Before starting any quilt I always think it's going to take forever. In reality it takes far less time than I ever imagine to do the patchwork and quilting. This quilt is no exception, and I love the end result.
The quilt in the tutorial is quilted with an all over swirl pattern, so I thought I would finish my quilt in a similar way. I used two designs from my Edge to Edge Feathers Embroidery Designs #522sbd. Edge to edge quilting is generally associated with long arm quilting machines, but with the right embroidery designs you can get the same look with your embroidery sewing machine.
I made my Granny Square quilt with four blocks across and five down. The final measurement turned out to be something like 57" x 70", including the borders. After a little bit of math, I figured it was best to stitch the length of the designs along the width of the quilt. So, not counting the borders, I could fit three repeats of design 522sbd_03 and one repeat of design 522sbd_02 in the four blocks - quite perfectly might I add. So, to finish the entire quilt I stitched eight rows along the length of the quilt. That means I re hooped 32 times. I know that sounds like an enormous amount of hooping, but once you get going, hooping becomes easier and easier. Plus the designs stitch out quickly, and the stitching is perfect each time. It may have taken less time to free motion stipple, but the end results would not have been anywhere near as good.
I love quilting in the hoop. A larger quilt like this is a bit more challenging, but definitely manageable. You'll want to hoop with the bulk of the fabric on the outside of the stitching area. Sostart at one end and work your way to the center. The middle blocks are the most awkward to handle. So once you get to the center rotate the quilt 180 degrees. Then start from the other end and work your way to the center. This of course means that you will need to rotate or mirror your embroidery designs as well.
When working with a larger quilt, set your embroidery sewing machine on a table with extra room around the hoop to hold (support) the quilt. The weight of the quilt puts drag on the hoop so if you let it hang down, the stitching may become distorted or misaligned.
Here are a few more tips for quilting in the hoop:
- Be sure to slow down! Give your machine a chance to form the stitches properly.
- If your hoop comes with clips for added security, use them.
- Adjust the size of the designs to fit the quilt, if necessary. Running stitch designs are can be enlarged or reduced with good results.
Hope you give it a try, it was lots of fun to sew and quilt (embroider). On to the next quilt.