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Needle Angle Advice

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    Needle Angle Advice

    Hi Everyone!

    I've got myself in a bind. I'm making a baby quilt for my very first nephew (yay!) and I decided to work with fabrics I dyed myself. This wasn't a problem for the top, but when I reached the point of choosing a backing the commercially printed one I had chosen just didn't work. I decided to make my own backing out of the hand-dyed remnants. I didn't have enough for one large back, so I ended up with a square bordered by 5" of another fabric, with squares of indigo in each corner. Please see photos:

    Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 9.53.07 AM.pngScreen Shot 2020-10-29 at 9.52.52 AM.png
    It didn't occur to me til after I had made it that aligning the stitches on the front and back would be difficult - if I mess up, the indigo corner squares on the back will be an interesting shape, to put it mildly. But I don't have another option and the baby was actually born last week - it's time to finish this dude.

    So - I made sure to measure the exact center of the backing and quilt top and align them as carefully as possible. And I was careful - but unfortunately, I think I'm off by about 1/4". I think this because when I went to stitch the first center diagonal (I'm quilting this by hand) the marked line on the front does not line up with the marked line on the back by about 1/4". If I try to stitch through both, my needle has to go through the sandwich at approximately a 50 degree angle.

    For the rest of the diagonals, I can just follow the lead of the quilt top markings, no big deal. But for the center X on the backing, it would look really weird if it was stitched through 1/4" away from the center corners of the indigo squares don't you think?

    So here's the problem - stitching at that steep of an angle makes me concerned that when I wash the finished piece, these stitches will be pulling in an awkward direction against the other, more "normal" diagonals on either side, and will result in strange puckering or even threaten the structural integrity of the backing.

    I'm not sure if I'm correct and I'm kind of stumped at this point - I don't really know what to do to fix the problem, aside from peeling the backing off and repositioning it, and I really don't want to do that now the basting glue is dried and everything else is fused together. God knows what it will do to the extremely crappy cheap batting I purchased on sale at the height of Covid, thinking "I'll figure this out!". It's really the worst it's like matted used tissue flakes that came out of a pair of pants that went through the wash. But it's what I have!

    Anyway. Long nervous rambling aside, any advice or suggestions would be most gratefully received. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    I like the back! I think for myself I would just tie it at the intersections and be done with it.


    On a side note there is a big interest on Instagram for dying fabrics. The one with most interest is the photo dye you use in the sun, for fabrics. It's really pretty.

    cyantype.jpg
    🌺 Lorie

    Comment


    • Bibbit
      Bibbit commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Laurie! Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure I know what you mean by tying it at the corners - could you expand on that?

    • Hulamoon
      Hulamoon commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh sorry, on top where your grid is intersecting in the middle of the squares.

    • Bibbit
      Bibbit commented
      Editing a comment
      aha thank you!

    #3
    So, it’s already quilted, correct? It’s hard to tell from your pictures. I would straighten the edges and bind it. I’m not sure I understand your dilemma.
    sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


    Scottie Mom Barb

    Comment


    • Bibbit
      Bibbit commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Bubby -

      It is not quilted yet no. I want to achieve two things simultaneously:

      1. make sure the center X of stitches on the back of the quilt goes straight through the indigo squares at a 45 degree angle

      The problem with achieving 1 is that the backing and the quilt top don't line up precisely - when I stitch a stitch through the top, it comes out 1/4" away from the center X line on the backing. So, in order to get the stitched row to be straight and correct on the quilt top AND the backing, I have to insert my needle at a 50 degree angle from the quilt top, through the sandwich, and into the back. The stitches are then all slightly diagonal through the sandwich. This situation also does not allow me to use a regular rocking stitch like I normally would for hand quilting - I've had to insert the needle straight down into the top, flip it over, and angle the needle so it comes out at the right place on the backing.

      This leads to the second thing I want to achieve:

      2. make the stitches through the center X feed straight up and down through the quilt sandwich.

      I'm afraid that if I continue stitching at a 50 degree angle through this one line of stitches, when I go to wash the finished piece the fabric will shrink and shift and these diagonal stitches will pull that section of fabric in a weird way and possibly even put strain on the seams in the quilt back, effectively tearing it apart. I do not know if this theory is correct, it's just what I see happening when I play this out in my mind.

      I don't know how to achieve a straight up and down stitch with the fabric as-is right now. Perhaps the answer is just to "cheat" a little bit and make them hit somewhere between where they want to come out on the back and where they should come out for the row of stitches to be perfectly running through the indigo squares at the corners? It wouldn't be perfect but at least the stitches wouldn't pull quite as much maybe.
      Last edited by Bibbit; October 29, 2020, 06:05 PM.

    #4
    Here's what I mean when I talk about "the center X" - when I stitch this from the quilt top side, I want the stitches to follow these arrow lines on the quilt backing. They are currently coming out about 1/4" away from these - when I get to the indigo corner squares, they won't go through the corner they'll be off kilter by 1/4".

    Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 9.52.52 AM.png
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Bibbit; October 29, 2020, 06:23 PM.

    Comment


    • Bibbit
      Bibbit commented
      Editing a comment
      sorry didn't mean to attach the same screenshot two more times! oops

    #5
    If I were you, I would get rid of your backing and use something else as backing and make sure it is three inches larger on all sides to allow for pulling up. Do your quilting, trim the edges and bind. I used to hand quilt everything. Your pieced backing is nice but for a baby something simple and less problematic would work fine. Then you can go on to something new and less aggravating. Barb
    sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


    Scottie Mom Barb

    Comment


    • Bibbit
      Bibbit commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Barb, I appreciate the advice. Unfortunately the pieces are now fused together with the aforementioned crappy batting I bought on sale - that sucker is a sandwich and I can't take it apart. I also don't have an alternative backing on hand and I don't have time to search for, purchase, and wait for one to arrive. I appreciate you trying to help.

    #6
    Okay, how about...leave the backing fused on and put another backing over it, then machine quilt it and bind it. That might make your batting wear better having an extra layer. It would make the quilt a little thicker and warmer. Remember, we are always critical of our own work where in reality few people seldom notice our bloopers unless we point them out. Barb
    sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


    Scottie Mom Barb

    Comment


      #7
      Do you have something simple on hand you could use as backing....?
      sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


      Scottie Mom Barb

      Comment


        #8
        remember that one is the back. and it's the front that will be looked at the most. I know it bothers you but you cannot change much now. Go on with the quilting and all will work out. It is a baby quilt. just put some love into it!

        Comment


          #9
          Congrats on the little one and the quilt.

          It looks like the quilting is almost finished. Continue on and complete the quilt. It will be fine.

          Looks like two difference size corner squares between the front and back. That may be the reason the quilting doesn’t match. Please no worries.

          Comment


          • Bubby
            Bubby commented
            Editing a comment
            Rhonda, Its not quilted yet. I thought it was, too. It must be marked for quilting. She intends to hand quilt it.

          • Rhonda K
            Rhonda K commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for clarification!

          #10
          How about forgetting that grid that hits certain points and just do a different design on it. I'm assuming you want to do straight lines? Big diamonds would look nice.
          🌺 Lorie

          Comment


            #11
            A couple of questions for you now that we know it’s not quilted.

            Did you use washable school glue?

            You can soak the quilt to take the batting and back off. ( I’ve had to do this to a quilt.)

            From the pics, it looks like there are wrinkles in the backing. I don’t think they will quilt out if they are glued down.

            There is no way to smooth the layers.

            This is probably not what you wanted to do but it will be easier to quilt. Good luck!

            Comment


              #12
              My thoughts:
              1. It's the quilt top that gets noticed; it won't matter if the stitches don't align on the backing. Baby won't care.
              2. Consider Lorie's idea about quilting a different design.
              3. If you would consider machine quilting (either FMQ or using a walking foot), I like Barb's suggestion about adding another backing over the one that is already fused. Do you have an old sheet or anything that might work as a backing?

              Comment


                #13
                I have done some reversible quilts and like doing diagonal lines across. That may be a thought for you. looks good on both sides.

                Comment

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