We are in the home stretch now! Of course, this is also where the quilt making can get a little tricky and very frustrating. These last steps will require a lot of patience. By now you have you quilt top completed and pinned to the batting and backing in a 'quilt sandwich' and you are ready to start quilting through the center.
One of the easiest ways to do the actual quilting is what's called 'stitch in the ditch.' This basically means you will be stitching next to (in the ditch) your block seams. I personally love this method because I have a very inexpensive sewing machine and straight lines are easier to do than trying to do fancy curves and designs.
Unroll your quilt on one side, just to the center seam. I prefer to start stitching in the center of the quilt and work my way out. The rolled part will stay under the throat of the machine as you sew a straight line down the center seam.
The biggest key here is to go slow. You may want to drop your dog (feeder) feet so you can guide the quilt through the throat and past the needle. I found that it helped me to leave my feet up - they aided in moving the material through a little more smoothly with less effort on my part.
For this week, take your time and sew all the straight seams between each of the 36 blocks. On the back, you will notice a grid pattern take shape. Once you have all the vertical seams sewn, rotate the quilt one quarter turn. This will make the vertical stitching you just finished horizontal. Roll half of the quilt and repeat the process. Make sure you also do the seam connecting the border to the squares.
That's it for this week. Again, TAKE YOUR TIME! Keep a slow, steady pace as you move the quilt through the machine and before you know it, it will be done.
Now is when you should be getting really excited! Next week will be the final step and once you've completed it, you'll have a beautiful quilt you can be proud of. Until then....
Happy Crafting All!