Re: bunching while quilting. Here is what I do: When I pin baste I make sure that I secure all three layers well before pinning and I secure by pulling the fabric a bit taut going from opposite ends and corners first. I make sure my pins are about a fist size away from each other (so a lot of pins!). I always quilt from the middle out. As you are quilting, you need to have your hands on either side of the area being quilted to keep things flat. If I am FMQ'ing I do small areas at a time. If I am straight line quilting then I decrease the pressure of the foot a bit so that I glide along the top of the fabric rather than dragging along the top. Hope that helps! Here is a video that shows how to baste a quilt (I don't use tape, I use big binder clips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsLOor4QCrk
She actually tells you to quilt along the edges first...I've never tried that ;)
Caribousmom Thanks for the suggestion about pulling the fabric taut. I think that is definitely part of my problem! I'll try again making sure to keep it a bit tight and see if that prevents the issue. :-)
I do as Caribousmom does and have even purchased some clamps from Home Depot to use on my table as it is a bit thick for the binder clips. It helps immensely. I still get some bunching from time to time but it is typivally insignifcant and when washed and dried not evident. What type of batting are you using as that can also make a difference in how well the fabric clings to batting as you are basting. I never use spray as I cannot tolerate smells at all and do not have a good space to use it in anyway. As far as other issues...I personally find stitching in the ditch (SITD) very difficult to do and do well. I know Allpatchedup just mentioned a special foot you can buy to help with this but I do not own one at this point. I do straight line quilting as only know how to do FMQ on smaller projects and I also like straight line. But what I do is have the edge of my walking foot follow along the seams I have sewn. This gives you a pretty straight stich and again once washed and dried you truly cannot see if the stitching is not perfectly straight. I hope that helps.
Here is a thought on the brown (and it is never the same looking at pictures as when there) but if you feel the brown is too dark I would most likely go with white sashing. I have become a big fan of white and love how it works in quilts. I do not do quilts with a lot of negative space but love how it can make fabrics pop. I would use the white as sashing and then most likely add some borders...from looking at your pictures I would add a narrow border of the dark brown to frame out the white sashing and then do a wider border of the pink and brown print. That is just my thoughts and you may hate them! Good luck and remember we are always harder on ourselves than others are...
Thanks for the great suggestions about tips for avoiding bunching. And thanks also for the design advice. That is a great idea. :-)
Well, I can only add listen to these two ladies cause they know how to quilt. Plus, do not give up.