quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Quilting in Progress!

Making progress on the “Use It Up” quilt (a.k.a. the crumbs and words quilt)!  

This week I’ve pieced a backing for the quilt.  Originally, I was just going to use a single large piece (or two) of flannel for the backing, but as I dug through the stash, I found that I’d marked some of the remnants with notes to indicate that they’d been pre-washed.  That reminded me that I’ve been prewashing the flannel before using it as backing.  

I don’t usually bother with pre-washing, but since (as I understand it) flannel can shrink more significantly and differently than quilting cotton, it seemed like a good idea to prewash in this case.  I was itching to get something done and didn’t want to deal with the delay of prewashing, so I thought I’d follow the mantra of the quilt and use up those scrap strips and pieces of pre-washed flannel.  It’s good to get those scraps out of the stash, but piecing it all together was definitely not a time-saving decision!  It would’ve been much faster to just pre-wash the fabric.  

Which brings me to the things I’ve learned with this quilt:

  • I don’t love making pieced backings!
    Maybe it would be different with quilting cotton instead of flannel, but probably not.  I might do it again, in a pinch, but it’s not something I particularly enjoy.  It takes more work than I expected.
  • I don’t love piecing quilts that are constructed in rows!
    Long rows, like this quilt has, are kind of a pain, in my opinion.  I’m not that precise of a piecer, and it’s so easy for things to get askew with long, long rows.  Again, I might do a row quilt again, but I think I prefer blocks to rows.  
  • Black fabric and a house full of heavy-shedding, white-furred dogs don’t mix!
    Unless you don’t mind tons of very visible dog hair, it’s not a good idea.  I’ll probably avoid using too much black or other dark fabric.  Not to say I’ll never do it again, but not as a regular thing, if it’s a quilt I’m keeping.  I’m having a hard time getting the hair off the black sections of this quilt top, despite my best efforts with the lint brush and roller.  
  • I need more consistent practice with FMQ!
    They say that regular practice is the key to success, and I suspect they’re right.  It can be difficult to keep in practice, but it would be worth the effort if it made enough of a difference in my skill level and confidence at troubleshooting.  
Enough rambling!  Time for a few photos, instead.  The quilt is on the frame, pieced backing and all.  I’m going through and quilting just the black sections on the first pass, using dark blue thread.  When that’s done, I’ll go back up the other way and use cream thread (probably) to quilt the crumb-pieced rows. 

Brainstorming some doodles to come up with ideas for FMQ…

This week, I also cleaned under the needle plate of my regular (domestic, electronic) sewing machine.  It had been too long!  (Look away if you’re squeamish about dirty, neglected, lint-filled sewing machines! 😜)

I think it’s happier now, after its long-overdue cleaning.  

This weekend, I hope to finish quilting the “Use It Up” quilt.  When it’s finally completely done, I have three four other WIP already on the go, but I may leave them for now.  There are some autumn/Halloween projects I’d like to work on, now that it may start feeling more like autumn around here.  One way or the other, there’s no shortage of things to do!


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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