Quilting: big quilt

I’ve just ‘finished’ this huge quilt. It’s the largest quilt I’ve ever produced, and it stretched me to the limits of my abilities, and the limits of my sewing machine.  I don’t think it’s quite queen-sized, but it’s pretty close. That was challenging.

The essence of this project was creating the star at the center of the Lone Star pattern.  This set came as a complete, pre cut pieced set. I don’t know how it was produced; my only job was to learn how to assemble it, and then produce the large triangles and squares and borders that fill in around the star and the edges. Which I’ve now done.  The finished product is huge, at least for me. There’s still some work to be done on it, too, but it’s “done enough” that I could ship it out fairly soon.

It was also almost beyond the capacities of my sewing machine for me to complete.  When sewing through a backing layer, a batting layer, and a quilted layer (which often has 2-3 layers of fabric due to seams), I need to put a special foot on the sewing machine so that the feed dogs pull the fabric both top and bottom. The result is that it’s very easy to create long straight lines — but the curves and elaborate patterns of the triangles and squares become much more difficult.  The weight of all that fabric meant that assembling the corners of the quilt’s binding was also challenging. And so on.

A detail shot of a quilt with a backing fabric of stars, planets, and galaxies
The big finished quilt’s backing

So producing this quilt was challenging, and I’m not sure I’m eager to try a project of this size again (with my current equipment).

On the other hand, there’s a tremendous amount of power in knowing that I can tackle a project of this size and shape and complexity.  I’m not eager to do it again, any time soon, but now I know I can — and that the next time I do it, it will be better than this time.

What next?  Now that I know that I can do a project of this size, I have new options about doing bigger projects, and I can take custom orders of about this size or maybe even larger. I also have a sense of what kind of equipment I need for doing quilting — and a sense of the space requirements for the equipment that I might want to have, as well.  None of this is an easy process — but I begin to get a sense of what it would take to “go pro” in this quilting business for adult-bed-sized quilts.   It’s kind of exciting.

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