Sunday, 23 November 2014

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons - Machine Quilting. Part 13

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons.  Machine Quilting. Part 13

Add the remaining backing panels until the quilt has been fully backed.   Remember to do lots and lots of tacking to keep the layers together and flat.  When it comes to joining two backing panels together, allow at least 2cm overlap.   Always much easier to press, pin then hand sew with small oversewing stitches.

Allow in excess of 10cm backing fabric to surround your patchwork top.  This will be trimmed later.  My personal view is that its better to use more fabric than less.

The purpose of quilting is to keep the layers together. Top patchwork, centre if applicable and backing. Traditional quilting is well documented. My personal view is that you do what pleases, so long as the layers are kept together and achieve a nice flat patchwork top.

In this instance to keep the layers together I have opted to do a singular machine embroidery stitch within each hexagon. I have chosen neutral colour thread front and back.  Experiment before working on your patchwork to check machine tension through the layers. Try out different stitches. Explore those forgotten stitches on your machine.

I find it easier to use a singular stitch rather than a group or line of stitches.  Secure before and after the stitch.   I have been quite random placing the stitches, not concerned that each stitch is dead in the centre.  Sometimes I change direction too.  Move from stitch to stitch without breaking the thread.   Threads can be cut afterwards.   Note that the tacking cotton has not been removed.  The tacking is essential to keep the layers flat and together.

Of course, if you may prefer to hand sew a decorative embroidery stitch, once in each hexagon.  Add some texture by using crochet cotton, wool or other embroidery thread.

Left: view from the backing.  Snip thread afterwards.   

Another option is is sew mother of pearl buttons in the centre of each hexagon.  Buttons look lovely but not recommended in quilts made for children. They can also be uncomfortable to sit on.  

When finished remove all the tacking cotton. 

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