Quilting the Voile Beast

My poor quilt after being UN-quilted

I’ve heard quilters complain that the quilting blog-land is all puppies and rainbows and beautifully finished quilts.  Where is the process?  Where are the mistakes?  Well, here you go.  I’m going to be pouring blood, sweat and tears over this one.

Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt

I recently made this oh so soft Anna Maria Horner “Little Folks” voile Scrappy Trip Around the World top.  It is like butter in my hands.  I have heard that voile is a nightmare to quilt, but I thought if I spray-basted it thoroughly and did straight-line quilting with my walking foot, that I would be a-ok.  I was SO wrong!

First, it took me over an hour to spray baste.  My batting is not quite big enough (it’s hitting the edge of my quilt in places).  I thought I could fudge it, but the voile needs that bit of extra length.  I kept having to smooth it and smooth it and finally it was a nice, smooth quilt sandwich that didn’t overhang the edges of the batting, so I decided to go for it.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 9.42.00 AM

I began machine quilting diagonal lines through the squares and I got about 7 lines in, when the quilt began torquing and rumpling.  Frustrated, I packed it away for the night and went to bed.

When I did look at it again this morning, I realized that I am really NOT happy with how machine quilting looks on a voile quilt.  I think if I echoed the seams, it would look better, but the diagonal stitching lines look like sharp knife cuts and it distracts from the softness of the fabric.  It also made the quilt quite stiff.  I think I am going to have to breakdown and hand-quilt this puppy.

Does anyone have any ideas for hand-quilting something quickly (so it’s done THIS year)?  I’m thinking just some straight lines in Wonderfil Spagetti (my friend, Ramona, showed me a sample of this thread and it is SO amazing).

Til we meet again, quilt…til we meet again.


Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

24 thoughts on “Quilting the Voile Beast

  1. Your quilt is gorgeous! Contrats on this beautiful piece of work!
    And you aren’t the only one who rips out quilting or undoes assembled quilttop. It’s just that nobody likes to talk about it. You’re brave enough to be honest! 🙂

  2. Hi Janice! I’m sorry to hear about your battle. My machine doesn’t like to quilt and I can’t even change the press on the feet so I hand quilt. Most quick is to stitch lines because then you don’t have to turn the quilt around and you can use long thread. Sometimes I start to quilt every secong row and then I’ll see if it needs or if I have energy to quilt every row. You can still make diagonal lines or vertical and horizontal. Good luck, what ever you decide! x Teje

  3. Could someone please explain to me what kind of fabric voile is?? I thought voile was a loosely woven see thru fabric that we made blouses out of to be worn over a camisole.

    1. You are right! Voile is a sheer slippery material, but the new designer voiles are much thicker, not very transparent and have a very high thread count, so they are strong. Anna Maria Horner was one of the first to make hers like this, and it’s specifically for garment AND for quilt making. It makes a buttery soft, luxurious quilt. Horner talks about her voile in this blog post: http://annamariahorner.blogspot.com/2010/03/all-voile.html

  4. I don’t have any tips on handquilting, but I did want to commiserate with you a little bit because this happened to me once. I got into quilting a quilt, it wasn’t going well, but I kept going – thankfully didn’t do the whole thing before deciding that it needed to be UN-quilted. So it sat for quite a while before I had the nerve to get back at it, but eventually I did and it was an accomplishment to finally finish. Just know that I feel your pain!! Not all puppies and rainbows here. 🙂

  5. Maybe a longarmer could do it? I have hand quilted; it can be a relatively quick process. You could definitely get it done this year as long as you don’t do anything too elaborate. And yeah, I don’t really know what voile is either.

  6. Voile is just a light semi-transparent, sheer fabric that is plain weave. Plain weave looks like window screen material up close, little squares. It is usually a looser weave but the new designer voiles are a tighter weave with finer threads. This makes them buttery smooth and lovely to drape even after washing. Because they are such a light delicate fabric you are supposed to wash on delicate and hang dry. The dryer can damage or wear it out. As for hand quilting… I might want to use a smaller thread so that it goes faster vs. the 12 gauge. But I haven’t hand quilted in ages and when I did I used hand quilting thread and batting for hand quilting. Good luck! It’s beautiful.

  7. Your quilt is lovely! I’m sure handquilting would be very pretty but if the thought of messing with it is a bit too much, have you thought about just stitching in the ditch with your walking foot? Might have less of the ugly machine quilting look that the diagonal lines had. Just a thought!

  8. I agree with you, I think the hand quilting will keep the softness in the finished quilt. Machine stitching in straight lines (in any direction) is tricky -even on stable cotton fabric-once there is batting involved. You will be so happy with the finish!!! Blessings, Doreen

  9. Hand stitching will look beautiful (so appropriate for the style of the quilt), though it is a bit of a pain in terms of the time it will take (but totally worth it!). Thanks for sharing your experience with the voile – I haven’t sewn with it before and would have assumed that machine quilting was fine (made perfect sense when you explained the softness of the top and the quilting being like knife cuts).

  10. So sorry to hear this, but I am glad to see someone “real” in the quilting world. I get sick seeing quilt after perfect quilt coming out of some of these other blogs… Good luck with hand quilting, I don’t have any tips on that since I still haven’t tried it myself. Thanks for the link to the thread, I am going to have to give it a try someday!

  11. 🙁 That’s a big old stinky bummer. I have no advice, really, but just thinking about the process of hand quilting it, I would suggest NOT quilting in the ditch because you’ll have to go through many more layers of fabric than if you were to stitch in the open space of the square – cutting through each square, though. 🙁
    Maybe see if you can find some historical trip-around-the-world quilts and see how those were quilted? Maybe a Baptist Fan design would be cool? I dunno! You’ll love it when it’s done, though. 🙂

    1. I was thinking of the Baptist Fan quilting as well. I love the look of non-linear quilting on a pattern that is all angles, and it is not too difficult if you use a hoop.

  12. Oh,oh! I just used put voile backing on a quilt, and it is ready to quilt! Now I’m scared! I’m wondering if the spray baste could be part of the problem? I usually spray baste, but chickened out and pinned this one. I have absolutely no advice to offer about hand quilting, but I wish you luck and your quilt is really beautiful.

  13. Thanks for sharing this. I want to check out the thread because I am not 100% sold on Aurifil. My Bernina 820 does not like it. And, I like that you shared your troubles with the voile. I haven’t tried using it yet except for a scarf,

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