Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. I am a longarm quilter who can work for you. I enjoy any style, from pantographs to all-over to full custom, ranging from traditional to modern. I love bringing vintage tops to life and am willing to work with a challenging quilt top. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Teddy Bears & Hot Air Balloons

Wow! Satin stitching little teddy bears is intense work. That little guy still needs his, but he's 1" from paw to ear, and I'm going buggy-eyed. So I'm taking a break to put up the first WIP post I've done in a while.

This is for a baby shower this Saturday. I fusible appliqued these pieces on a quilt top, and I'm doing the satin stitching as a double for the quilting as well. I experimented on the basket's satin stitching because I wasn't entirely happy with the thread color. In that particular instance, I'm liking the more open stitches. It's at the usual tightness for the bears. 

I've done this two-in-one technique twice before, and have not had issues with tension or fabric slippage on the quilt. The satin stitches come out nice and flat without stretching the quilt even in the super-close mode.

I do the following things to keep the results nice and smooth: First test the stitch out on scraps to get the stitching size and top/bobbin tension balance idealized. For the real work on the sandwiched quilt, greatly lower the pressure of the presser foot, and definitely use the walking foot. For an example, my machine's factory setting on the foot's pressure is 6.0. For this high-loft super-soft poly batt, I lower the setting to 1.5.  On the one that had Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly batt, I used 3.0 with nice results. If you don't lower this pressure, even the walking foot shoves the top layer forward a tiny bit to give those unwanted distortion waves in your quilting. (I *always* lighten that pressure pretty significantly when I quilt, unless I'm using my machine's spring-load free-motion setting.)

I don't know if it makes any difference, but I pin-baste, not spray baste.

[I hope Amandajean at Crazy Mom Quilts is OK with me sharing this old picture of hers from years ago when she was wondering what causes the pulling waves I'm talking about avoiding]:

Also, with high lofts like this one today, I will first run a free-motion straight stitch close to the edge that will be covered by the satin stitch. I use the same thread so it will not peek through anywhere. You can see that preliminary straight stitching on the bits of the balloon that show on that top photo. I have not found it necessary to do the prior straight stitching with the lower lofts. And I've done the same quilt-and-applique at once successfully on fused pieces with blanket stitching and wider zigzags. Also, when I did the hill at the bottom of this top, that was just kids' gluestick stuck down and ironed - not even really fused, and it worked perfectly using a pre-programmed fancy stitch to quilt-while-applique work that piece of the background. 

So give it a try if you're interested. I would NOT do it, though, if your machine does not let you decrease the pressure of the presser foot. 

P.S. I wish I were more of an artist - It took me an entire 2 hours to draw these things out.  heh!!

Linking up at WIP WednesdayLet's Bee SocialWIPs Be Gone


  1. I adore a sweet baby quilt and this one is certainly no exception! Those teddy bears are super adorable. And the balloon is bright and fun!

  2. I really like your bears and a balloon block. I rarely do a satin stitch because it seems to take so long. I am so far behind with my BOMs that I will have to just devote myself to them once I can get back into the studio. But you have inspired me to work harder to get there.

  3. Your bears and the hot air balloon are gorgeous!

  4. Hi Lynette. Marsha here, from QuilterinMotion. I love your hot air balloon/teddy bear project. I know what you mean about satin stitching making your eyes buggy but there's a time and place for it just the same. Sweet shower project.

  5. The bears and balloon quilt is so cute! As much as I love applique, sewing a satin stitch makes me crazy after a while, I seem to lose sight of the edges and need to walk away. Try a cookie or piece of chocolate, it helps so much. :)

  6. Love you balloon and the bears. I usually use blanket stick and sometimes I just move the needle by hand to stay on the line. Intense is correct!

  7. I actially straigjt line quilt using my free motion foot to avoid the pulling, but I will try the walking foot again using your tip.

  8. I think your design is super cute! I know what you mean about have to stop. It's so weird everything is fine and I'll jump up from the machine. I can't help it, it's starting to bug me. I guess I'm either getting tense, tired or just too much concentration. Anyway, I've wondered about doing what you have done and and thanks for the helpful hints. I'll give it a try.


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