!!) Good luck!! hugs, still making 9-ers lol Julierose

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  23. Your blog title made me laugh!! Your King George quilt is such a beauty!!! I really think your method of quilting half at a time is so clever. I know it will work perfectly for you. Your doll quilt is such a sweetie. Such fun colours, it looks as though the coleous plants were your inspiration. Happy Semester to Hanna and her friends!

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  24. Enjoy quilting your King George. Super fun project. I'm really looking forward to watching your progress. Your car trip I project is cute. I love to stitch in the car. Congrats to your DD, she will have her college friends for a lifetime.

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  25. Oh, I love that fabric, too! What a great backing; I read and reread to be sure I got it right when you said you held your breath and cut.
    Come on, that doll quilt is adorable! Your stitching looks so nice, and I really like the design of the quilting.

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  26. Love love love the bird fabric!!!

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Thank you for asking questions and making comments - I love to hear from you.