I started this large floral kaleidoscope on a 44 inch by 44 inch piece of batik. You can read about the beginning of the process here.
I started stitching around the pieces in the center with my usual double blanket stitching. I quickly had horrible results. The stitching was not even at all. I finally realized that the weight and size of the fabric was affecting the stitching. I knew I was going to have to make the piece as small as I could. I thought about cutting it into four pieces and then sewing them back together, but that would've ruined the symmetry. So instead I cut off the extra fabric around the edge. Now I had a 32 inch by 32 inch piece of fabric that was much easier to manipulate under the machine. That took care of the size, now to take care of the weight. Check out how I folded up the quilt below. I knew I needed to limit the weight the feed dogs were pulling around in order to get more even stitching. And let me tell you that after ripping out blanket stitching 3 times before this point, I was NOT going to do it again!
Fortunately, this method worked quite well and I was able to get the stitch quality that I wanted.
I also realized that the large piece of stabilizer I had attached to the back was causing problems, so I decided that I would use smaller pieces of stabilizer the size of the piece I was working on and rip it off after each piece was sewn.
Above you can see that I cut a piece of stabilizer the size of this center ring and then ripped off the extra when I was finished stitching. I never rip the inside of the stabilizer, I leave it under my appliques. I suppose I should try ripping it out at some point in the future to see what happens.
When I went to add the second layer of pieces to the quilt, I ran into a problem. The original pattern called for the green leaves you see below. It turns out that they looked great in the original design, but once I saw how much they changed the look of the purple fabric they were on top of I decided to leave them off.
Here you can see what it would've looked like with the six green leaves. I'm really glad I decided to alter what I was doing and leave them off! Sometimes you have to listen to the quilt and change your plans.
Come back Wednesday to see more.
I hope you get to quilt today!