Get a wiggle on!

For those who don’t speak English every day, that’s slang for hurry up!

The Grey Nomad quilting is under way, and it’s all wiggly lines. I’m having the lines go in alternating directions on adjacent blocks. Easy, freehand, walking foot stuff, which is why I’m making good progress –or getting a wiggle on, if you like…

grey-nomad-quiltingI looked at half a dozen different colours before I made my choice of quilting thread. Originally my thought was to do it in grey to match the borders. The quilting would recede totally on the borders, but I didn’t like how it looked on the postage stamp squares. I looked at turquoise, grass green, orange and pink. Lovely against the grey, but too ‘loud’. I’ve settled on a pale greyish blue, which recedes well on the grey but is pale enough not to be too strong on the squares. I did also to a test piece using some variegated grey Aurifil thread but it looked dreadful – patchy and weird. I like variegated for hand quilting, but definitely not here, on the flat grey background.

I have enough batting squares cut to finish, and half the backing squares I still need. It’s 40% quilted already, and once all the blocks are done, I’ll be starting to cut fabric scraps for the joining strips.

The postage stamp squares took a very long time, but now it’s really going fast!



32 thoughts on “Get a wiggle on!

  1. anne54 says:

    Those lines are looking really good, and I agree with you about the colour of the thread. Now, stop reading this and get a wiggle on!!

  2. judybushey43 says:

    Nice machine quilting. I’ll have to try the quilt as you go method. Can’t wait to see it all put together!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s more or less revolutionised my attitude to the quilting part of the procedure. I used to dread wrangling the thing through my machine, not to mention the whole basting nightmare. Now, I’m positively enjoying it. Mind you, it wouldn’t work for some of my more freestyle quilts, which aren’t block based.

  3. EllaDee says:

    Looks great. I love seeing it coming together 💟

  4. kathyreeves says:

    I really like the thread choice, just the right amount of contrast.

  5. tialys says:

    I’m loving the way you wiggle 😉

  6. claire93 says:

    oooh I love the idea of a dark background and just a few bright squares – might pinch this idea ^^ And your wiggle quilting really is perfect for this modern design.

    • katechiconi says:

      The centres of each block are 5×5 1.5″ squares, surrounded by 2.5″ sashing in iron grey. The grey is necessary to give the eye some quiet space, but it also makes the colours really sing. Each block will be surrounded by a narrow .5″ bright scrappy strip. I think it’s going to look good. The wiggle is nice and easy, doesn’t need marking and is loose enough to be forgiving of slight irregularieties.

  7. This is terrible how you are getting me so interested in your quilting techniques! I am no quilter and am only too happy to watch and admire from afar – however, I WOULD be keen to know how/why those wiggles don’t pull each square out of shape?

    • katechiconi says:

      OK. Each square is three layers, all stuck together with a light spray of spray baste, and smoothed very flat. I start in the middle and work all the way out to first one side, then the other, working in the same direction each time. I’ve made the squares slightly larger than they need to be, so that when the quilting makes the square contract, there’s enough spare to trim it out to the right size. The more lines you do, the more spare you need. The wiggle lines are parallel so things contract evenly. I also use a walking foot, which has feed dogs in it. This means there are feed dogs moving both the bottom and the top layer, so the layers don’t wrinkle. Does that help?

      • Excellent explanation, thank you, and it confirms everything I ever thought this kind of work – it is not for the impatient, lickety-split me!!! Your squares are really beautiful 🙂

  8. katechiconi says:

    I’d say each square takes about 20 minutes from go to whoa. 8 and a half hours or so for quilting the whole thing. Too much? It seems pretty quick to me 🙂

  9. wow, just wow !!! those lines !!!!!

  10. Magpie Sue says:

    Oh dear, the 15th is not far away. I’d better get a wiggle on myself…!

  11. rutigt says:

    Nice choice of both pattern (freehand-quilting) and thread! I think choosing the thread is the hardest problem . You always want it to look good, but not taking over the quilt!

  12. Good choices all the way around. Love the look of it. As for English, spoken all over the world and with many different accents and colloquialisms, I have only heard that phrase from you and Miss C. I love it. I’m fascinated as well by all the countries that are quilting that traditionally use metric measurements, but quilt using feet and inches. It does tickle me to no end. I have been frustrated that we don’t go to metrics but if the quilting world has it’s way, we’ll make yardsticks of everyone. 🙂 Isn’t life fun? 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      My brain is equally at home in both kinds. I was raised in feet and inches, trained in metric and can convert readily by eye. I keep rulers and tape measures with parallel measurements on each edge, and still call a man of 1.85m a six-footer! For me, it hasn’t been necessary to choose!

  13. Lynda says:

    I’m liking those nice curves, Kate.

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