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Quilting in the RV [Mar. 8th, 2010|08:14 am]
catlinye_maker
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It was a quiet week last week in Natchez State Park. I’ve been working on the baby quilts and not much else. It’s been cold; Friday was the first day it was nice enough to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. The cell signal there was barely enough to get email, so J’s been going down to another site closer to the road to get his work done. On Saturday we moved to Vicksburg, MS, where the connectivity is much improved, and found a very nice quilt shop (Stitch and Frame) which had the perfect flannel for backing for the baby quilts (depending on prewash shrinkage I may need to edge the backing but that’s ok) along with friendly staff with good advice.

I’ve been learning some of the tricks which will make it easier to quilt in the RV. My layout space is the couch and the bed. At the house I have a full sized design wall, in the RV the bed suffices. For the first of these two baby quilts, I laid out the pieces on a sheet spread on the bed. When the arrangement was done, I worked for a while taking pieces off the bed two at a time, sewing and replacing them. That was fine, until we wanted to go to sleep. The sheet was folded over the loose pieces and carried down to the couch. Some of the shapes drifted and had to be replaced, not too bad. No, the problem came when Mister Guy decided to attack the sheet covering HIS couch! When we got up in the morning things were pretty rumpled. Got everything back in place and after a while, whoops, back comes the cat. This time J was playing with him on top of the folded sheet. After a few minutes he turns to me and says: “All those quilt pieces aren’t in here anymore, right?” “Wrong,” says I, but by then it was too late. I could only laugh as I watched small pink and green squares fly into the air. Only one piece was really lost, and I found it later on after taking everything off the couch and searching.

For the next quilt I again laid the sheet out on the bed. Mister Guy and Mercedes both wanted to ‘help’, and they were quite miffed when I shooed them out of the room and blocked the door. The sliding door between bedroom and living area has a gap at the bottom which is plenty of room for a cat to go under. Fortunately, the bolsters which were made to block the bedroom slide openings when we travel are just the right size to block that opening and hold the door closed. Once everything was arranged, again I started sewing from the bed. This time, though, I pinned most of the pieces down to the sheet for security. Last time, realigning them over and over meant some were out of place and I had some trouble with matching seams; that wasn’t going to happen this time. But I ran out of pins before I ran out of quilt.

Once again the bolsters came to my rescue. Both of them end to end were wider than the laid out quilt. We carefully rolled the sheet with the loose pieces tightly around the bolsters and carried the bundle downstairs to the couch. They just fit the seat of the couch. Last night the bolsters remained undisturbed, and this morning it was easy to unroll just enough of the sheet to work on the bottom squares of the quilt. I am unrolling as I go and rolling everything back up when I take a break. It’s working great! The pieces occasionally stick to the underside of the sheet but are easily gently brushed down into place. Everything’s lined up just so, shipshape and Bristol fashion.

This is a great method, and I’ll definitely use it again. Obviously full-sized quilts will need to be done in sections to fit on the couch, but they have to be laid out in sections on the bed/design surface anyway.

These quilts are moving right along, thanks to the weekly (more or less) progress reports for Design Wall Mondays. Head on over to read up on what everyone else is working on.  Judy L is working on the same basic block that I am; must be a good one, there are three of us doing variants of this!
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Comments:
From: jeansophie
2010-03-08 04:14 pm (UTC)

Improvisational Quilting

You have brought a new meaning to "improvisational quilting" with your inventiveness . . . reading about it made me think there ought to be a book about quilting on the road . . .
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[User Picture]From: catlinye_maker
2010-03-08 04:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Improvisational Quilting

Too small a market, methinks. :) Though I know several quilters who work on the road, thinking about it. It's basically quilting in small spaces, anyone with limited room has similar issues.
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