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Part 2: the Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio - making quilting mistakes

I have been slowly, but diligently working on the Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio. In my last post I discussed how the fabric was pulling while quilting. I am still having that same issue, but now in a different way! This lead me to a discovery: when quilting, it does matter which fabric is face-up when you are physically sewing ('quilting', I'm learning, is really just sewing multiple pieces of fabric together using some sort of geometric design). I'll explain more about my discovery in a moment, but first...

In my last post, I said I'd share a picture of the final quilted jacket back. Here it is with the outside of the jacket - the grey felted wool - face-up. As I mentioned in my last post, I had sewn the vertical quilting lines from the bottom up and so you can see the flannel plaid lining material poking up from underneath. When I sewed the quilting lines, I sewed them with the grey wool outer fabric facing down and the flannel lining fabric facing up.

Here's a view with the lining fabric face-up:

Despite the quilting lines having stretched the flannel fabric up a bit, it really did not distort or pull the flannel pattern too much.

Now, take a look at what happened to the flannel lining fabric when I sewed the quilting lines with the plaid lining fabric face-down:

If you look at the curved neck area at the top of the photo, you can see my sewing machine really pulled down the flannel lining fabric. When I sewed the quilting line, I sewed from the bottom edge up to the neck line. The edge of the flannel is no longer aligned with the edge of the batting and outer lining. This might mean I have to sew a deeper seam allowance there so you can't see the black batting poking through.

Here's close-ups and more examples of what I'm referring to:

After pondering over why this happened, I realized:

1) After quilting with the plaid fabric face-up for the back jacket piece, I decided to draw my quilting lines on the grey felted wool fabric (and therefore sew the quilting lines with the grey fabric face-up) on the other pieces. It was easier to draw the lines on the wool fabric because it has less stretch than the flannel fabric, and easier to sew along the quilting lines since the chalk was more contrasted with the grey fabric.

2) Since it has more stretch than the wool, the flannel lining fabric was getting pulled and distorted by the little teeth (apparently referred to as 'feed dogs' - see here. Thanks, Martha) that feed the fabric between the presser foot and the plate.

Luckily, the flannel fabric is the lining of the jacket, so not too many people will see it and I will be the most annoyed by it.

So, if you are going to sew the Tamarack Jacket, I suggest:

Recommendation #1: when quilting, make sure you quilt with the same fabric layer facing up for each of the pattern pieces.

Recommendation #2: if you are sewing fabrics together and one has more stretch than the other, make sure the fabric with more stretch is facing up when sewing.

Thanks for reading!

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