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Topic: Hubby's Birthday Present/My First Quilt  (Read 3327 times)
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« on: February 27, 2011 07:15:01 PM »

My husband loves Cincinnatti Reds baseball.  I love sewing.  So a few months ago he mentioned that it would be pretty cool to have a quilt that looked like a baseball field.  I've been sewing for a long time, but I'd never made a quilt before.  I bought a quilting book and studied all about it until I felt pretty confident.  Here is the end product, and overall it turned out pretty well...but I had some pretty awful problems with the quilting process.

It is essentially a "map" of Great American Ballpark, with the major "landmarks" in the border, and his favorite players at each position.  I included the smokestacks, the home dugout, and the big screen.  The major piecing and quilting was done by machine, and just about everything else was handsewn.  It took me over a month!

The worst problem that I had was that I used invisible/clear thread to do the quilting.  That stuff is EVIL!!!  It kept bunching up in my machine and broke at least a thousand times.  I spent an eternity just getting it wound into the bobbin.  I will NEVER use it again!!!  Has anyone else had any trouble using this kind of thread?

The second problem I had was really awful wrinkling on the back, as you can see here:

I think the main issue was that this fabric was very thin and stretchy, even though it was woven.  No matter what, I could not get it to lie completely flat when I was assembling the quilt.  If it was flat in one area, it had wrinkles in another.  I used safety pins all over the quilt, spaced probably 8 inches or so apart.  Do you think this had anything to do with it?  Any tips for keeping my next quilt from ending up like this?

Regardless of the problems, my husband loved it anyway Smiley  And I have to say, not too shabby for my first quilt!

Crafting hopes and dreams out of stitches and seams

My sewing adventures: www.bellstitches.com
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011 05:19:12 AM »


Despite your issues with making it, it came out great!!

I've never used the invisible thread, but have read from others that it is evil, so I don't think you are alone.  Re the bunching - do you have a walking foot for your machine?  It really helps with keeping things from bunching and wrinkling on the back (or front).  Other than that, I don't have any suggestions.  I've made a few quilts, but am not what I would consider an expert, and am entirely self-taught.  Hopefully someone else will have some brilliant ideas for you!   Smiley

« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011 09:23:54 AM »

Fun!  I'll bet your husband loves it.  What a nice touch to embroider the players' names in their positions.

I haven't used the clear thread, either.  It seems like I've heard somewhere that you need to adjust your tension, but I can't say for sure.  I know it seems like you used a lot of pins, but I usually pin even closer - maybe every three to four inches.  It's a pain,  but it does help.  The other thing that can create pulling on the fabric is letting part of it hang when you sew.  If the quilt hangs off the table, it's weight will stretch the fabric.  When you sew it in place, it puckers when the weight is released.  I try to be careful, but I still have this happen.  It's frustrating to put time into the piecing only to have the quilting pull it out of square.

There's one in every family, and I'm an only child.
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011 09:01:40 AM »

Looks great! Love the extra touches. Smiley

And yeah, count me in as another vote for pinning even more. I've only quilted a few small things, but I pinned the bajeebers out of them and I think it really helped. Killed my knees being on the floor that much though!
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011 03:23:34 PM »

Gorgeous quilt.  I have become a fan of the basting spray.  I've heard that people have issues with it, but I haven't had any trouble and I've greatly reduced the pucker factor in my quilting.  I've also been told that the invisible thread is difficult.  I once got an entire sheet of paper outlining how to work with it.  (Kinda made me want to avoid it.)  If I can find it, I'll share.  I second the walking foot suggestion.  It makes an enormous difference.  If you are working in rows across the quilt you can go in the opposite direction each time.  That keeps it from exaggerating the pull as you go along.  Also, you didn't mention it,  but if you didn't start in the center and work out, that also helps.  I find it almost impossible to avoid puckers if I've sewn myself into a corner where I have to quilt up to a previous line of stitching. 

Again, awesome job.  Keep up the good work. 

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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011 04:41:27 PM »

Beautiful Quilt !!!!!
Basting spray has my vote too.....it works great for me......
You did a great job on your quilt !!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011 05:08:01 PM »

Thank you everyone!  I'm glad I'm not the only one who's had problems with the invisible thread!

I'm working on a baby quilt for my niece/nephew-to-be, and I plan to pin even more closely together, and use regular quilting thread.  I did use an even-feed foot, and I did start in the center...but when I got done with one row of quilting I moved all the way back up and started at the same end again for my next row!  It never occurred to me that I could start from the end and work my way back  Roll Eyes  That's a good tip!

Crafting hopes and dreams out of stitches and seams

My sewing adventures: www.bellstitches.com
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011 04:43:42 PM »

this is fantastic!

I heart Joey Votto.

« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2011 10:07:35 PM »

This is totally awesome! I love the reds. They were my favorite team until my city got their own team, and I love them still. Drew Stubbs is my favorite reds player.
I've never used invisible thread, but I've also heard it's horrible to work with. Anyway, this is amazing, and I bet your husband loved it. I sure do!
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011 11:49:53 AM »

Invisible thread often likes to unspool in one direction only, so try re-orienting your spool - if you had it horizontal, try vertical or vice versa.  I don't usually use it in the bobbin, so consider using a regular thread in the bobbin.  As mentioned above, you may have to adjust tentions.  I rarely have trouble, although maybe I'm just lucky.  I also spray baste and pin unless I'm using Minky, which is too heavy for spray basting to hold.

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