Some Big Stitch Quilting

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I started hand quilting the top I made over the weekend.  I am using #8 Finca Perle cotton thread and a Big Stitch needle.  I used purple backing fabric and Hobbs Tuscany Cotton batting

I started in the center of the quilt and using the edge of the hoop as a guide I quilted a circle and then kept going around making a spiraling circle.

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There is about an inch of space between rows but I am not measuring anything for this quilt.    The piecing is rather random and I didn’t want the quilting to be “perfect” …I want some irregularity which I think fits better with the top.

The hoop is 22 inches across so the circles are quite large.

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It is hard to quilt right up to the edge of the hoop so there is a space along the outside edge.

The circles will then overlap a bit as I add more.

Here you can see how the second circle overlaps the first.

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and the next overlaps the first two

 

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I have had questions about Big Stitch quilting.   You may find some rules for big stitch quilting if do a Google search but I don’t do “rules”.  For me there is no correct stitch count or spacing to be concerned with.   If you like the way it looks it is correct.  One way to look at it is that since the thread is much larger (thicker) than normal hand quilting thread you will need to use a much larger needle to get it threaded.   Bigger thread and bigger needle naturally makes for bigger stitches but it might be better described as “Big Thread” quilting.   On some quilts I have done 8 or 9 stitches per inch and this one is more like 5.  for me the size of the stitch is determined by how I want it to look.

So back to the quilt.  Here is what I have done so far.

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here is the back

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(don’t worry about those wrinkles on the back….I almost never press the backing first….after it is quilted and washed and dried you wont see them)

It goes pretty fast, but don’t get hung up on speed.   Relax and make stitches that you like the look of no matter how fast or slow they happen.    If you like the look of more uniform stitching go ahead and mark the top.  for a more “relaxed” look go ahead and do it by eye.

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I hope you give it a try.

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

quilt top in an afternoon

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I decided to take a break from hand quilting and foundation paper piecing today and make a quilt top.

Sometimes it is fun to make something different and fast.   I purchased a bundle of fat quarters at the Grand Rapids AQS show

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The one on the left is what I used.

No pattern here just cutting and sewing.

I started by stacking up 7 of the fat quarters and trimming them even.

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Next I cut it into thirds using a rotary cutter…I cut curves (gentle curves are easy to machine piece)

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It is hard to tell from the picture but there are 7 layers of fabric here.

Next I rearranged the pieces so the colors alternate

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And sewed them together

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I stacked them up again and then cut them again

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Next I rearranged the fabrics again

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and sewed them together

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Now I cut them apart in thirds again the opposite direction…this time with straight lines

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rearrange those pieces again

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sew them together

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and then I did it all over again with 7 more fat quarters and then trimmed them all to a uniform size

and then sewed them all together

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finished size is about 57 inches square…I have some purple fabric that I will use for backing and binding and I will hand quilt it.   I think I will use black thread.

This was a fun and fast project!

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

 

The Thinker

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Teddy has been thinking about this quilt……I think he is trying to calculate how much more work it will be to finish it.

He doesn’t know this one will be a wall hanging and he won’t be able to sit on it when it is done.

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I have about 1/4 of it finished.

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I started work on the Batik Project.

Batik plan

since there are so many long skinny points on this I am going to paper foundation piece it.  I printed up a pile of patterns.

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I don’t do Paper piecing very often so I am very slow!  but it does make for much greater accuracy than I would get by cutting the pieces with templates and then trying not to stretch out all those points.

I did a test block with the textured cotton fabrics I got at AQS

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it worked out so I changed to the batik and have one block done

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and only 99 to go.

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

Batik project

Batik plan

I have yet another new project in the planning stage.   This one will use Batik Fabrics.

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They are so cool.   Lots of variety

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My camera is not doing them justice , the colors are really much brighter.

They are from Lelia and Co. Fabric and Design and are 100% cotton and 100% handmade and available in their Etsy Shop  The pictures there are much better.

I am prewashing them all now and while they are in the wash I started playing with some ideas for a quilt layout (I used the center of the last quilt and made some changes)

Batik plan

I did not scan the fabrics yet to get an accurate mock-up but here is the start of the plan just using some fabrics out of the EQ program.

I’m sure there will be a few changes before I get it all ready to go but I really like it so far.

I will of course hand quilt it when I finish the piecing.

Happy Quilting

Tim

More hand quilting

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I am getting close to 1/4 done on the snowflake quilt.  I am working on the corner.

In order to get the quilt in the hoop and be able to quilt the edge and corner I pin towels to the edges of the quilt so that The square corner fits into the round hoop.  A towel works better than plain fabric because it is thicker and keeps the quilt from slipping in the hoop.

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I am making a grid for the outside edge

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And the grid will be filled in

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Here it is out of the hoop ….the quilt gets somewhat creased and wrinkled from the hoop but it will all flatten out nicely once it is done and blocked.

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Lots more to go!

Happy Quilting

Tim

Learning Curve

I recently purchased Electric Quilt 7 software and I have been trying to learn all it can do.  While the software can do a lot it does need some user input and I think I am still at the bottom of the learning curve.

Often when I make a quilt I am asked for a pattern.  I have not been a pattern person.  I just sort of make it up as I go but I thought I would give it a try.

Last weekend at AQS in Grand Rapids I purchased a bundle of fat quarters.

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I scanned the fabrics and imported into the program and started to play with layout.

Here is one I came up with.

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I am not sure I will actually make this quilt but It is fun to play with ideas.

Still working on hand quilting various projects….here is the snowflake quilt

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Teddy says HI

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Happy Quilting

Tim

Sunday updates

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I made a bit of progress on the snowflake quilt.

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I spent the day Saturday at the AQS  show in Grand Rapids.    I had my doubts I would ever get there.  Road construction on I-96 had traffic at a dead stop and added 2 hours to the drive from Lansing to Grand Rapids.  I got there quite late on Saturday so I didn’t have a lot of time to spend looking at everything.

Here are my quilts at the show.

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No ribbons :(  but they go to Des Moines next for the AQS show there.

I told myself I was not going to buy anything since I really don’t need any new projects.   I’m sure you know that was a silly thought.

I needed a tote bag to carry my camera and phone and glucose meter  and notebook.  And as long as I was buying that I had to get the T-shirt to match

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I had to buy some batting because I love Hobb’s Tuscany Silk and they had a great price…and why not try the cotton as well ( I have tried lots of cottons but not this one )

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And since I had a bag to carry them in I bought a few fabric bundles.

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I need to decide what to do with them but for the moment I think I will get back to hand quilting.

Happy Quilting

Tim