…or… the first quilt I finished on our new Q24 longarm.
Actually, it has quite some history of its own, even before the longarm quilting.
The brown paisley fabric used for the background was among the first fabrics I ever bought after starting to quilt five years ago. I bought all that was left of the bale, about 1.7 meters, if I recall clearly. Getting more of it? Impossible, as the fabric belonged to a collection which I don’t even remember, being umm… years old.
Step one was to find fabrics to go with it then. This took me a while, until I decided on some Northcott Midas Touch fabrics which fit the colours and added a new twist with their modernish use of that touch of gold.
Then there was a pattern to find, which would use the paisley to the max and made a nice and snuggly sofa quilt. I found one in our Jelly Roll books by Pam and Nicky Lintott, and adapted it to the amount of Fabric I had.
All of that done, I finished the top in no time.
Next problem was how to quilt it. I somehow was totally on the „must quilt this by hand“ trip. Started hand quilting it as well, with thin pearl cotton. And was disappointed. Somehow the idea of making the chain links stand out and the paisley background really go back didn’t work. Which made the project sit as UFO for some… three years or so.
After having our Q24 installed, we doodled around on some white fabric with coloured thread, but it quickly became clear to me that nothing teaches you quilting a top like… well… quilting a top. I decided to rip out the hand quilting and have this as my very first longarm-quilted top, got new batting and a new backing fabric (both were too scant for what is recommended on a longarm) and there I went…
Setting up the layers on the machine went on surprisingly fast, even though it was the first time I did it by myself. The nice thing? No more crawling around on the floor, no more desperately trying to get everything right and proper with safety pins, or tacking or one of the thousand other methods of basting.
Next, I put in the chosen thread. I love to quilt with Sulky machine embroidery thread in size 40 as it has such a lovely sheen and not too much lint. Oh, and it is available in a wide choice of colours in my domestic sewing materials shop. The setup went pretty fast, the stitches came out nice and even, I merely realized that the one feature I always had to remember when using it on my domestic machine also applied to the longarm. Never have the spool too full or the thread will hop off and rip. As soon as I’d corrected that mistake, quilting was a dream. Okay, at first I planned to call the quilt pattern „drunkards lines“ or something like that, as I have a lot of difficulties of quilting anything remotely straight-lined on the Q24 for now.
While working towards the finish of the quilt I remembered the fantastic workshop we had with Angela Walters in Birmingham two years ago, when after working on a Sweet Sixteen for half a day, she showed us how to use a longarm. And so – in acknowledgement of her brilliant encouraging words – the quilt will be named „Finished is better than perfect“. The quilt is finished, in „no time“. And „perfection“ – whatever that may be – is for another day.