Thinking

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I have spent the day hand quilting the Luxury Essentials quilt.

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and while I am quilting I have time to think.   (Teddy thinks too, but I suspect we think about different things. )

I have been thinking and thinking about what I will make with the Bella Suede bundle of fabric.

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I have a few dozen Ideas of quilts that I think would be great with these fabrics so it will be hard to make up my mind. I suspect I won’t know for sure until I actually start.  I really hardly ever start with a fully developed plan.

I hope to have the current quilt finished in the next week or so, and getting close to the end of one always makes me get excited about the next one.

I already have a dozen or more in progress but I can’t keep from thinking about more.   So many ideas, so many dreams, so much fun!

The Holiday Season gets a little hectic and we tend to get stressed and frantic but quilting is so calming and such a great stress relief.    I hope you can take some time for yourself in the coming days to relax and quilt and think  and dream.

Happy quilting
Tim

Learning from the past

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I have hand quilted many vintage and antique quilt tops.  I have close to 300 old tops in my collection.  I have looked at and worked on a lot of quilts.  These old quilts can teach us much.    Today I am working on hand quilting this top that I made.

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I realize that my perspective has been influenced by all the old tops I work on.    As I work at hand quilting this one I see that some of my seams aren’t meeting up perfectly.  Click on the picture blow to enlarge it and you can see that some of the seams don’t line up perfectly…I circled them in yellow.

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Perfectionists and quilt police might need to cover their ears now.   It doesn’t bother me at all!   It is not perfect and I am totally OK with that.  All of the antique tops I have worked on have many imperfections and I don’t think it detracts from them at all.

Look at how uneven the borders are on this

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They are irregular in width and quilt wavy the quilt is not square and I still think it looks great.

Quilt makers in the past didn’t have a million specialty rulers, rotary cutters, die cutters, computer programs, fancy machines, detailed patterns, and shelves full of quilting books.   They had a basic machine (or just a needle and thread) and cardboard templates, scissors, and a pencil.   They made beautiful quilts!  Beautiful but NOT perfect.   I am not saying that we should not try to be accurate, or that we shouldn’t use new technology, what I am saying is that sometimes it is a good idea to look at the big picture.   The world isn’t going to end if all your points don’t match.  The quilt police are not coming to your house to arrest you if one side of your quilt is 1/2′ longer than the other.  If you ran out of fabric and had to piece 2 chunks together to make one it will not make it less beautiful.

Look at this antique top

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I think it will make a great quilt, but it is not perfect…..look at the piecing

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chopped of points and 2 fabrics joined to make one square, and it still works.

here is one I quilted a few years ago

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if you look closer you can see the imperfections in the piecing

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Each block was made by a different person and they are all different so none of them line up correctly.   This does not make it a failed quilt….it makes it unique.

That is a pretty extreme example of points not matching and those I make aren’t that off, but it illustrates the point.   If it isn’t perfect it is not a disaster.

So do your best and use all the techniques you have learned but if a point gets cut off or a seam doesn’t line up perfectly don’t lose sleep over it, our quilting past is full of imperfect quilts and they are no less beautiful or treasured because of it.

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

Progress

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I have made some hand quilting progress.  I have all but the outside row finished on the Luxury Essentials quilt.

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It might be hard to see the quilting in the picture so here is the back

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Teddy approves

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I added a clear finish to my new Grace Hoop

It really soaked it up and I need to add another coat or 2.

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I have been doing some baking for Christmas gifts

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The real challenge is to not eat them all ;)

Back to work

Happy Quilting

Tim

Zipper Quilt Top

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I couldn’t resist this one.   I purchased this top from eBay.  It was made by the seller’s grandmother sometime between 1968 and 1978 which certainly fits with the fact that it is made of polyester double-knit fabric.

I can hear several groans out there.   Who would ever want a polyester quilt!?    Believe it or not there is an emerging group of people who collect polyester quilts.   Keep in mind that the quilting community in the 70’s was very different from today.  There were not many shops that specialized in quilting and fabric shops were chock full of polyester fabrics. ( I wasn’t a fabric buyer at the time but remember going to Minnesota Fabrics with my mom)     Quilters used what was available and the bonus to us today is that the fabric will likely last for another hundred years without any fading or deterioration. Collectors are sort of nostalgic for the era of their youth so for people of a certain age these quilts are cool.    I do plan to hand quilt it, and I plan to use polyester batting.   I might even try to find polyester backing fabric.

I don’t know what the maker would have called the pattern but it looks like zippers to me.

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It is a very simple pattern.   The pieces are 3 inches by 8 inches.

It does have a few places where the seams need repair

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And there are plenty of thread tails to trim off of the back

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but because it is polyester double-knit there is no raveling.

Teddy couldn’t stop looking at the fabric

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He is not sure what to make of it.

I think he will approve once it is done…..or perhaps not since he is not old enough to remember polyester.

I have been snowflake obsessed and I think this last batch has got it out of my system for a while.

I added another set of 10 patterns to my Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/timquilts

here are a few
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I bought the finish for the quilt frame and I want to get that done….and I have a few other holiday projects in mind for the weekend…..but likely I will be quilting away and wonder where the weekend went.   So many quilts so little time.

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

Quilting Begins

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I started to hand quilt the Luxury Essentials quilt.

I started by layering and pin basting

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It might be hard to see in the picture but I placed a pin at the corner of each block. This is many less pins than most would recommend.  I find that a lot of pins just get in the way and the hoop will keep the layers together and smooth.

I am using perle cotton thread.

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And keeping the quilting very simple

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I didn’t want an elaborate quilting design to compete with the fabrics and the lines of the top

Teddy likes the colors

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I have a bunch of other projects going which I will be posting about soon but I wanted to get the quilting on this one started.

Back to work

Happy Quilting

Tim

Tree Skirt Project

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Yesterday I posted about a tree skirt that I started.
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after I got the top finished I realized that I needed batting to finish it…and there was NO WAY I would go to the store on Black Friday.   I put up the tree instead.   I will add the skirt when it is finished.

The tree is all white…..Icicles and birds

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I lost count of the number of icicles , there are 4 different kinds and I think the total number is something like a bazillion.

It is hard to get a good picture of a tree.  Low light photography is not my thing, but here are some pictures (click pictures to enlarge)

I decided to forget going to the store for batting.  I had a package of batting that I cut down (I should be able to get 3 more tree skirts out of it and I have the fabric to do it).   I was planning to machine quilt it but decided to hand quilt it with perle cotton thread.

I am a bit past the half way point.

I hope to finish the quilting today ….and maybe also do the binding.    When it is all done I will write-up the instructions….and perhaps make a few more.

next time I hope to have finished product pictures….and have the Luxury Essentials  quilt started

Happy Quilting

Tim

 

Sidetracked

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I started the morning with the intention of having my Tree up and decorated by now.    Then I remembered some fabric I bought in the spring.    Holiday Jelly roll.    20 strips.    So I say to myself….self you can whip up a new tree shirt in a few hours.   Self is always over confident ;)

Well I started by arranging the strips in groups of 10 alternating light and dark

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sew them together and repeat with the other 10 strips

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cut into wedges and arrange

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sew together the wedges

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The open end will close together with ties when it is done

Teddy wanted to give it the sit test

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I am going to stop now and put up the tree.   I will get the skirt layered and quilted after that.

Happy Quilting

Tim