The next challenge

After I finish the Lilly quilt the next challenge will be this quilt top.


It doesn’t belong to me but I love it!  This belongs to Bill Volkening

His collection of New York Beauty quilts has gained much attention and been recently featured in Quiltmania magazine #100  There is a six-page feature called “Collecting New York Beauty Quilts”  The collection was on exhibition last summer at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textile…and there is a book due next year as well as an exhibition in France.

This quilt top fits into the category, not exactly a New York Beauty as you find it in a reference book but a variation made up by the quilter.

To see some more traditional New York Beauty Quilts Visit here



Newer quilts are also often called New York Beauty but are set without the sashing …the common thread is the spikey arcs.  Anyway I am going to hand quilt this so It can be included in the show and book.

Why is it a challenge?

It is NOT flat!  I don’t know if you can see it in the picture but it pretty distorted and “bumpy”.





If you look at the sashing you can see that much of it is very curvy



I have to give it a good pressing and then see how to proceed.  My goal here is not to remake it.  I want to keep it true to the original quilters intent. If I do it right it will look like the quilting was done at the same time as the top.

The last few quilts I did in the Baptist fan pattern also had some real issues of distortion and I was able to hide them by distracting the eye with the curved lines….they make the less than straight lines look straight because of the contrast.



I think that I will do the same for this one.

It has some very cool fabrics in it. (click to enlarge)

Teddy says I have to finish this one first


and as you know he is in charge!

I will post all about it when I get started.

Happy Quilting


38 thoughts on “The next challenge

  1. I once heard a wise quilter say, “It’ll quilt down!” (hope it will)

  2. Siobhan says:

    ah yes..the “it will quilt out” mantra!” Repeated many times with a few good (or not good) bottles of wine and it will all work out just fine!

  3. Pam G. says:

    Your next project looks very challenging. Can’t wait to see updates. Good you have Teddy to keep you on task (lol).

  4. sara says:

    I sometimes have to remind my customers that I am a quilter, not a magician when it comes to wonky quilt tops! But if anyone can do it, it’s you!
    I read that article on Bill and he has some amazing quilts!
    Can’t wait for the book to be published! How great that your hand will be in on the project! You might have to go to France, you know…. I can just see Teddy with a little French beret!

    • timquilts says:

      he does have a great collection! and not only NY beauty quilts…he has some very significant historical quilts….

      Im not sure Teddy is ready to travel to france….

  5. Prairie Quilter/Nebraska says:

    What a fantastic quilt top! If fabric could talk…
    I just see all those seams to quilt through! I don’t think I’d be up to it, but I’m so glad you are taking on this challenge. I have no doubt it will be spectacular when you are finished.

  6. Billie Farley says:

    I really do want to see how you solve the “wave” problem.

  7. Love th fabric choices by the maker. I am looking forward to watching you solve toe “wave” problem with your quilting. May the Force be with you, Tim!

  8. Victoria says:

    Loveit!!!!! So when you safety pin it in place and place it in the hoop and stretch it out will this help with the distorted areas?

  9. Actually, I can almost hear the maker pushing forward in construction while muttering, “It will quilt out, I’m sure!”

  10. lorieast says:

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this! It IS a great quilt…Bill’s got some beauties! (Sorry, pun not intended.)

    • timquilts says:

      he sure does…there is another one after this…but I will hold off showing it until I finish this one

      • lorieast says:

        Well….ok. But I’m probably going to pout about it,
        Just kidding, of course. They’re all fun!

      • If you got my 2011 “Beauty Secrets” catalogue, there’s a picture. It’s out of print now, though, because it included some of the romanticized ideas I have been tossing out of the mix. It’s scrappy with blue and yellow on white, and if you were in Paducah the one time I was there maybe you saw it in person?

      • lorieast says:

        Bill, as usual, I was a day late and a dollar short! Or something…:/

  11. audrey says:

    What a great quilt top! LOVE the eccentric off-placement to the arcs. I think one of the main reasons I enjoy your work so much is that fact that you don’t insist on ‘perfect’ quilt tops. This one is going to be so much fun to see when it’s finished. Best of luck to you in the doing.:)

  12. Eileen Mele says:

    Thanks for the email. What a wonderful quilt you get to quilt! You will help make a masrerpiece out of this top. Bill knows your work! Good luck, and I know you will be sharing the progress. Is your dog ready for Spring?! Have a good weekend,Tim.

    • timquilts says:

      thanks!…Im really looking forward to working on it….I need twice as many days in the week to get everything done that I want!!!…but he needs this sooner than later for the show and book…so It will get done
      we are all ready for spring!!!!

  13. Ginney says:

    Your new one will be a challenge to quilt but it is very pretty!

  14. John says:

    Don’t forget about our friend – Steam – when you iron. It solved a lot of problems with customer quilts when I was machine quilting for others. Not the same I know, but a good shot of steam can certainly reduce some of the puffiness. Now if it only worked on my wrinkles.

    • timquilts says:

      LOL John you aren’t wrinkled, perhaps a little twisted but in a good way…..
      I am planning to use a lot of stem!! I just hate ironing but sometimes it is necessary 😉

  15. Betsy Koss says:

    Love your advise on handling bias in the old tops, Tim. I’ve pulled out an old top to quilt and have that very issue with it. Thanks

  16. […] This is the quilt I wrote about here […]

  17. Annette Johnston says:

    Tim, once again I’m writing to thank you for putting this valuable information out into the world for others to learn by. Its information like this that passes from quilter to quilter without ever making it into a book, thus getting lost. You are such a treasure! Thank you.

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks!…..maybe some day I can compile a bunch of blog posts into a book….but for now I am going to keep blogging 🙂

      • A lot of folks publish with Schiffer, they review manuscripts all the time, could be worth a try. As soon as you’re able to carve out time to write a book, I’m sure you’ll have a bestseller! 🙂

      • timquilts says:

        If everyone who reads the blog buys a book it could be….I continue to be amazed at how many readers I have…I really do appreciate every one!


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