Sunday Update

I have made a few more of the Batik Blocks…..only 91 to go now :)


Working on some more hand quilting

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I plan to make a pattern for this one as soon as I finish it.   I want to fine tune some of the details before I do that.


Now I need to get to work in the garden…..fall is starting and I need to start some clean up …pictures of the garden next time

Happy Quilting


More Piecing


A few weeks ago I posted about a signature quilt I started

I am using a reproduction line of fabric by Barbara Brackman …see her post here

I finished the blocks and pieced them together


I had to make some adjustments. The squares with the signatures are 6 inches ….using a jelly roll to make the nine patches makes a 6 1/2 inch block. I had to trim them down to 6 inches to fit them with the signature blocks. The result is that not everything lines up perfectly, however I really do like the look.

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The signature blocks were white.   I felt like it was too bright for the reproduction fabrics so I Tea Dyed them.  Some of the blocks took the Tea Dye better than others so you can see a few darker blocks mixed in.   I don’t mind it at all.  I have a few vintage Signature tops and quilts and the blocks do not all match….different fabrics used by each person so the variation in this is fine with me.


I did add several more blocks without signatures to make the quilt larger.   I will add a border.   This fabric was leftover from a previous quilt and it was handy so put it around the top to see it with a border.


I think I will see if I have enough blue to do the border, I think a darker color will fit it better.

It will be a smallish quilt….about 60″ x 55″  I have backing and batting for it already. Now all I need to do is add the border and hand quilt it.

For now I am going to work on some of the Batik blocks   and some of the hand quilting projects in progress.

Happy Quilting


Big Thread Throw Quilt Finished


I made the top on Aug 31…..see that post here and I spent the last 4 days hand quilting it.   Sounds really fast (and it was fast to make the top)  but it actually took about 60 hours total to make this quilt.    At an hour a day that would be 2 months.

I used Hobbs Tuscany Cotton Batting.   It was the first time I have used it and I love it!    Easy to quilt, soft, great drape, I will definitely use it again.

The had quilting was done with #8 perle cotton thread.  I used black because I wanted it to show.

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This would not be my choice for every quilt but for this one I think it was the right choice.    I did big overlapping circles because I wanted a contrast with the linear look of the top, I think it adds movement.

I did not do any marking ….I quilted it by eye….and it is NOT perfect…..and that was intentional.  I didn’t think perfect/uniform/symmetrical would fit with the free form piecing of the top.

I am calling this “Big Thread” quilting because I think it more accurately describes it.    The Term “Big Stitch” implies that there needs to be a specific size of stitch to qualify as “Big” and I honestly believe that the size of the stitch or stitches per inch is not what is important.   As long as the stitches look the way you want them to look they are the right size.   I used perle cotton thread and it is much thicker/bigger than normal hand quilting thread so “Big Thread” describes it.

For comparison here is a quilt I made using #8 perle cotton thread

321 quilt

the stitches aren’t necessarily big

321 AGS 027

but the thread is.

here is one with much less quilting and larger stitches


but the same size thread.

and another

tie dye quilting 005

all different stitch density and stitch size but all with “Big Thread”

Here is the quilt before binding

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And the finished quilt after binding and washing and drying (in the machine)


The angle of the picture distorts the shape a bit.   it is actually square ( about 56″ x 56″) after washing a drying.

here is the back


and some more pictures (click pictures to enlarge)


Now back to work on one (or many) of the other projects.    But I have some ideas for a variation on this design……..I might need to do that soon

Happy Quilting



Some Big Stitch Quilting


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.


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.


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.


and the next overlaps the first two



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.


here is the back



(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.


I hope you give it a try.

Happy Quilting



quilt top in an afternoon


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


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.


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


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


And sewed them together


I stacked them up again and then cut them again


Next I rearranged the fabrics again


and sewed them together


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


rearrange those pieces again


sew them together


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


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




The Thinker


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.


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.


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


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


and only 99 to go.

Happy Quilting



Batik project

Batik plan

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


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