Big and Small

I have been working on a few different hand quilting projects.   The quilting is very different!

The Interplay quilt is using A large size 5 embroidery needle and #8 perle cotton thread. (see this post for more about the Interplay quilt)


I have a few blocks done (click pictures to enlarge)

DSCN3667 DSCN3666 DSCN3665

here is the back (which is actually a black fabric but didn’t photograph well)


I am also working on the Snowflake Quilt (see this post for more on that)


For this quilt I am using Blue 40 weight cotton Presencia thread ( I buy it here) and a #11 John James between needle.

here you can see the difference between them


I am doing a lot of filling in on the snowflake quilt.


I start at the outside of each shape and then make row after row of addition stitches until the space is filled in.  here I am starting on the hearts.


I am removing my marking lines as I go using a q-tip and water.  Once all the quilting is done the entire quilt will be soaked in plain cold water to be sure that all the making ink comes out.   The water-soluble markers (I am using a clover marker) work great but I find that spraying and dabbing does not get out all of the ink and small amounts will come back unless it is thoroughly rinsed with lost of cold water. (no soap!)

As a reminder here is the snowflake the quilt is based on.


I posted a progress picture of it on my Facebook page and as of now it has had over 11,000 views and I have had some inquiries about a pattern and instructions.   I have not done patterns before but I am planning to do one for this. (after it is finished and I am sure it is the way I want it)

So I have a question for you.   If you wanted to buy a pattern would you prefer a full-sized printed pattern with instructions or a downloadable PDF file?

I still have to finish the quilt and look into printing options and copyright info etc but I am thinking about it.

meanwhile I am also in the middle of 2 other quilts and have several others in progress as well so stay tuned for more.

Happy Quilting


43 thoughts on “Big and Small

  1. Audrey Waite says:

    I love your work and Teddy! Do you quilt for other people or are all these projects for yourself?

    • timquilts says:

      Mostly I quilt for myself….my quilts are used in lectures and trunk shows and I like to have lots to show….i have quilted for others but I am not currently taking on any more

  2. Carin says:

    Love seeing the differents between those two quilts !
    I mostly buy full-sized printed patterns and so now and then a PDF file. The only problem with PDF is that you have to watch that your printer is at no-scle when you print because otherwise you get a wrong size 😉

  3. linda says:

    I would prefer a full size printed pattern. You know it is exact before you start working on tracing the pattern to your fabric.

  4. Jan Smith says:

    Your quilting design on Interplay is fabulous. I’m curious about using an embroidery needle with perle cotton. Isn’t the tip more blunt, rather than piercing the fabric like a between, making harder going?
    Patterns involving templates or appliqué are nice to have in paper, otherwise PDF is great. That is what I prefer, to answer your question.

    • timquilts says:

      The Embroidery needles are very sharp…..tapestry needles are the blunt ones and I could never get them through all the layers….I like the larger eye on the embroidery needle for the perle cotton

  5. Kathleen Campbell says:

    Tim, I didn’t get the Interplay quilt to start-with but now I love it!!!!!
    Your choice of quiting style is perfect. Thanks for posting this quilt.

  6. Wanda says:

    Hi Tim…I think I would prefer the PDF because I think that would be easier to scale up or down for the size wanted (?). On a completely different subject, I wanted to share with you that you inspired me. I found a couple of vintage Christmas linen tablecloths at antique stores last week and I plan to make them into quilts. I can hardly wait to get started on them!

  7. Carolanne says:

    WoW Tim! You sure have a mighty talent. I admire how you can switch between styles. Glorious quilts. Last year I made a few snow flake cut outs from your earlier instructions, they got quite addictive!

    • timquilts says:

      they sure can be addictive! in December I have a house full of little paper scraps all over the place to vacuum up …glad that you had fun with them 🙂

  8. Nancy says:

    Selling instant downloadable patterns on etsy has been a breeze. I have not done any promoting so far, which would increase sales. I could not store preprinted patterns for mailing, so it is a better choice for me.

  9. Sandra Robben says:

    Since I am on the other side of the oceaan, the Netherlands, I would prefer a downloadable PDF. Much faster to get started that way. I love the concept, I did a lot of those paper doilies as a kid.

  10. katechiconi says:

    Personally, I’d prefer a paper pattern, and would be prepared to pay international postage for it. I couldn’t be bothered with the tiling and faffing about needed to print a downloadable pdf at the right size. Why not do both? That way the customer can choose.

  11. I do want this pattern and would love it as a PDF. I can create the paper paper and directions myself.

  12. Cheryl says:

    Tim-I would prefer a full sized paper pattern for a design like the snowflake so I could accurately mark it. A PDF for smaller designs.

  13. Debbie says:

    You have a real talent for choosing quilting patterns for your quilts.

  14. Ann Wiggins says:

    Love your quilting, inspiring me to get on with mine 😊 I think both ways would work if possible to do. Really only need a 1/4 of the pattern to mark fabric so not such a download problem ☺️

  15. Deborah Marshall says:

    I would buy a download able PDF. Thanks Tim, all your work is awesome! !

  16. bermudagirl says:

    Thanks so much Tim for the detailed quilting process description. Especially about the marking pen. I marked my last quilt with one of those lovely Fons and Porter chalk pencils but it must have been sitting in the sun and it just disappeared. So much for all the work of marking! I already use the blue water removing pen for my embroidered quilt labels so I think I will definitely use this in future. Especially now that I have the tip of erasing it as you go with a Q-tip.
    Thanks so much,

  17. bermudagirl says:

    Oh and regarding the pattern, that is excellent, I guess in this day and age you will have better luck selling it as a pdf (I mean you will reach much more people this way), However, it depends what market you are aiming at. I don’t know much about the market in the us for hand quilting, but when I was there, hand quilting seemed to be something only well seasoned quilters do, and so for sure they would prefer a real pattern? I don’t know. I guess that was my experience. I love hand quilting though. And I can’t wait to see the finished quilt! It is really amazing!!!

  18. Joyce Cook says:

    Love a full size pattern ! Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

  19. Rebecca says:

    You can probably tell by now I am trying to get caught up on your blog! I sure like how you are quoting the Inter Play quilt! As far as the pattern, I would not mind a PDF, as long as you did not have to worry about resizing it or anything, just print it and match up the parts. (I hope that makes sense)

  20. Heather says:

    What brand and size of needles do you use? I am using Perle cotton in sizes 8 and 10 and have been using a size 24 needle, which seems so difficult to find.

    • timquilts says:

      I never heard of a size 24 needle, generally the larger the number the smaller the needle. for example the smallest needle I have ever used is a #12 between….it is less than an inch long and the eye is so small it is nearly impossible to thread with 40 weight hand quilting thread I usually use a #11 between for normal hand quilting which is just a bit larger than a 12. For perle cotton I use a #5 embroidery needle. DMC brand, or fonz and Porter Utility quilting needles…which are actually just size 5 embroidery needles in a different package.


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