Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Log Cabin Quilt: Batting on the Matting

I can hardly believe it has been a week since I last wrote on the blog.  Busy times for me if not for Oil and Thread.  Anyway this evening I feel like I have had the space and the energy to get back to work (or back to play) on the quilt.

Since I last wrote I have been to see the lovely Angela at The Creative Sanctuary to buy some lovely Cotton/Polyester blend batting.  It's suitable for machine or hand quilting up to ten inches apart and I spent Saturday afternoon pre-washing it in the bath and then most of the rest of the weekend trying to get it dry.  Up until this evening I was wondering if it would have been worth the bother.  That was before I began to assemble the quilt sandwich.

In the following picture I have lightly pinned the backing fabric to the carpet using quilter's pins.  I have read about this method but I found it hard to imagine that it would work.  It seemed only marginally less futile than trying to stick masking tape to fabric and carpet.  I guess a lot will depend on the type of carpet and how it is laid but here I was pleased and surprised at how I got on.

In my second picture I have smoothed the batting out over the backing fabric.  See how lovely and fleecy the cotton mix batting is.  I have pinned the batting, making sure not to stretch it, but I have yet to trim it to size.  I did this with my shears.

The third picture shows the quilt top added to the sandwich.  I have used the same quilter's pins to baste the sandwich.  Each of the red squares at the centre of the log cabin blocks has a pin through it.  It is worth remarking on how easy it was to get the pins to go through the cotton batting.  Progress this evening felt much smoother than my experiences working with safety pins and polyester batting on a previous project.

My plan now is to start quilting in-the-ditch between the long cabin squares.  My hope is that this will stabilise the layers and then I am imagining some sort of diagonal grid of quilting covering the middle panel.  Have I the strength to quilt in the ditch between every one of those piano keys in the border?  Would that be too heavy a treatment?  Questions I will need to ask myself and answer but first I want to set up the Singer 401G properly for the task in hand.


  1. I hope you have put more pins in than in the red centers of the log cabin blocks. The rule of thumb is every 3 to 4 inches in all directions. It's a lot of pins. This amount is necessary to keep things from shifting around. My apologies if you already know this.

    1. Wow. I think I am seeing why my grandmother took her quilt tops to a group of ladies at her church to be quilted. Making the squares or blocks seems -almost- fun, well, at least interesting. But the thought of five thousand pins and maneuvering that mass through the machine. . . total respect here for quilters, I'm not sure I could do it. I think I'd rather spend the time to baste the layers together. At least I might lose less blood that way. As they say in France, (imagine the accent) COURAGE.

    2. Hi Mary Ellen
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. When I looked back at this picture I realised that, at this stage, I hadn't done any basting at all! What the pic doesn't show is that I've actually pin basted at the centres of the log cabins and at even intervals all around the border. I reckon my quilting pins are spaced at intervals of 5 inches. This maybe a bit sparse but this is a small quilt and I will be using a walking foot so I am going to risk it. I promise to buy (and use) more quilting pins for the next project.