Iiiiitty bitty strawberry!
Well, I'm finally settled. I have a job, I have a kitty--

And I've finally gotten my stride back with quilting.

It's been a surprisingly long struggle. After I started the quilt top I showed off last post I fell into a kind of funk. I wasn't getting anywhere with job applications, I was running low on money, and just felt like crap and a failure. I wasn't even writing for fun.

Luckily, I managed to secure a job as a secretary at a computer store, but that brought its own challenges: having lunches ready for myself and Glenn, planning meals, planning when to clean the apartment, et cetera... I barely had time to sit down in the evenings, let alone plan a quilt or work on one.

Now that I've been working for a few weeks however I've finally found time to get back to the things I love. I'm writing again, albeit at a snail's pace, and I managed to sit down and sew a little last night and this afternoon.

My two states of mind: chaotic at home, ordered and neat at work.
And since my sister has finished her first top, I figured I'd post about my quilting method for sandwiches.

I usually lay the quilt top top side down on the floor, and start auditioning fabrics for the backing. I don't spend too much time doing this--basically, if I don't have a backing already picked out I just find what solids or fabrics I have too much of and try to use them up.

If my chosen fabric isn't long enough, I throw on another matching piece and sew it all together into a large sheet. Always make sure the backing is larger than the quilt top--it makes life so much easier later on down the road.

Next comes the sandwiching. I usually put the backing on the bottom, wrong side up, layer the batting over it, and then line up the top with the backing so there's plenty of extra space on all sides. For pinning I use bent safety pins--they are a godsend, in that they won't come out, are easy to use on tile or carpet, and help keep everything flat.

A good tip--if you're working on a tiled surface, tape your backing to the ground to keep it perfectly flat. Flat backings and battings are beautiful backings and battings!

Finally I take my nice big shears and trim all around, leaving about a quarter inch of room on all sides. We will trim it off later after the quilting step.

And that's it! It's relatively simple and painless, and works best with large floor spaces. You could do it on a table too, but I prefer the floor simply because I'm not worrying about scratching or warping from draping off a table.

I hope to post again soon as I quilt this one; once I finish it I will probably take a stab at the brown and red top that's been lurking in my shelving unit.



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