Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quilt Adventures: The Dangers

My grandsons and I often argue whether quilting is a sport. They of course say it's not. I insist it is, complete with injuries. Seriously, look at these pictures. This football jersey quilt has been pin-based and is now ready for quilting. There are three layers - the top made from jerseys, the middle batting, and the navy blue backing - which need to be sewn into a unified whole. To keep the various layers from shifting and sliding around as they are being sewn, a quilter has to baste them together. This basting can be done with big sewing stitches (boo hiss - too time consuming), spray-on glue (boo hiss - too smelly and expensive), or pins (my method of choice). Even on big quilts I tend to use straight pins in areas that will be quilted first and thus removed and safety pins in the areas I'll quilt last. You know how you can't be too rich or too thin? You can never use enough pins for basting. Really. I bet there are over 400 straight pins in the quilt at this point.

I keep a supply of band-aids handy for my hands - there's no way I can keep from pricking them. I wear blue jeans to keep from scratching my legs and a denim shirt to keep from scratching my arms and stomach. I have had scratches in a variety of places. Also, a quilt at this point is heavy and has to be handled and handled and handled. Sore shoulders are another possible injury. Thus, the dangers. But like any other sport enthusiast, I face these dangers because I love the thrill. Starting the actual quilting is my favorite phase of quilting. I have to make myself take a break every 45 minutes or so. I love living on the quilting faultline!

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