Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tiny bit of handquilting

I've gotten a start on handquilting the two quilts that came home basted last week. The first is my daughter's heart quilt. We still haven't settled on a name for it. Christine, any flashes of inspiration? :)

The chain pattern in the purple border is "Avalon" from Quiltmaker magazine's "Quilting Motifs, Volume I" book. Making a template from this was a real treat for me. For the first time ever I didn't have to resize anything to make it fit where I wanted. I also don't have to stretch or contract the motif at any point to make the pattern repeats fit. This one fit perfectly straight out of the book! I must say it made it easier to choose the motif, because the other two I also liked needed fussing with. (Disregard the large grid. That's just the machine basting.)

I've quilted 2 more hearts and the adjoining border areas since I took this picture. That's a total of 3 out of the 48 blocks in the quilt, so I still have a way to go.

There has been more progress on the astro quilt quilting, as it is quilted much farther apart in a much less detailed design. It is difficult to see the quilting in the picture, due to a combination of poor lighting and black thread on black background. I didn't want contrasting thread to add to the busy look of the background. You can see it a bit better on the back in the picture below if you click on it to enlarge it. The poor lighting really washed out the green in the picture though. Again, disregard the basted grid.

My daughter said it would be OK to work on this instead of hers since she already had a quilt and dad didn't. Frankly, I think she took pity on me because I kept having to re-mark quilting lines that were fading before they disappeared altogether. I marked this one all over before basting so I could see the whole effect, and make sure I balanced the number and size of the circles and where they overlapped. With my daughter's "permission" I am now trying to get all these quilted before I have to squint and mark a third time. I can go back and quilt the stars later.

I bought "White and Natural" batting for the astro quilt because the label on the batting claimed it could be quilted as far apart as 10 inches. I'm a little closer than that, but too far apart for the Hobbs 20/80 batting I've been using in most quilts. The White and Natural is thin and lets me make smaller more even stitches, something I hadn't considered in batting before. I wish I'd put it in my daughter's quilt as well, because with its flannel backing it has extra thickness and I'm getting larger less consistent stitches. What batting do you prefer and why?


  1. The heart quilt is so cute, love the pinks and purples. The border quilting looks great. I have only tried using a template to quilt in the border once and it needed some adjusting. The corners didn't completely work out, but I liked the rest of the border when I tried it. The Astro quilt is so bright and colorful. It is going to be great, too. I am still learning about batting. I usually use what I find on sale, usually the Mountain Mist stuff from JoAnn's. There was a cotton one I used on one baby quilt that really felt great during the quilting process and made the finished quilt feel so soft and cuddly. The problem I had with it was it left lint on everything. I finally used some tape to pick it all up off of the finished quilt.

    It is nice your daughter gave you permission to work on the Astro quilt first. How cute is she! Have fun with your projects!

  2. Your quilting is very, very nice! Such tiny stitches! Wish I could do that! I like Warm (or White) and Natural for some projects, and Hobbs 80/20 for others. Of course, I haven't done much quilting by hand lately. I want to try, but get scared everytime; my hands just don't work like they used to! I've got to make some decisions (and progress) soon on some method! ---"Love"

  3. The quilts are looking great Joanne. I have Quilting Motifs Vol 7. I like their quilting motifs alot. Cheers, Ann :-)

  4. How do you have the patience to sit and hand quilt? I am amazed by you. I just can't do that. And your stitches look fantastisc, too!

  5. I love hand quilted stuff;) I think every quillter should at least try it. But, on the other hand, I think the advances that have been made on machine quilting have encouraged more people to engage in quilting than would have otherwise considering the lack of time most people suffer from.
    Keep up the great work;)
    Happy Quilting!!


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