I’ve been making ice cream sandwiches lately (a side business I have going with my mother) so my quilting has been at a halt. Today, however, I picked up the needle again and completed the 6th block of 25 blocks on my grandmother’s quilt. This is the first block I’ve completed without breaking a needle. I also completed this entire block without using a thimble. I’ve discovered that quilting without a thimble on my thumb allows me to quilt much faster, but does limit the number of stitches I can complete with one pass. Using the thimble I can make about 6 stitches, but without I can only do about three. So, even though it’s seeming faster (I don’t have to pick up the pliers every time I want to pull the needle through), it may actually take the same time because of the fewer stitches. I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to time it.
The main problem I’ve encountered with this quilt, and what I believe is causing me the most frustration, is the fact that not all the seams are folded in the correct direction within the quilt block. As I mentioned in my first post about this quilt the blocks were given to me. They were created by my great-great-aunt many years ago. The seam allowance she used when quilting is extremely small so the fold is not correct on all segments of the block. I find that I’m having to go through 5 layers of material sometimes and pushing a needle through that is very difficult, resulting in broken needles and lots of frustration.
This is a good learning though, as I will NEVER make a quilt that does not have the seams folded and pressed firmly in the correct direction (which is to the darker fabric). My next quilt is going to be a Radiant 9 Patch quilt. I plan on machine quilting it, but know that it’s equally important to press the seams in the correct direction so I don’t end up breaking the needles on my machine.
Very important information: pressing your seams with a VERY HOT STEAM IRON is mandatory. Not only in quilting, but sewing in general. By pressing your seams firmly you make your quilt, garment, drape, pillow case, etc. go from ‘homemade’ to professional!
Happy quilting times ahead. If I quilt one block a day moving forward I’ll be done on October the 9th. My parents will be in town that weekend, so I’m going to try to have it done before then. I’m going to have to get 2 blocks done a few of the days between now and then to accomplish it, but I’m up for the challenge! Let’s get this quilt done!