Okay, I want to point out that the last time I posted about this little quilt, the title of the post was “flat-ish”.  So, please note the implied improvement.  Because I was amazed!


When I finished quilting it Saturday morning, I grabbed it by two corners and dropped it on the floor, all spread out.  Even after all the extra quilting, there was a hump.  Not as big as when I started, but a hump nonetheless.

This is what I started with. 


And, here are the posts where I talked about it.  OneTwoThree.

I had to decide what to do on Saturday morning when I finished it, and I took a risk and had Rob wash and dry it while I actively forgot about it.  When he came out with it, I said “grab it by two corners and drop it on the floor.  see if it lays flat.”  And, it did!  Perfectly flat.

Whoooo-hooooo!  I think he was as proud as I was.

I was fully prepared to start over for this baby if I had to.  But, I don’t.

Just a tiny little bump in the middle that’s maybe a half inch high.



So, now I’m fishing around for another project.  And, I’m quilting away on the Row Houses quilt.  It’s coming together wonderfully and I can hardly wait to start the FMQ.  But, first, all that ditch work.  I’ve read comments from many quilt teachers that the biggest mistake they see people make is to leave out the ditchwork that stabilizes the quilt before you start to do the FMQ.  It’s really hard to FMQ a huge space without getting pleats in the back.  But, it’s really easy to quilt a small space.  Your hands can stretch it open and flat if there are nearby seams to put your hands on.  I learned more about that when I did the whole cloth house quilt last year.  I could only do some of that tight detailed work because I was working within a confined space I had already created with outlining.  Ditchwork in a quilt is just that, some outlining that helps hold the layers together and stable and prevent shifting.

At least that’s what I think.  And, how I’m justifying all the ditchwork on the row house quilt.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Lane


Kath said...

Lane, do you have any tips around ditch work?
This is me- leaning uncomfortably forward peering at the work, going slowly, wobbly, trying to get my stitching right in that little ditch, catching the adjacent fabric, cursing, ripping...
Is that just me?
I have a ditch foot and a walking foot. I use invisble thread on top, but I can still see the "catches" where it wobbles. Am I just being too fussy?

Rebecca Grace said...

Lane, this is amazing! I had heard of people using wooden embroidery hoops for FMQ by machine, but never understood what the advantage of that would be. The transformation of that baby bump into smooth flatness is amazing. Thanks for sharing your troubleshooting process and congratulations on a very beautiful finished baby quilt!

lw said...

I'm so glad that the bump washed out!

Thanks for explaining about ditchwork and FMQ. I have quilts where the whole thing was FMQ, but you're right, I did get pleats and tucks (small ones.) What is the average area of your confined space?

Barb H said...

I'm glad to see that the bump settled down and the quilt is respectable now. When I read your post, I remembered having a similar problem in my first quilting class over 15 years ago, and my teacher, Sandy, told me to spritz the bump with water and let it air dry. My bump went away too! I hope I remember this tip the next time I need it! LOL

Elizabeth said...

You are amazing. That is all.

xo -E