Sparrow Studioz - APQS Canada's Studio Blog: Quilt Layer #4 - The Quilt Top

Friday, November 20, 2015

Quilt Layer #4 - The Quilt Top

We have arrived at the quilt top, the whole reason we are preparing all these layers in the first place! Whether the quilt is tiny or huge, cotton or not, vintage or new, lonagarm or domestic quilted, seeing a quilt top finished into a useable quilt is a wonderful thing. I feel so proud of every quilter I witness finishing a project.

Typically or traditionally quilts are made of cotton quilting fabrics. Fabrics which we crazy quilters have chopped up, sewn together, usually chopped up again, then sewn once more and threw some borders on. Quilts are made for many reasons, for loved ones, for charity, for art, for me it is a bit of an addiction, and I can confidently say I am not alone in this. ;) We begin with some sort of inspiration whether it is a pattern, a piece/line of fabric, sometimes a person or event which leads to hours of pressing, cutting, and sewing.

There are many different opinions on the subject of prewashing fabrics. It really depends on the project in question. If you are making a quilt in red and white, I highly suggest prewashing those reds. If you are using a jelly roll precut, then prewashing is a terrible idea. Each quilter develops their own habits and prefernces as they gain more experience.

Precision is your best friend when it comes to piecing quilt tops. Beginning with the cutting, measurements must be cut exactly as described in the pattern. Sew every seam with a scant quarter inch. My personal preference is to use a 50wt cotton thread matched with the same in the bobbin. Once every block is complete, trim to the same size before joining to each other. I am a big fan of trimming all my thread ends as I stitch each seam. Keep a small pair of thread snips right beside your machine.

Precision in borders is crucial. It appears to me that many quilters are very careful when piecing their blocks and when it comes time for borders, excitement takes over and borders get slapped on with very little concern for accuracy. This creates borders which can be difficult to quilt, on a longarm at least. I cant tell you how many quilters have exclaimed that my longarm frame stretched their borders which is nearly impossible to be perfectly honest. More often that not, there is excess fabric in the borders. Cut and piece the borders with as much accuracy as was used in the blocks and body of the quilt.

I haven't touched upon quilts created with unique fabrics. Options could be denim, leather, corduroy, vintage fabrics, drapery or decor fabrics... it really is endless. I have very little personal experience with any aside from quilting cotton but there are many great articles and tutorials available online for those seeking more information on these topics.

Have you entered our FB contest this week? This time around we are giving away a pattern simply for entering! The prize is a quilt kit of the give away pattern in beautiful SweetWater Moda Fabrics. Don't miss your chance to win! Visit our Facebook page here. Leave us a comment below on your quilt top preferences... do you prewash? Cottons only? Or fabrics of a different kind? Follow patterns or freeform piecing? I look forward to reading your comments. :)

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