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Any quilters here? I need some help


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I just finished a stamped cross stitch baby blanket for my friend whose baby was born in December. I haven't taken a photo of it yet, but it's this one: https://www.amazon.com/Bucilla-Stamped-43-Inch-45359-Engelbreit/dp/B001VE1AI0

This is my first time doing stamped cross stitch (I've done a lot of counted cross stitch) and I'm nervous about finishing it. It came as two pieces of fabric that are already quilted together, but because my stitching carried through to the back I need to add something to the back of it. I've never done this before and I'm not confident in my sewing skills.

My plan is to sew on coordinated fabric that has the same nursery rhyme characters on it: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mary-Engelbreit-Fabric-Mother-Goose-Nursery-Rhyme-Jack-Jill-Mice-Cow-Moon-BTHY/254746792409

I'll remove the binding (bias?) around the edge of the quilt first, and will wash both the quilt and the fabric before sewing in case of shrinkage. I'm going to finish "pillowcase style" as shown in this tutorial:

 

So here are my questions: the tutorial says to pin batting to the backing fabric before sewing the backing fabric to the quilt. I don't know what I'm looking for when it comes to batting. Is this what I need? https://www.joann.com/poly-fil-extra-loft-crib-size-quilt-batting/15954076.html

Do I need to wash the batting before I use it?

After I've sewn the batting and backing to the quilt, will I need to anything more to attach the back and the front pieces, since I'm not going to be quilting them together? At the end of the tutorial she says "you could tie the quilt" -- I have an idea of what this means, but don't know how to do it without interfering with the design.

Is there anything else I need to know before I try this, that I might not know I need to know?

I realize these are super specific questions but I hope someone here will know what I'm talking about and can talk me off the ledge! Thanks!

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I would wait to remove the binding until AFTER you have washed and dried your stitching and backing fabrics.  Are your embroidery threads color-fast?  If not, you will want to hand wash your stitching carefully by hand in cold water.  If it's already quilted, is there already a batt between the pieces of fabric you have stitched?  If so, you could just sew up your backing fabric and turn it and either follow the quilting already done or tie it with a baby yarn at regular intervals between your motives you've stitched.  You don't need a regular quilting frame, a large embroidery hoop will do the job.  If there is no batt, you can go with a regular crib-size batt, unless for some reason you want your quilt uber thick.  My maternal grandmother, from whom I learned most of my stitchery, started me out on stamped work.

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

I would wait to remove the binding until AFTER you have washed and dried your stitching and backing fabrics

I agree with holly

I would use this instead of the poly fill. https://www.joann.com/heirloom-80-20-96in-x-15-yds/2479236.html

I'm glad you are washing the blue fabric , I worry that once it is bound to the white quilt it might run.

When I tie blankets together I use about 4 pieces of embroidery floss rather than yarn.

Do you have a sewing machine?

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If i understand you post, you were not sure what tying means.  Tying means you use a double strand of floss and from the right side pierce all layers of fabric to the back side, make a little stitch, and return to right side. Snip so both tails are of equal length and tie them together securely, usually twice. This is done in a pattern throughout the quilt to hold the front and back together and keep the batting from bunching or moving around. You could also machine sew lines, arcs, or zig zag around you panels, or up and down you pieces between your cross stitched panels to the same effect without leaving dangly bits that might pose a choking or mouthing hazard.

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1 hour ago, Medieval said:

...You could also machine sew lines, arcs, or zig zag around you panels, or up and down you pieces between your cross stitched panels to the same effect without leaving dangly bits that might pose a choking or mouthing hazard.

If you leave the thread ends long enough when you remove your work from the sewing machine you can thread them through a needle eye and sew them between the layers of fabric to eliminate "dangles".

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I would use this instead of the poly fill. https://www.joann.com/heirloom-80-20-96in-x-15-yds/2479236.html

Thanks for the suggestion, Carrie. Should I wash it first?

