I’ve made a small prayer mat quilt top. I appliqued clam shells onto a background and I’ve sandwiched and basted it ready for quilting.
I used some YLI basting thread which my lovely friend Sylvia sent me from the States. It’s the first time I’ve used it and I much prefer it to the white Perle 8 that Sharon Schamber recommends and that I had been using.
Here it is all basted and ready to go.
Originally I had planned to send it out for quilting and got a great quote of $25 for doing it as it’s so small. However, as it’s a gift I decided I wanted to quilt it myself and I opted for hand quilting. Hence the purchase of the Sulky Blendables. Hmmm… It was much harder than I had thought it would be because the clam shells are appliqued and because the Japanese fabric I chose for the backing is thick and stiff. It requires almost super human effort to quilt even with large decorative stitches.
Then I thought maybe I should machine quilt it and I went through the hand quilting vs machine quilting debate in my head! After much thought I decided to do both. I plan to machine quilt it and then to have some hand quilting as a decorative additon. So today I have been machining diagonals across it and hopefully tomorrow I can finish it and then try to complete a little more hand quilting and then bind it.
A lesson learned
As always with these things there is a lesson to be learned. The one I learned is that there is always a catch. Whatever quick, easy, time or labour-saving method you come up with somewhere along the line you get called to account. Certainly making this clam shell quilt was easier using applique than English Paper Piecing the catch though is that it is harder to quilt because it adds a whole other layer of fabric to quilt through.