The charity quilt is locked and loaded and will be ready to send to Lisa for the binding in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
There are many things to think about when preparing to machine quilt.......I'm specifically speaking here to longarm quilting but I'll bet much of this carries over to quilting on a domestic machine.
This quilt has a pieced back which had to be taken into consideration when loading. After studying the fabric, I also noticed that there was some directionality to it......in other words I arranged the front so that there was a top and a bottom according to the direction of the majority of seahorse and mermaid blocks (there are still some upside down seahorses).
The next consideration was thread......weight and color. I typically use cotton or polyester wrapped cotton thread. There are different schools of thought on this. One school says if using cotton fabric, use cotton thread and the second says polyester wrapped cotton will hold up better. I'm using a cotton thread, 30 TEX meaning it is slightly heavier. Color of thread is also important. Rule of thumb-thread color should match the sashing. I also use the same thread in the bobbin as I do on the top.
Unlike a domestic machine, a longarm machine requires frequent tension adjustments. In the first photo you can see my blue tension playground. Before beginning every quilt I test the tension in the waste area......I had a particularly challenging tension today....some days are like that I guess.
I chose a simple meandering design for a couple of different reasons.......the main reason is that it is my hope that this quilt receives lots of use and love and the meander is my "go to" design for that purpose.
I applaud everyone's efforts for a lovely finish!