After a lot of haranguing (in a good way!) over the years from a quilting friend of mine, I’ve finally joined WAQA (West Australian Quilters Association) and have volunteered to quilt some community quilt tops made by other members. These quilts will all go to various charities and organisations, such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, children’s hospitals, emergency relief, etc. My role is to sandwich the (supplied) finished top with batting and backing fabric (also supplied by WAQA), do the quilting, then attach the (supplied) binding and label.
I’ve now completed quilting my first two community quilts – one last weekend and one this weekend. Both were quite large quilts (large lap or single bed quilts), and each took about a day to quilt and bind.
With the first quilt I did something different – I quilted from the back, using the yellow feature thread in the bobbin (rayon) and the bobbin thread (Deco-Bob) in the top. I’ve done that before with my sewing machine, but not with Bee, my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. I had a hard time trying to decide how to quilt this quilt, until I hit upon the idea of following the flower motifs on the backing fabric. I quite like how it turned out! And quilting ‘upside down’ wasn’t a problem.
With the second quilt, I also had some difficulty deciding how to quilt it, then I decided on a ‘cathedral windows’ look around each square and flames in the borders. I didn’t use any rulers or markings – it was all free motion, including the stitch in the ditch, on Bee. I was pleased that I got reasonably even (but definitely not perfect!) arcs without using a ruler. I used the same thread for the main top and the border — a variegated Superior Rainbows thread (colour 845) in pinks, oranges, and purples, and a taupe Deco-Bob thread in the bobbin.
There are more pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/
My initial set of quilt tops was six — so four more to go in this batch! I must say that it’s great practice for both the stitching side of it, and for deciding what quilt motifs to use.