How I cocked up my quilt (a cautionary tale)

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You may have seen in previous posts that I am currently working on this beauty.  I am so in love with the colours and the cute characters. Well I have been working on quilting it this week and my first attempt was a disaster! I ended up with wobbly stitching and a huge pucker which required 2 hours of unpicking for me to start again.  Most of my sewing experience has been gained through trial and error but thanks to the wonders of the Internet we can share tips and tricks to keep errors to a minimum.  I’m going to break down what went wrong with my quilt so you can avoid the same mistakes.

Ironing/pressing
I have a very slap dash approach to most of my crafting. It took a long time for me to get into the habit of measuring project pieces instead of winging it. Pressing and ironing fabric has really made a huge difference to my accuracy in measuring and the quality of the finished project. In the case of this quilt I neglected to iron the backing fabric which caused quite a lot of wrinkles and little folds which contributed to an untidy finish.

Tacking
During the process of tacking the layers of the quilt together I ran out of the magical 505 spray (temporary glue to hold the layers together) so I pinned it together with safety pins. Unfortunately this wasn’t done well enough and the wrinkly backing meant that the layers were moving around a bit.

Sewing
I have made two smaller quilts before so I assumed this wouldn’t be much different.  WRONG! The huge amount of fabric with just a normal sewing foot was a real struggle to work with. I was really having to pull the fabric through the machine and this made my stitching wonky and caused the horrible pucker. I also broke a needle in the process which was a whole other drama as the broken needle fell into the machine!

How I made it right
Well after lots of unpicking I ironed the backing fabric, picked up more 505 spray and tacked it all together again (very nicely this time) and put the walking foot on my machine. The walking foot really made the biggest difference.  It was less of a fight to feed the fabric through the machine. The stitches were even and no horrible puckering. I’m hoping I can get the quilt finished this weekend. Fingers crossed!

I have also been working on the falcons socks at knitting group this week. I am now working on the heel and really enjoying the short row technique so far 🙂

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