I wanted to sew a very simple quilt with a package of 50 precuts I bought from Amazon. I thought up a foolproof pattern that doesn’t require any precision sewing. I cut the first 10 inch square of every other row in half, putting one half at the beginning of the row, and the other half at the end. Then when the rows are sewn together, there are no seams to match up. The squares were actually about 9.8 inches as they were cut 25 cm square for international customers, which was fine for my purposes, especially with an amazingly low price of less than $9. I cut about 5 more squares to give me the number I wanted to work with.
I made the quilt 6 squares across with 9 rows for a finished size of 54 x 82 inches. I used Pellon Natural Cotton batting size 72 x 90. I used 2 different fabrics I already owned for the backing which made this a very thrifty project.
Quilting anything large is extremely cumbersome and difficult on a small machine. To make the quilting easier, I used a quilt-as-you-go method. I made 3 sections by sewing the rows together in groups of 3. For each section I cut the batting and backing to match, making them a little larger than the top. I quilted each section with free form wavy lines both horizontally and vertically. Technically, this is a little harder than sewing straight lines as I had to manipulate the quilt from side to side while sewing. The good part of the wavy quilting is there’s no wrong way to do it.
My stitching was looking good. Then I had to stop and wind another bobbin, and the tension went to hell when I resumed quilting. I loosened the tension by turning the number down to zero, but still couldn’t get the stitching to look as it should on the front.
Stitching samples: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I couldn’t figure out how to get back on track. I re-threaded once, but it didn’t help. I took a break. I searched Google. I got out the manual, went step by step and very carefully re-threaded, and reinserted the bobbin. Success – I made a mistake in how I placed the spool, and the thread was not able to come freely off the spool. I was used to an upright spool on my previous machine. Lesson learned : when in doubt, consult the manual.
With the quilting done, I trimmed and squared up each section. The next step was to join the 3 sections together with 2 and 1/4 inch joining strips, which are folded in half.
The two sections to be joined are sewn with right sides together with the joining strip on top. The two sections are opened flat. Then the strip is folded over and is either hand stitched or machine stitched in place.
I finished the quilt by sewing a traditional binding. I cut 2 and 1/2 half inch wide binding, folded it, sewed it to the front, and then hand stitched to the back. And done!
I named the quilt “Off-Kilter” for its staggered rows and wavy quilting.