Category Archives: batting

Turn of the century projects

The 21st century, that is….

I’ve been busy dividing my time between several fairly old projects, ones that I started back in the late 1990s/early 2000s when I was brand new to quilting. The guilt about having so many UFOs in the closet, combined with the realization that I have fewer days ahead of me than behind, has spurred me into action.

First, though, here’s the sweater quilt, although it probably doesn’t fit the legal definition of a quilt since there is no batting—just a top and a flannel back.

I’m hand stitching the two layers together and it’s now more than two-thirds finished. My poor little paper pounce pattern is looking so abused, I hope it holds out so I don’t have to make another one.

Because the two layers are so bulky, my hands can only push the needle in and out for so long before they need a rest. I’m averaging about four rows a week, factoring in both hand fatigue and the monotonous nature of a running stitch.

I’m fortunate enough to have a sewing space where I can leave the sweater quilt draped on the cutting table, so it’s ready to work on whenever I am. Sometimes I’ll add a few stitches if I’m just walking by on my way to doing something else. Those little bits of stitching are adding up to a whole lot!

In February, I pulled out an unfinished Aunt Grace Christmas top I had made around the turn of the century—gosh, it feels weird to say that! I don’t remember the exact year, but Eric, now 23, must’ve been around six or seven at the time. I quilted it, made the binding and stitched it to the quilt. I still have to hand sew the binding to the back, but it’s almost done—yay!

Matching those tiny stripes took an entire evening, but I would have lost sleep had they not been.

Continuing with a variety of tasks to avoid boredom, I also decided to quilt a fall themed wall hanging I had made, again, around the turn of the century. To avoid cutting into a bed-sized batt for a twinky little 32 x 32 piece, I spliced together three batting scraps the old fashioned way, with curved piecing and a herringbone stitch.

It was a pain, but supposedly, the curves help to better disguise the splicing as opposed to the break line or ridge that could appear if done with a single, straight cut.

Lately, I’ve been machine quilting a single maple leaf motif to the rail fence blocks in a medium sized wall hanging begun in the early 2000s.

Here’s the layout:

The amount of quilting I’ve planned for this one seems disproportionate to its size, but I’m not sure where I would eliminate any, so I push on.

The border is all sized and ready to go, but I cannot figure out how to quilt the tree blocks, despite having more than a decade to figure it out. In the meantime, I’m open to suggestions.

That’s all for now. I’d better get back to it.

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I put batting in the washing machine

I’m so excited to be done putting the binding on Railroad Ties. Aside from the obvious reason of DONE, the other reason is because I’ve been wanting to whack off one of the two prime sections of excess batting from it to use for the Christmas table runner,

table runner

and I finally did so yesterday when I trimmed the quilt.

However, once I got one of the pieces in my hands, I was a bit surprised to see how dirty it had gotten—ROSS!  Did you clean your guitar with this?

Seriously, it’s been sitting around waiting to be quilted for about one and a half years, picked up and moved here, there and everywhere—so no wonder. So yesterday, I did something that would send some quilters I know into cardiac arrest: I washed it!

The batting is Hobbs Heirloom bleached 100% cotton and it says right on the package that you can pre-wash it.

batting prewash text

The washer settings I used included:

  • ultra hand wash
  • low spin
  • short cycle
  • warm/cold

The dryer settings included:

  • short cycle
  • low heat

I took the batting out after about five minutes and spread it out on the bed to finish air-drying. As a result, there was barely any lint in the lint screen when I pulled it out—probably a good thing.

Instead of regular detergent, I used about ¼ teaspoon of sodium lauryl sulfate (akin to Orvus Paste).

One thing I should have done was measure it before and after to check the shrinkage amount, but I didn’t because, well, I just didn’t feel like it this time.

Now that it’s all nice, bright, and squeaky clean, I can get ready to show you my quilting plan for the table runner.

In the meantime, it snowed Monday night and I have a couple photos to share with you.

This is the snow-laden Colorado blue spruce in our back yard. It’s the only tree growing in the nutrient-deficient clay upon which our house sits.

snow tree

When I saw all the snow piled up on the patio table, I ran for the yardstick to measure how much: 12 inches. It sure doesn’t feel like April, but if this is what it takes to accumulate moisture in a dry climate like Colorado’s, bring it on.

snow table

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