Saturday, May 1, 2010

Purple House quilt: Lessons learned

On Wednesday, I showed you my latest quilt, the Purple House quilt. You may recall that it is so named because of the house motif fabric (it's the lilac fabric seen in the top right hand corner of this photo):

This was the fabric that inspired the house block and label on the back, which I designed myself:

You may even recall the nasty broken needle event, which need not be repeated again here!

It was my first experience using a free motion quilting pattern other than meandering; I created flowers in the quilting:

I'll share some of the things I learned.

First, and most importantly, the needle broke because the spool of thread was not unwinding smoothly. I bought one of those larger machine quilting spools and it wouldn't fit the regular way in the sewing machine (what you may not be able to see is that the spool is so fat, there is no room for the thread to unwind):

I even tried the spool pin thingie:

Still no luck. So, I placed it on the table to the right of the sewing machine on one of these cone thread dispenser things (it's simply placed here on the quilt for this picture):

Second, if I had it to do over again, I probably would not have used variegated thread:

DD1 loves it, but I'm not sure I do. In fact, I even used white in the borders, so as not to continue this thread onto the pink inner border.

Third, I'd make sure the top and bottom thread colors coordinated better. So, with the variegated thread in the top, I should have used the same thread or a light/medium tone purple thread in the bobbin.

Fourth, when designing a house block oneself, unless one desires a squared-off roofline at the bottom (translated: I cut the tips of the roof off!), one should add additional fabric on the outsides of the roof:

Lucky for me, this roof actually looks like the rooftops in the house print fabric on the front. Phew. But I now know I want to add extra fabric on the side edges for future house block quilts.

Fifth, after using the Take 5 pattern for a second time, I think if I did it again, I would try my own layout for the blocks, and venture away from their recommended layout.

There were lots of highlights to this quilt. First, I LOVE the flowers that I quilted into this quilt! It is not really any harder than the regular meandering/stippling, although it takes a bit longer. They mimic the flowers on the front, which are fortunately not perfectly formed. Second, I love the house block that I designed! I really am thinking of writing a pattern for it. Third, I like how I used this quilt block as a quilt label. Fourth, I really like striped bindings:

On to the next quilt!

1 comment:

  1. Love that stripey binding. My parents used to put pyramid shaped cones of thread on the floor to the right of the machine if it was a home machine not capable of holding the cone. I do this myself, you just have to make sure there is nothing interfering with the flow of the thread and that it is hooked into a hook on the top of the machine furthest over to the right. The cone stand you have looks pretty nifty and definitely enables the seamstress to use just about any giant cone. I have some unusable cones right now, I just may have to get myself one of those stands. Work is going along well, although I had a few label and tag set-backs last week.


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