Skip to main content

Construction of a Wholecloth Free Motion Quilted Tablecloth

Free Motion Machine Quilting

Living in a very tiny one bedroom apartment, without air conditioning, in temperatures that make flip flops too hot to wear, presents some interesting challenges, particularly (for myself) when making a large quilt. The size of this tablecloth is 104" x 64". For this reason, I sandwiched, basted and quilted only the actual size of the table top (82" x 42") on the first go-round, then added the borders once the centre section was completed. Constructing the centre of the quilt in this way worked very well; there was smaller layout space required and less bulk to fit into the machine. When it came time to add the borders, I did encounter difficulty in the sandwiching and basting process, because at this stage, the quilt was full size, and our apartment had not grown. Having squared up the centre section, it was possible to sandwich and baste one side at a time, keeping the fabrics taut. This is certainly not a preferable method of quilt construction, and I would not recommend it to anyone, however, it can be done. "Where there's a will there's a way!".

The actual sewing station was another challenge. My husband, an architect who has always promoted resource efficiency, embraced this challenge enthusiastically and creatively. With 2 saw horses, a sturdy wooden slab, some movable furniture cubes, and a 40" diameter dining room table (that collapses to 6"), I had a sewing space that accomodated this project, and furniture that neatly collapses to a very managable size for storage. Although there will be some refinements required (as in a wooden slab that completely covers the saw horses) for the next time, this temporary sewing station allowed me to complete the project.


(Not seen in the photo are the three fans directed towards me; an essential ingredient in the whole opertion!)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Blocking and Squaring Boutis

The door of her cage has been opened. She is free to fly off and find her destiny.


After many months of hand stitching and then many more months of cording, my little "calibri" is ready to set off on her own. As this was my first attempt at designing so large a boutis piece, it has been a bit of a learning curve. All of the tight swirls, curls and circles are a great deal more difficult and time consuming to cord then are the longer more gentle channels. Maintaining an even tension is absolutely necessary throughout the process, so patience comes in very handy when doing the cording.

Once all of the stitching and cording is complete, the boutis must be washed and squared up. After it is soaked overnight in a basin of water with a mild detergent, it gets rinsed gently in several clear washes, then rolled in a towel to remove the excess water. 


The final step is the blocking process. There are a number of ways to block a boutis piece, but I have found that the easiest metho…

Amazing Applique by Yoko Saito

The quilt exposition in Nantes "Pour L'amour du Fil" was filled with a number of highlights. Certainly one of the more memorable experiences was seeing the works of Yoko Saito in person.
"Elegant" is the word that best describes Yoko Saito's quilts. Although her palette is neutral, the lights and darks play very well together to create a perfect balance to the quilt. To say that the applique is amazing is an understatement. The perfectly formed 1/4" circles and the tiny leaves and stems are inspirational. And of course, the hand quilting is perfect. For the final touch, she uses embroidery as adornment in much the same way that the perfect pair of earrings complete the look of the little black dress. The opportunity to see her quilts in person has been truly inspirational.

The photos in order:
- Yoko Saito in her booth on the floor of the show
- "Pointsettia" - by Yoko Saito
- "Spring of Sweden" close -up - by Yoko Saito

Amish Hand Quilting in France with Esther Miller

Esther Miller, was born into an Amish family in the U.S., and now lives in Germany where she has for many years taught the techniques and methods of Amish hand quilting to anyone interested in learning these skills. As a child, she would closely watch as the women of her community worked together on a quilt, and eventually she was rewarded with a needle of her own and encouraged to join the group. Through the years, she has mastered these skills and techniques and now generously shares them with anyone who has a genuine desire to learn.



Last week, at the "European Meeting of Patchwork" in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, in Alsace France, www.patchwork-europe.com, I had the privilege of taking a 2 day workshop with Esther. The Amish quilting method requires a free-standing simple wooden frame upon which the 3 layers of the quilt have been stretched. To accomodate the 18 women in the class, Esther set up 3 quilt frames, with 6 students at each frame. Because the quilt is on a large, unm…