Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Quilt Top and, do you stay-stitch??

It was a whole 7 degrees out yesterday when I went outside to take this picture.  The parts of the top that I had recently handled started freezing after they touched the snow.  It felt a little like a Tom and Jerry episode.  But I am happy to report that after being distracted by Christmas, New Years, and a family wedding, that I have this top finished!  And not only is it finished, but I am taking it with me on a quilting cruise (yes, I said quilting cruise) that I am teaching the Regatta pattern on next week.  So I'll be leaving this frigid weather to do some sewing. On a ship. In the Atlantic Ocean (the warmer part).  (See more information about this cruise and others here).  

I'm beyond excited about this.  Thank you to Stitchin' Heaven for all of the planning and the opportunity!  I will be sharing some of the details here after my return!

I am waiting to quilt this quilt because the batting and thread will make it heavier (and there are luggage restrictions, you know).  So to keep it in shape during my travels, I stay-stitched around the entire perimeter of the quilt.  This is a trick I learned from my mom when I was sewing clothes in high school.  I started applying it to quilting after I started ironing my seams open.  The seams always seemed to pop open around the edge of the quilt.  Sometimes I would even have to mend them before starting to quilt.  At first, I decreased my stitch length. I found, however, that this was not enough - Especially if the top was going to hang around a little before being quilted.  Stitching around the edge really helps.  I use a regular stitch length, and am sure to sew slightly LESS than 1/4" from the edge.  This ensures that the stitch will be caught up in the binding when the quilt is finished.  It's also a really nice thing to do for your long arm quilter - s/he won't have to deal with open seams, either!

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