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?