New top

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I started making a quilt top about a year ago.    I was planning to do it with spiderweb blocks.

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I made a few and it just didn’t feel right so in December (while cleaning up to decorate) I packed it away.   I started again on Sunday with a fresh perspective.   Over the course of the year I have expanded my view of quilts.   I still love the very traditional, but I also appreciate the less formal improvisational style.  When an idea strikes I need to go with it right away so that is what I did.

Using the same fabrics I did the piecing like I did in the last quilt.

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I incorporated the blocks I had already finished into the top

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Now i like it.   I might add a border

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without a border it is 58 x 68 inches

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Teddy looks good in(on) these colors

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The pictures without Teddy are a truer color ….I took the Teddy pictures without a flash so he eyes wouldn’t get spots.

I was very excited to get a new book today (I have been waiting for months for it to come out) Unconventional & Unexpected  American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe

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I have one of his other books “The American Quilt:  A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950″  and this book completes the story.    People often view quilting as nonexistent between the late 40’s and the quilt revival of the 70’s.  This book shows that this was not the case.  The nearly 150 quilts in this book are surprisingly improvisational, much like Jazz is to music .   The notes are the same but they are played differently.    It is a beautiful book and I highly recommend it.

Now that I have satisfied my improvisational desires for a few days I am back to work on some traditional hand quilting.

Happy Quilting

Tim

Big Thread Throw Quilt Finished

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I made the top on Aug 31…..see that post here http://timquilts.com/2014/08/31/quilt-top-in-an-afternoon/ 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

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but the thread is.

here is one with much less quilting and larger stitches

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but the same size thread.

and another

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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)

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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

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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

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

 

 

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

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

Home stretch

I am on the home stretch with the Interplay quilt.

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When I get near the end on a quilt it becomes difficult for me to stop until it is done.   This past weekend I worked on it exclusively and I have only 2 corners left to go.

Teddy will be glad when I am done.

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he gets a bit bored watching me quilt.

But he loves to get the chance to try out a quilt…..here he is testing the back.

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He approved it.  You can the unquilted corners better from the back.  The 2 corners on the left.

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Back to work

Next time I hope to have pictures of the finished quilt.

I got new glasses on Saturday.   Bifocals …and I can actually see to quilt.  The old pair was not nearly strong enough so I was using drugstore readers.  Nice to not have to keep switching between different glasses.

 

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

 

Piecing and hand quilting

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I have some more of the hand quilting done on the Interplay Quilt.

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The quilting thread is #8 perle cotton in black and a green color that I chose to blend with the prints.

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The green doesn’t detract from the prints, and the black stands out well against the stripes and dots.

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Here is a view of the back.

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My Friend Carla (see her blog here) made me this Schnauzer Scissor Case.

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Carla also has a Schnauzer rescue dog.  His name is Max and  he is quite a handsome boy.

I got some of the piecing done on the signature block project.  here it is on the “design floor”.

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I wont make into a full-sized quilt with just the signature blocks so I might add more blank blocks to make it a larger quilt.   I will make that decision once I get this part finished.

Back to work for me!

Happy Quilting

Tim

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