Hand Quilting the Basket of Lilies

I have one block finished on the vintage basket of lilies quilt.  I told myself before I started that I should keep it simple.  Well that doesn’t always seem to work for me….I really do like the quilting to be quite dense.  I almost never have a plan before I start…I just put the the quilt into the hoop….thread a needle and go at it…letting the quilt tell me where to go…this is what I got

It is not exactly simple but I like the way it looks…I outlined the basket and flowers then also quilted about 1/4 inch inside each petal, and echo quilted the basket, and added a 1/2″ grid to the background…on the sashing I am doing a free hand vine pattern (I didn’t have a template on hand that fit ).  I think the quilting enhances the piecing more than an overall pattern like the Baptist fans that I used for the last quilt.

Next I have to move to the next block.  I always start in the center of the quilt and work to the outside…this way if there are any puckers I can smooth them out to the edges as I go.

I added some numbers to this picture of the quilt so you can see what order I will quilt the blocks in.

basket of lilies quilting order

so the next one to quilt will be the block with the pink flowers.

It takes me a few days to do one block so this wont be a fast finish, but I am very happy with how it is looking.

Come back soon to see more.

Happy Quilting


38 thoughts on “Hand Quilting the Basket of Lilies

  1. Joan says:

    The vines are a great idea! It’s going to be just beautiful.

  2. dljolin says:

    I simply LOVE the detailed explanation of this. Perfect…..keep posting please. Did you ‘freehand’ the backround grid too? This is exactly how I start my handquilting. Start in the center and work out. Thank you again so much.

  3. Laura says:

    All the quilting looks great and enhances the pieced parts of the quilt.
    I’m glad to have you back in the blogging world: I missed hearing from you when you went silent for a couple of months!

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks Laura!….Thje last few months I really missed quilting and blogging as well, but sometimes other things get in the way and take priority…but even when Im not quilting and blogging I am thinking about it!!

  4. Ann says:

    I love the way you are quilting this. The crosshatching in the white field around the piecing is perfect for the geometric feel of the flowers. Then the vine pattern in the sashing is a nice soft counterpoint to the other quilting.

    Another great project!! Looking forward to seeing it as you go along.

  5. Nancy says:

    very nice. I sometimes believe the quilt tells us what quilting it needs, regardless of how simple we ant to keep it! Luckily you enjoy every stitch. Sometimes I get to hating the quilting, wondering why I ever made it so much work, but the result is a happy one. Your results are always happy!

    • timquilts says:

      I can relate to wondering why I made it so much work….those thoughts often happen about 2/3 of the way through a project….wht I usually do at that point is start another…and then come back to the the unfinished one in a month or so and find that I am more enthusiastic about it because I have had a break from it

  6. Victoria says:

    Off to a Beautiful start! Love the simplicity of your quilt design for this block. I LOVE hand quilting! Love your explanations too

  7. Kathleen Campbell says:

    I like the way this quilt is looking. You quilt the way I think things should be quilted. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Janine Huisjen says:

    Oh, this quilting is just right for this quilt! And with the warmer temperatures and sunshine today, it’s the perfect time to be working on a spring quilt. Have fun!

  9. Robbie Payne says:

    Your quilting just adds that much more beauty to an old pattern! Wonderful work!

  10. Annette Johnston says:

    Perfect choice of quilting, Tim. Fits with the age of the top. Love your attention to detail and your approach for the sashing. Think modern day quilters get so wrapped up using a stencil that they forget, or maybe don’t realuze, that originally quilters didn’t use stencils but rather free handed it just like you’ve just done. Thank you, once again, for being such a sharing person.

  11. Kristen says:

    Oooh, that speaks to me. Or rather Tim the Quilt-Top Whisperer spoke with the quilt top. Appropriate, elegant, beautiful.

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks…..sometimes I feel strange telling people that the top tells me how to quilt it….but it happens…as if the original maker is guiding

      • Kristen says:

        I think that your intuition, based on artistic visualization and experience, is without a question valid. And on the other extreme was that quote I sent you from a machine quilter, “the pattern was straight lines, so I chose a curved and circular pattern to quilt it.” Yeah.

  12. Machelle says:

    Beautiful Tim! glad you were listening to it. This will be gorgeous. I think it is a great idea to take a little break and come back to a project with renewed enthusiasm. I am going to try that

  13. Pam G. says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Inspires me to get my mother’s ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden’ top sandwiched & get going with the hand quilting. I wish I could bring it over & have you give some advice on it. I got bamboo batting, so hope it works well. It’s been sitting around for over 20 years waiting. I’ll let you know when I get it started.

    • timquilts says:

      Hi Pam, I love to hear that people are finishing mom and grandmas quilts!….I have one piece of advice for you. get different batting. Bamboo Is a nightmare for hand quilting…particularly the older ones (and you say you have had yours for years)…it is hard to stitch…the fibers from the batting pull through the top with the thread as you quilt, making for a fuzzy quilt, for a new hand quilter I recommend Hobb’s 80/20….80% cotton, 20% poly, inexpensive and available at most places that sell quilting fabric….it is easy to quilt, and washes up beautifully in the machine

  14. judymcneel says:

    Tim, your quilting is exquisite! I love to hand quilt. It’s so good to find others out there that are still hand quilting!

    • timquilts says:

      Thank you Judy and Welcome!…we hand quilters need to stick together!!
      If you are a facebook person we have a group for hand quilters called celebrate hand quilting, we have almsot 3,000 members now…got to https://www.facebook.com/groups/handquilting/
      it is a closed group so you will need to submit a request to the administrator…but the only requirement is a love of hand quilting
      Thanks again!!.

  15. Sara says:

    That will be one of your best! WOW!
    My mother always used narrow masking tape to crosshatch, the kind that didn’t leave residue. She was a good crosshatcher, but doesn’t quilt anymore, she’s in to knitting (age 95 next month).

    • timquilts says:

      I have used tape in the past…for some reason it didn’t occur to me to use it here but your mother was right…it is a great way to get straight lines…
      age 95… and still knitting…now that is something to aspire to!

  16. Melissa Raddetz says:

    Thanks for all of your tips and for sharing the techniques you’ve discovered that work well. You share generously (I’ve missed you) and I’m sorry that I don’t say thank you more often!

  17. Marilyn Gray says:

    Love this! I want to do one as my great grandmother died when my grandmother was only 3 years old. She left my grandmother some blocks she had done in the red and green and white. ( I am 70 so that was a loooong time ago, lol) If I am not mistaken, her blocks were either 6 inch or 8 inch….I believe they were 8 inches square. I can’t quite figure out how to piece them together. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Or if you know of a video tutorial somewhere that would be wonderful! Thanks for sharing.


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