'Just Keep Quilting' on the Road to Oklahoma

The imagery from 'Finding Nemo's' Dory was my mantra yesterday as 'just keep quilting..... just keep quilting.....'!
This quilt has been quilted without a walking foot and so far so good.  There is maybe only one or two wonky places.  I'll show those to you in a later post, but today wanted to share a little of the basting technique I worked out to minimize the pucker, gathers and/or wonkiness.  The trick, to me, has been to pin and re-pin..... and pin and re-pin..... and my fingers are torn up to prove it!   But it seems to be working.  In the photo below, you can see how I've set it up this morning for a couple of long vertical seams.  The pins are pinned @4" apart in the middle of the squares.  I am stitching 1/4" from the ditch.  You can see a few pins facing horizontally, left over from yesterday, when I was stitching the shorter sides.  I go back and forth from doing a few on the long sides, to a few on the short sides, also switching from side-to-side/top-to-bottom so the quilt is filling in all over and not lop-sided.  I also grip it from underneath, with both hands holding everything taut as it feeds through the machine..... stopping when needed to 'ease' any extra fabric out from under the presser foot using my fingers.
Photo below, is from yesterday and you can see more pins..... and a little of the minor wonkiness.
This quilt has already used up a brand new spool of thread and is re-loaded with the same, photo below.  I've NEVER used an entire spool of thread on one project before, but then again, I've never quilted a quilt like this before either.  Using my daughter's basic Kenmore, and sparing more wear and tear on my (very expensive!) Bernina has also been a good idea.  The Kenmore has been a workhorse plus I was able to use inexpensive thread, of which I'd never use on my Bernina.   The thread was also a part of my decision to use this machine, because I live in a rural area with access only to the more inexpensive threads and had not purchased enough of the brands I usually use in my Bernina.  After running out of one large spool of thread already, clearly this was a good idea!  This thread was left over from my 4-H sewing club c. 2003? and has worked well in this quilt.
I am also happy my little friend is feeling better and looking more like her bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self again.  She was sick the other day, and the sun did not seem to shine quite so brightly.
Today's my younger daughter's birthday so there's a cake to bake and birthday dinner to cook....
 .....the binding for this quilt needs to be planned and prepped.... AND we're leaving the 17th... AND there's one-hundred-million-other things I need to be thinking about..... AND.....  'just keep quilting.... just keep quilting.... just keep quilting'!

*'Road to Oklahoma' - the beginning
*Assembly Line progress
*The top is done..... or is it?!
*Let the quilting begin!
*'just keep quilting.... just keep quilting....'
*The rest of the story


  1. First off, Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter. She looks so much like you.

    There's no doubt that quilting a quilt takes T-I-M-E. I once read that you should spend as much time doing the quilting (this is via machine as opposed to hand quilting) on a quilt as you do in the piecing of it. (How's that for discouraging!) I think when you are able to get a walking foot you will find that your quilting will go much faster, so much easier and your body won't suffer as much wear and tear. That you're able to do the quilting at all without a walking foot is amazing to me. Just shows what determination you have!

    1. Thank you for the sweet compliment about my daughter! So true about the 'wear and tear on the body' as my wrists and hands have been giving me some trouble now too. It is hard getting old. Oh, I so need to figure out a walking foot. I researched this Kenmore and they do not make a walking foot that fits this machine..... or I would've bought one! The one for my Bernina is over $200 and simply out of the budget for anytime soon. I like that you called it 'determination'..... my mother probably would've called it 'stubborn'.... 'strong-willed'..... yes, determination is a good word. :)

  2. The quilt is amazing! The piecing looks perfect, I can't imagine sewing so many little pieces, I'm sure if I tried, they wouldn't meet where they are supposed to :) Shhhhh .... I have a walking foot that I have not used yet. Hopefully one day, I will :)
    Happy Birthday to your daughter! Have a lovely time baking and cooking!

    1. Oh my goodness Erin, your sewing is always immaculate and perfect - such an inspiration to me! One day you may want to make a quilt for your beautiful daughter, and that walking foot will come in handy then. I'm thinking a quilt for my daughter may be in the works for next year - but that's a secret between you and me. :) Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. I love the idea of the safety pins holding everything together - I guess with the walking problem, this helps enormously.

    I agree, age has it's downsides, but on the plus side, we are usually healthy enough nowadays to enjoy the downside! If that makes sense.

    Your daughter looks a lovely person. Busy too!

    Good luck with making the deadline.

    1. Now that my quilt is almost done, I've been reading more about batting and the quilting process - figures, right?!!! Anyway, I used 100% cotton, Warm & Natural 'needlepunched' brand, and from what I've read, the needlepunched 100% cotton batting enables your fabrics to cling to it better than other types of batting, so that may be why my method is working well for me.... so far! Thank you for stopping by Sarah Liz! I'm looking forward to getting back to garment sewing soon - probably after our trip - I miss it.

  4. Wow you certainly have a mammoth task. Its going to be a lovely quilt. I like the idea of making quilts for love ones with so much time going into making them it's like giving a lot of love and a big hug

  5. Happy Birthday to your daughter!! Your quilt is beautiful. I have done a table runner on the machine but didn't think the single bed quilt would fit between. I have a Kenmore. An old one but I love it. Nancy

    1. Thank you Nancy! You'll be fine putting together a quilt on your Kenmore. You just need to roll it up on the end to go through the machine, (I actually roll up both sides while I work it through my machine as it is easier to 'hold' on to). Anyway, it'll work for you. Your table runners are beautiful!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa