Some of my favorite things to do with my HQ Infinity are NOT stitching the 3 layers of a quilt together. Have you ever done any piecing on the longarm? It can be a fun and quick way to piece and quilt something all in one step. This method works especially well for strip quilts.
Many years ago, I went on a shop hop with a big group of friends. We descended on each shop en masse and spread out to find the newest and coolest. Then, when someone found something wonderful, of course each of us had to buy one. Mob mentality at its finest!
One friend found a Cuddle kit that consisted of multiple strips of various coordinating Shannon Cuddle fabrics. Inside was instructions on making a strip quilt using these fabrics. The idea was to start with a large backing fabric, lay down a strip and place another strip right side down on top of the first. Stitch through all 3 layers and flip the top strip open. Repeat this till all the strips are used and the backing fabric is covered by a lovely strip style quilt top. And it is all quilted! None of us had seen anything like this before, so naturally we all bought one.
My friends and I got together once a week to sew. The following week my friend, Carole, brought her kit and set to work. If you have ever sewn with Cuddle, you know it can be quite slippery. The back is a shiny polyester knit with a fuzzy, furry, cuddly top side. Carole was having quite a bit of trouble keeping her layers together and trying to stitch a straight seam. She said a few un-lady-like words that evening. As I drove home, I regretted buying one of those kits. But then I had a light bulb moment! I could load that backing fabric on my Handi Quilter frame, then use my channel lock to stitch a straight seam. And If I used the Move feature on my Pro-Stitcher I would have both hands free to hold onto the strips and keep them aligned.
I gave it a go the next day and it worked like a charm! It was finished in about 2 hours. I left enough backing fabric all the way around so that I could turn it to the front for a binding. Next week I took it to our meeting and was hand stitching my binding. Carole came in and was shocked. She held her project up and she had 3 strips sewn. Then said some more un-lady-like words.
The quilt I made from that kit lives on our couch and in winter there is a race to see who gets the quilt for TV watching. So this Christmas I decided to make one as a gift for my husband. While I was at it I took photos so I could share the process with you.
How it’s done
I found this great kit at a quilt shop in Florida.
It had all these great variations of Cuddle. Some are smooth and some have texture.
Load the backing
I wanted to leave 2 inches all the way around so that I could fold the backing to the front to form a binding. The measure tool on my Pro-Stitcher was perfect to measure 2 inches down from the top edge and 2 inches in from each side. Then I basted a straight plumb line across the top and down each side.
Place and sew strips
The first strip got lined up to those lines.
Changing to the 1/2 inch square foot made it easy to line up with the raw edge of the strip and get the perfect 1/2 inch seam allowance. The channel lock gave me a perfectly straight seam.
The instructions on the kit suggested some useful notions when making this quilt.
I did use a ball point needle, but I did not need the temporary spray adhesive on my longarm. I could hold onto the fabric strips with my free hand to make sure they did not shift as I sewed.
On some of the more textured fabrics I found I needed the extra security of some pins to hold the fabric in place. I was able to remove the pins as I came to them.
Once the strips are sewn together, flip open the top strip and smooth in place.
Keep adding strips one at a time, stitching and flipping til you run out of strips.
When I reached the bottom and flipped the last strip open, I sewed the strip across the bottom to secure it in place.
I took the quilt off the frame and trimmed the backing to 1.5 inches from the edge of the strips all the way around. Then I double folded the backing over the raw edge and hand stitched in place.
This was so quick and easy I had more time to play with the grandies!.
by Mary Beth Krapil