My baby batik 9-patch is done. It's a pretty involved quilt, so I'll feed it to you in piece-meal :) I'll have to savour the quilting on this quilt!
It all started with me finding this awesome free-motion quilting blog: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/ by Leah Day. She challenged herself to create/showcase one free-motion filler design (to cover large areas) a day for a year. Some of the designs are very similar, others are really amazing. Here you can see all of the designs she has come up with or described so far.
Because I'm a scientist, I was lured in by the design she calls "Stomach lining", so I did this one on my first background block in the batik 9-patch:
I found traveling (=stitching pack over a quilting line to get to a different place in the design) tricky at times, especially when I was going too fast - because in that case, there were 5 stitches off the original path, instead of just 1 or 2.
Also, I had a really hard time with skipped stitches, where your needles goes through the fabric several times and just doesn't pick up the bobbin thread from the bottom. I've blogged about this problem before and have figured out that there are two reasons this happened for me:
1) my needle was dull and the wrong size. I've since bought a quilting needle (I think it's an 11 or 14 in size) instead of the massive universal needles I used before - what a difference.
2) I had this problem especially when going through seams, the bulkier, the worse it got. Now whenever I get to a really bulky seam and need to quilt over it, I just go extremely slowly, sometimes just turning the knob to make the needle go up and down, then lifting the foot and moving the fabric, foot down, another stitch. It goes a lot faster than having to rip out stitches and requilt them!
In addition, I found out that dark thread is heavier than light thread because there's more dye in it. That was a big problem when I started the wormy-apple-quilt, because I tried to match threads. Well, no more! :)
I learned a lot about tension problems in free-motion quilting (leading to skipped stitches in my case) on Leah Day's blog (a whole post about skipping stitches!) and on Diane Gaudinsky's blog (here, here, and in the comments here).
Tomorrow, an update on the modified log cabin quilt, then you'll get the next few designs I tried on the batik 9-patch!
21 hours ago