YEHHHHHHHHHH Yesterday, Memorial Day, 2010, I started quilting the Amazing Flower Quilt. It has taken me since last Thursday, four days ago, to get it hand basted for quilting. I baste every 6" to be sure that the lining and batting don't shift. I use polyester batting, Hobbs Poly-Down quilt bat, for hand quilting. It is truly the best. It is bonded and is so uniformally put together that it is great to use to sandwich the quilt. I bought it at a Hobby Lobby in Jacksonville, however, I'm sure you can find it at one of the quilt shops in the area. I used machine basting pins to secure the outside edges, first, and pin basted it all over, and removed the pins as I was basting. The pins catch the quilting thread so they need to be removed.
As you can see from the picture, I use a round 14" hoop for my quilting of any size quilt. I use Gutterman's Quilting thread in a natural color. I began in the middle of the quilt, with the Dogwood block, as it is in the center of the quilt.
I use a washable blue fine line marker to mark my quilting lines. I am "Shadow quilting" the flower petals, by quilting 1/4" away from the petal (after having quilted as close as possible next to the dogwood petal, pulling the thread very tight!) ALWAYS pull the thread tight to make the quilting show up.
After the first row of Shadow Quilting is done, use the blue marker and draw a line 1/4" away from the last one, etc. until you reach the bottom of the block. I always quilt 1/4" or 1/8" away from the sashing just to give the finishing line for the shadow quilting. I use tape to mark this line so it is very straight above the sashing. Study the picture very carefully before starting to quilt.
The blue marker MUST BE REMOVED as soon as you quit quilting for a session. I keep a little bowl of DISTILLED WATER and a Q-tip ready to removed the blue pen immediately! I let it dry overnight. REGULAR TAP WATER will not work for removing these pens. The blue will come back and sometimes the salt in the water will make the blue permanent! Also, Heat sets the blue pen and will not every come off, so keep your quilt out of the sun or away from very bright lights that get warm, while you are using the blue pens.
I've been to quilt shows and found blue pens on people's quilts. Not a good thing! A quilt with blue pen markings showing NEVER won any prizes!