Hand quilting update


I am making hand quilting progress on several quilts.   Here is the applique kit quilt.    (click pictures to enlarge)

I will post pictures of some of the others soon :)

String Pieced Melons


I have a new pile of vintage blocks.   They are string pieced melons, And were foundation pieced on newspaper.  The newspaper has been removed but I can still see traces of it.

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They are in need of a pressing but are in great shape.


I have no way of knowing exactly how the maker intended to use them but I imagine that they were to be used in melon patch blocks.

melon patch
If I set them on a black background the colors brighten up


I think red would be great as well as black and many other colors.  Teddy likes it with black.


I have enough for a full-sized quilt.   I will need to make a template for the setting pieces and look at my fabric stash to see what I have enough of.

When I was working on the Teddy Quilt I started one on a mottled fabric.


I worked on that one the last few days

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I didn’t want them to be the same so I made some changes to the drawing and did not add a bandanna to this one.   I used black YLI hand quilting thread on this. I used the same binding fabric as the last one


and cream-colored backing


here the Two are side by side

2 teddys

Here are a few others I am working on (click pictures to enlarge)

Happy Quilting



Cartoon Teddy Quilt Finished


I finished the quilting on the Cartoon Teddy quilt for the Quilt Alliance contest.   This is how I imagine Teddy would look if he were to be a cartoon character.

Here it is before binding


I used a very thick poly batting to give him some definition, it shows better on the back.


I used the same fabric for the binding as I did for his bandanna


And gray for the backing


Here is the post about how I drew it out and got started with the embroidery http://timquilts.com/2015/02/13/animals-we-love/

and here is the post about the quilting http://timquilts.com/2015/02/14/quilting-teddy/

I am going to have to make another so I have one to keep because all entries become a donation to the Quilt Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and after a national exhibition tour, will be auctioned to benefit the mission of the organization.

I did draw out another on a different fabric and I think I will finish that one to keep.


Teddy almost always has a bandanna on, here he is yesterday.


Last night it came untied and I didn’t notice it was missing until I looked at the pictures.

Here he is proudly posing with the finished quilt.


He has his ears down in the picture, but often his ears are up, like in the quilt, when he is listening or thinking.


I still need to add a hanging sleeve and label but that will wait until tomorrow .

Now back to work on some of the quilts in the big pile :)

Happy quilting




Quilting Teddy


Yesterday (see post here) I posted about a new quilt I am doing for the Quilt Alliance .   The theme for the contest is Animals We Love.

This is how it looked last night.


I did a blanket stitch to applique the bandanna.


I finished the embroidery this morning.


the next step is to mark the quilting.   I am doing a 1/2″ grid on the diagonal.   First I marked the edges to make the 16″ square, next I drew diagonal lines corner to corner, and then drew lines measuring 1/2″ from each of the diagonals. I use a #2 mechanical pencil.  I have not had any problems with it washing out.


Next I put the batting down, it is a mottled gray.  Then batting, I am using I leftover poly scrap.  Then I pin on the top


Now to quilt it.   I considered black thread but I didn’t want it to distract from the design so I am using white YLI 40 wt hand quilting thread.   I am using a size 10 sharp Bohin needle. I am starting with the grid but I will also do some quilting on Teddy.

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Happy Quilting

Animals We Love


I started a new quilt today.  I don’t really need a new project but this one is special.    It is for Animals We Love, the 9th Annual Quilt Alliance Contest

Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our American quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation’s diverse peoples and their communities.

In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals:

  • to promote the understanding of the quilt as an important American grassroots art form
  • to make information about quilts available to a broad public
  • to educate Americans about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost

I am a big fan of all they do for quilting and I really love the theme for this year’s quilt contest

The theme is “Animals We Love”  and quilts are to be 16 inches square.    Here is more information http://www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/projects/galleries/Animals%20We%20Love/guidelines/

Of course I have to make a Teddy quilt.   I have plans to some day make a big whole cloth with Teddy as the subject, but for this little quilt I don’t think it would work so I am doing embroidery.

First I marked off 16 inches square and then drew the picture


Then I went over it with a black marker to darken it


I need to dark because to transfer it to the fabric I place the fabric on top and trace, the dark lines show through the fabric.

I tried it on a blotchy fabric to see how it looks


It is hard to see the lines in the picture but they are there.  I decided that plain white was better. (but I will probably finish both)


I started the embroidery


When I finish that I will hand quilt it. I might need to add a bandana applique.

Teddy is watching the progress

Happy Quilting




I posted pictures of a vintage quilt top a few days ago


and pointed out how the center is a problem


How does that happen?

The pieces are all diamonds

No matter how you cut a diamond there will be bias edges.   Bias edges stretch when you sew them and that distorts the pieces.    Multiply the little bit off that they all become by all the seams in the top and you have a problem.    Where 6 of them all come together in the center it makes a big bump, or quilt volcano.

How can this be fixed?   Here is one way

Press the top and work from the outside edges in to the center.  Every top will be off in a different way.  For this one all the fullness comes out if I press it all to the center right down the middle.


For some quilts I would have to do this in  the opposite direction as well.  This one has quite a large pleat down the center after pressing and the rest of the top is pretty flat.

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If I pin it in place


I can turn it over and see what it looks like.

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That makes the center star somewhat distorted.   I think some people would not be able to stand it.    We quilters do get rather obsessed with perfection and live in fear of the judgment of the quilt police.

Is there a way to make it perfect?   I could take it apart and start over being careful on the bias and pressing and checking frequently as I go.   Starch is also a help on bias edges to prevent stretch.    The question is do I want to do that.    I could also take out the 6 seams that join the center star, essentially separating the top into 6 wedges.  Then press and block the pieces and trim to uniform sizes and then sew them back together.

I don’t mind the resulting wonky star in the center, I think it adds character and keeps all the work the original maker put into it intact .   It also addresses the issue of making the top flat so that it can be quilted.  I have not stitched the center yet, it is still pinned.   I want to be sure this is how I want to do it before I sew it.  Stay tuned to see what I end up doing.

I did a bit of hand quilting on the applique top to see how the quilting on the edges will look (click pictures to enlarge)

I have a lecture on Monday evening http://www.lighthousequilters.org/  and I am writing the lecture and selecting which quilts to bring. It is hard to decide because there is something to learn from every quilt (when I stop learning I think I will be done quilting).    If we had several hours I would bring them all!   I love to talk about quilts ;)

Happy Quilting


Double line quilting


I finished adding the second line of hand quilting to the center

Here it is before


and after


That was just what it needed.

here is the back


most of the rest is just more straight lines so it should not take forever to finish but I do want to take a break from it and get going on some of the others

Happy Quilting