Quote

If i understand you post, you were not sure what tying means.  Tying means you use a double strand of floss and from the right side pierce all layers of fabric to the back side, make a little stitch, and return to right side. Snip so both tails are of equal length and tie them together securely, usually twice. This is done in a pattern throughout the quilt to hold the front and back together and keep the batting from bunching or moving around. You could also machine sew lines, arcs, or zig zag around you panels, or up and down you pieces between your cross stitched panels to the same effect without leaving dangly bits that might pose a choking or mouthing hazard.

Thank you. The basic concept makes sense but I don't want the ties to be visible on top of the cross stitched design. I also don't want to quilt around the whole design because it seems like I could easily mess up the whole quilt! (I do have a sewing machine, though.) I wonder if I can do the ties so they only go through the back layer of the quilt, and aren't visible on the front?

I will remove the binding after washing, good call Holly. I saw a suggestion online to rinse the blanket in a water/vinegar solution before washing it to prevent the threads from bleeding.

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50 minutes ago, fov said:

...rinse the blanket in a water/vinegar solution before washing it to prevent the threads from bleeding.

Ooo, good suggestion!  White vinegar helps to set the dyes.

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Have you considered turning this over to a quilter to finish? I know just enough to be dangerous from watching my-sister-the-quilter to see a mix of information here that may not be as helpful as it sounds in the long run. You have invested many hours and your incredible talent into completing the quilt face. It's worth having a professional finish.  Somehow using ties sounds a bit amateurish for this design. Artists often take work to frame shops -- think of this beautiful quilt as a work of art to be framed. At the very least, take it to a quilt shop and ask for guidance. They will be as friendly as miniaturists with advice, and can direct you to an experienced quilter who can recommend the best way to finish if you decide to go that route. 

Edited by KathieB
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Yeah, I thought about it, but Covid stay at home orders make that difficult right now. Also tbh I don't know if I'd want to pay what a real quilter would deserve to be paid. I *think* I can do it myself, I'm just nervous since I haven't before. (I was equally nervous about finishing the afghan I made for the same friend's first baby, and that turned out okay!)

It just occurred to me that fusible batting might be a solution to the tying issue. Apparently you can get batting that's fusible on both sides, so I'd just have to iron the quilt after adding the batting & backing, and both sides would stick to the batting in between. Never mind, after Googling this a bit it seems that the stick is only temporary, so it's not a good solution.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The fabric I bought for the backing didn't work out (the size was misrepresented in the eBay listing) but amazingly I was able to return it for a refund. Instead I bought some flannel from Joann's that arrived yesterday, and I also got a walking foot for my sewing machine. I decided to leave out the batting since the crib cover theoretically already has batting between its two quilted layers. It's not very plush but I don't think it needs to be.

So I'm going to try to wash and assemble everything this weekend! Wish me luck!

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Thanks, ladies. :) Today I washed the blanket and the flannel. I didn't bother with the vinegar. I tested a piece of red floss first and it didn't bleed so I decided to take my chances. It turned out fine, no bleeding!

The blue dye behind the stitching got lighter but didn't wash out, which is annoying. (I had read about this, though, so I expected it.) The most annoying thing is that there's an item number in blue at the bottom of the design. Why would they put that there? So now it's a faded item number, but it's still clearly visible. :dunno:

A few French knots pulled through the fabric in the wash, so I'll fix those tonight and will remove the binding. Tomorrow I'll set up the sewing machine and attempt to sew on the backing. I'm thinking maybe I should add fusible interfacing along the border before I do that, to prevent more of the French knots from pulling out.

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Good call on the fusible interfacing.  Could you cut out a star or circle shape to applique over the faded item number?

Edited by havanaholly
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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished the crib cover! More pics and an explanation of how I finished it are on my blog: https://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=16281

I didn't end up quilting the back to the front. The flannel sort of clings to the fabric it's next to, so it wasn't necessary. I didn't add the interfacing behind the French knots because I was worried it might pucker in the wash, so I hope those will stay put. My friend plans to hang this on the wall rather than use it as a blanket, so it shouldn't get much wear and tear. (She said her kids aren't allowed to touch it until they turn 18!)

 

goose19.jpg

goose20.jpg

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Gorgeous! Glad it will be on the wall and not in danger of the odd bout of projectile vomiting that babies seem to enjoy. :D 

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