quilting it out

I have been working on  hand quilting (using big stitches) the vintage top that I posted about  on Sunday. (see that here https://timquilts.com/2013/06/16/another-start/).

What I didn’t mention in that post is how un-flat the top really is.  There are a lot of bumps and puckers in the piecing and it takes a different approach to “quilt it out”

Here is what I have done so far.

string tie 6-19-13 001

If you look closer you can see some of the issues

string tie 6-19-13 002 string tie 6-19-13 003

I have my own way to deal with this.  I like to take care of it in the quilting rather than try to make the top perfect.  It is a vintage top and I really don’t want to make any big changes to it.

The first thing that is important is NOT to baste it very heavily which is probably contrary to what most people will tell you.  I put in very few pins to hold it together because I want to readjust the backing every time I move the hoop.  I start in the center and put the quilt in the hoop and then take out the pins that are in the hooped area, then I tighten up the backing separately from the top, from the back of the hoop then from the top I pull and tug the top in several direction to try to get the hooped area to be “flatish”  it wont ever be perfect but I can manipulate it block at a time and get it pretty close. When I have it how I want it I will sometimes add some pins to keep it in place as a quilt.

The results are pretty good

string tie 6-19-13 004 string tie 6-19-13 005 string tie 6-19-13 006

I am not trying for perfection here.  This is not intended to be anything more than a pretty quilt that is warm and useable…its not headed to a show and the quilt police will no have to worry about it so if I cant get out all the puckers I an not going to worry about it.

If you look at the back you can see how loosely the layers are pin basted together

string tie 6-19-13 007 string tie 6-19-13 008 string tie 6-19-13 009

No need to be scared of it, just work from the center out to the edges and you wont get any puckers in the backing even if you cant get them all out of the front.

Sometimes having the quilt inspector sit in it helps to press out the bumps.

string tie 6-19-13 011

I have a lot of quilting to go on this but I think I am going to like it!

Happy Quilting


26 thoughts on “quilting it out

  1. Pam says:

    Tim – your work inspires me! This project is going to be so beautiful when it’s done. Love your supervisor – he’s adorable! I had a schnauzer years ago & Teddy makes me want another one.
    Have a great day & Happy Quilting!

  2. mehitabel says:

    So much easier and quicker to quilt out unevenness by hand–this wouldn’t work at all as machine quilting! I do both types of quilting, though as arthritis takes over my hands more and more, I’m saving the hand quilting for really special pieces! It makes me happy to see your work! And of course, your quilting supervisor is adorable! (So’s mine, in his own way…)

    • timquilts says:

      that is for sure…..I cant imagine being able to do it with machine quilting….that has its own set of requirements and I think one of them is a really flat and well basted top

  3. audrey says:

    It’s looking great, on the back and the front! I had to do that same kind of adjusting with the very my first couple hand quilting projects! Thankfully now I can sew my quilt tops a bit more accurately.:)

    • timquilts says:

      accurate sewing does make for much easier quilting!…..but glad that you stuck with it for the first few….once they are done no one has to know th t there were issues! I do so many project with vintage tops and pieces that I never have gotten very good at accurate sewing because I am always having to fudge it around inaccurate parts made by someone else…I think that has made me a bit lax in trying to be a better piecer

  4. Kathi says:

    thanks for showing the back on your quilt! It looks stupendous front and back… isn’t it nice to quilt that as it wants instead of by a grid or template! Love that… never would a longarm be able to do the work you are doing 🙂 That is what I love about handquilting !! ;D

  5. ashley828 says:

    I’m glad someone else has a quilt inspector of German descent ^_^ Looking great so far!!

  6. Sharon Eshlaman says:

    It is looking wonderful. I really like seeing the back as that’s another quilt in itself with the stitching. You may want to think about giving Mr. Teddy a raise as he seems to be doing a fine job as well. Or maybe add to his fringe benefit package – a bone or two maybe 🙂

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks….I always like the back of a quilt almost as much as the front. Teddy gets lots of bonuses …. his favorite treat is celery …he gets that rather than dog treats… but he loves to have a big bone to run around with …he is very protective of that and gets very worried when it is not where he can see it

      • Sharon Eshlaman says:

        Now that’s really interesting that Teddy’s treat is celery. I never would have guessed. However, we buy bags and bags of carrots for our dog. Carrots are her treats. She’s got food allergies so to keep her from ending up at the vet, we feed her vension, duck and rabbit. Gets pretty expensive and my kids keep telling me she’s treated better than they were….. Enjoy the beautiful day.

      • timquilts says:

        might be expensive but I know its worth it!
        Teddy likes carrots too, but celery is the main treat

  7. Gaye Ingram says:

    Thanks for the hints! And yes, I too must remark Teddy’s able help.

  8. Mardee Dowdy says:

    Oh, I am so enjoying your blog and photos! The top you’re working here does not appeal to me at all, but with each new view of the quilt back, I am loving the quilted design! I have an identical sad needing repair twin size tops that have languished in the closet for several years. I do believe you’re going to inspire some courage to make some repairs and finally quilt them. Thank you.

  9. You’re so patient and clever!! Although I do think Teddy’s sitting probably does the trick!

  10. Michelle says:

    I love this quilt! It’s lumps and imperfections are what makes it so unique and full of character. You’ve got a great eye for quilt tops. The odd shapes and solid colors in this one reminds me of a Gee’s Bend quilt. And I love how you’re quilting it with each section similar, but just a little bit different. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Victoria says:

    Thanks! Tim for such great advice on smoothing out the bumps when hand quilting. I can hardly wait to safety pin my next quilt project. The back truly is just as beautiful as the front.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s