The next on the pile to be quilted is this one


I added a border using the pale green ombre that I used in the top.   The top measures 83″ x 73″

I used silk Batting.


Here is the top ready to baste (the color on the picture is sort of off)


I baste with safety pins and use very few, one in the corner of each block.


Sometimes people get worried when they see one of my quilts basted because it doesn’t look perfectly flat.  I adjust the layers as I quilt and I have never had a pucker.   It takes me about 30 minutes to pin baste a quilt this way.  I think I use less pins with every new quilt.   Once the quilt is in the hoop I adjust if needed and the hoop is what holds the layers together and smooth.

I used a really great rayon Batik for the backing (the same used in the top)


I plan to use black thread, size 12 perle cotton, for the quilting.

It is nice to do larger quilting for a break from some of the others with regular quilting thread.

Here are some pictures of the snowflake quilt with a zillion small stitches (click pictures to enlarge)

More updates on the other quilts in progress coming soon

Happy Quilting



Another Finish


I worked on the quilt for Teddy over the weekend and I finished it Sunday night.

see the post about the quilting here.

Since the hand quilting was very simple It went pretty fast.  Teddy has a favorite toy, a fake dog bone, so I used that for the border design.


Here it is all quilted and before binding.  It is made from the bandanas he gets from the groomer and I kept the piecing simple so they would still look like what they are.    I also kept the quilting on the bandanas very simple, just outlining the pieces .


Here it is after binding.


I used the same fabric for the binding and the backing


here he is trying it out


He seems to like it


Here are a bunch of pictures ….

Finished it just in time for the cold fall weather… has been going down to the 30’s and 40’s at night.

Now back to work on my pile of UFO’s

Happy Quilting



Teddy quilt started


I started hand quilting the Teddy quilt.

Teddy is an on top of the quilt guy so I wanted the quilt to be very thick and puffy.   I used an extra loft poly batting.


The backing is a dog bone pattern


As always I pin basted the layers together (very few pins works best for me)


I am hand quilting it with black perle cotton thread #12 and a size 5 embroidery needle. A note about perle cotton thread; it is different than embroidery floss.    Embroidery floss is not a good choice for hand quilting.  The individual strands are not as strong and are not twisted together like they are in perle cotton thread.


I am not marking this.  I am just quilting around the pieces and then adding 3 more rows by eye .


You can see Teddy on the far left checking my work.


He asked if he could sit on it yet


I got his approval.

I did make a few more border pieces for the Batik Quilt.


It wont be too much longer before I get the top finished (I hope)

As promised here are a few pictures from the Basic floral design class I teach. (click pictures to enlarge)

Happy Quilting


11 quilts so far

I just realized that  Tomorrow is the first day of October.

I have set myself a goal of 12 quilts hand quilted per year.    so I thought with only 3 months to go I should see how I am doing.

Here are those I finished so far this year….I think I got them all….click pictures to enlarge

Teddy went to the groomer today so he is looking nice and clean and dressed for fall…here is what I sometimes see when I look up from a quilt I am working on.


see the bone on the floor on the right….his new favorite toy.   Whenever he hears a noise or a car drives down the street he gets his bone to “protect it” then he spends some time chewing on it once he knows it is safe

Back to work….

Happy Quilting


Foundation piecing


I am working on the Batik project and I thought it might be a good time to talk about foundation piecing.

Paper foundation piecing is very popular these days but it is nothing new.    This vintage top used Montgomery Ward catalog pages as the paper foundation


2012_0406wards-paper0001 2012_0406wards-paper0010

Older quilts often used Muslin as the foundation…this partially finished quilt used muslin foundation.


Here is the back of one of the pieces.


When using fabric as the foundation it is left on….paper is removed

These vintage string star blocks were paper foundation pieced but the paper was removed after they were made.


I am using paper and I remove the paper when the block is finished.   Some people will leave the paper on until the entire top is done.

Today I am working on the borders

here is the plan that I designed on the computer

Batik plan

you can see that the border has a lot of long narrow points.   the advantage of foundation piecing is that the foundation prevents the fabric from stretching and becoming distorted as it is sewn.   This makes for much greater accuracy.  In my vintage and antique quilts I really don’t worry too much about accuracy, but for this quilt I thought I would try to be as accurate as I can.

I start by printing the pattern.   Computers make quilting so much easier!   In the past the patterns would need to be traced onto the paper.

I hate to waste fabric and one of the drawbacks of foundation paper piecing is that there is a lot of waste from all the bits that are trimmed of.    Since all the pieces in the border blocks are the same size I was able to pr-cut the pieces.  I had to do some figuring to get the size right and it worked out that if I cut 2.5 inch strips and then cut them in half on the diagonal I have the pieces the right size with very little waste.




next I arrange the pieces in the order I plan to sew them


I pin the pieces to the paper before I sew.   I line up the piece 1/4 inch beyond the line (1/4 inch seam allowance) and pin in place


The fabric goes on the back of the paper so that it fits into A1  The next piece is pinned on so that after it is sewn on and pressed it will cover the next area (A2)


sew on the line then press open….this is how it looks on the finished side


Now I trim the piece in A2 so that there is 1/4 inch seam allowance on the long side by folding the paper up to the line and trimming the overhang…and then pin the next piece in place



sew that one down and press it open


and then fold the paper back to the line


and trim to 1/4 inch


fold the paper back to flat and add the next piece


sew and press


fold back and trim


keep adding new pieces


until they are all added


Looks like a bit of a mess until it is trimmed.    It is important in the block that I did not sew beyond the line at the top (where the large purple piece will be added)


I fold back the paper at that line


and trim that overhanging fabric to 1/4 inch and then fold back the paper


Now I can add that big piece…make sure it fits


pin in place


sew and press open


now flip it over


trim all the edges


and it is done.  here are a few of them finished in place


I partially made one block before I realized I was doing it wrong.  I had reversed the order of the pieces….see how it doesn’t fit with the others


the points go the wrong direction.   It can be easy to get it wrong because the sewing is all done from the back of the paper.

I should also mention that I turn the stitch length to almost as short as I can for this.   The smaller stitch length gives the paper more holes  so it is easier to rip the paper off…it breaks easily along the stitch lines with all those little holes.