Monday, February 17, 2014

Handquilting : 7th block

I have not made much progress on the block. I didn't have much time for quilting last week but I am going to show you what I have done so far on this block.

The inspiration comes from a basket quilt by Yoko Saito in the book "Traditional Models In Lessons" (les Modèles traditonnels en leçons) published by Quiltmania for the French translation.

I think that these concentric circles soften up the background surface of the block and go well with the medallion on the top-right hand corner.

At first, I didn't know how to trace these circles and asked Sakae on how to do it. Following her advice I have used this. There is a tiny hole in each circle so I put a needle in it, place the large circle and trace. Then I remove the circle and leave the needle and place a smaller circle and trace and go on like that for each circle. Thanks to the needle, I place every circle correctly. I mark them as I go, usually tracing four or five sets of circle at a time.


I just LOVE the effect... What do YOU think ?

I might not be back for a couple of weeks now as I have another very busy week ahead of me and the following week, I'll be in London.

Until later,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Handquilting : sixth block.

And another block is finished. I am quilting at a slow pace but make little progress everyday and the end is not that far away now.

I love the puffiness  the quilting produces.

There is a quilted flower in the middle...

and the corners are adorned with leaves.


Here is the block...

... and the quilt so far...


 I still have two large blocks to quilt, then the little border and finally the large one.

I have started quilting the background of the top right-hand corner. It's the large block with the house, the flowers in the vase and the girl's face. It is going to be the most beautiful quilted piece of this quilt, I think. Whatever my progress, I promise to show it to you next weekend, even if it is not finished as will probably be  the case because I have a very busy week coming ahead.

Happy quilting to you all ;-)
Until later,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Quilting pattern

I thought it would be nice to share with you how I work when I come to deciding and marking the quilting pattern of a specific block.

First of all, I read and read again my three quilting "bibles" which are a great source of inspiration for me as regards handquilting designs.

Then, depending on the block, I decide whether I want straight lines, curved lines , wavy lines or any other design like florals or feathers, for example.

Finally, I try to take into consideration the block itself and whether I want to accentuate the block pattern or want my quilting design to have a unique pattern and/or add something different.

For the block photographed, I wanted to have a specific design which would add some curves to the straight lines. Then, I also wanted to just accentuate the graphic pattern and give it dimension by quilting straight lines or smaller quilted triangles.

Once these decisions were taken, I chose the design in the books and used my photocopier to reduce them to the size I wanted and cut the paper out to place it on the block to get an idea of how it would look. I did the same for the leaves for the four large corner triangles.

That's when I realized that the brown outer borders were larger than the other borders and the same size as the outer borders on the second block I had quilted (the basket block). So I chose the same design which would echo the quilting made in the previous block and add some coherence and harmony to the overall quilting design.

The space I try to maintain between lines is 1.5 cm. It is easy to mark using the lines on my ruler. So that's what I did again. Just to be sure of the effect, I draw it on paper first. You will notice that I draw a vertical line right in the middle but this line will not be quilted.


Well, you now know how I decide on a quilting pattern. Hope to post the quilted result in a few days.

Until later,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Handquilting : fifth block

And the quilting goes on....

This block is more graphic and I had to play with the design of the block and the textured fabrics.

I like the way it has turned out.

I quilted straight lines   but in the opposite direction from the previous block which is just above in the quilt top.

I played a bit with the lines direction in the sahsings in the middle of the block.

 Here is an overall view of the quilted blocks.

I have been asked about my quilting tools.
I quilt using a Hinterberg floor hoop. My hoop is 22 inches which is perfect for large quilts.
I use either a Roxane thimble or a Ted Storm thumb thimble on my right hand. The Ted Storm thimble is used only when quilting away from me. I do quilt in all directions but am more at ease when quilting from right to left. Underneath the quilt, on my left hand I have a porcelain thimble which is a needle glider. This one is designed by Yoko Saito. The two rubber thimbles are very useful. The one I put on my right forefinger helps me pull the needle. The one put on my left forefinger keeps the porcelain thimble from sliding. Moreover, one size fits all thanks to the rubber thimble, which is great too!!!

I told you about the extra texture given to the block by the quilting... here is a photo that proves it.

Thank you  for following my handquilting journey for this top. I am happy to share my progress and if you want to use any ideas, please do.

January will finally end soon! I don't know why but each year, it is the same! January seems to never end ... and this is a period when I long for spring time, blooms and warmer days. The only benefit when it's cold and raining is that I have nothing else to do but quilt ;-)

Until later,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Handquilting : fourth block.

I think that the more I quilt this top the more I love it.  It is a real pleasure not only to handquilt it but to plan the quilting. I know excatly now what I will do in each block and aslo in the sashing and the borders.

The quilting makes this quilt very special, I think.

I like the wavy lines as if the wind was blowing making the flowers bend on one side.

I try to strike the right balance between wavy lines and straight lines both in the block and between the blocks to have some kind of harmony.

Do you like it so far ?

I do not think I will finish the quilt for my daughter's birthday in February as planned... but she told me this weekend that she doesn't mind and really prefers me to finish it well rather than rush. I will not delay though and will keep quilting it on a daily basis.

Until later,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Machine piecing.

This morning, I wanted to try something different from what I ususally do : machine piecing. Just to see if I liked it and whether I could achieve a nice star block with my sewing machine.

I have followed Edyta Sitar's instructions from the book Scrappy Firework Quilts and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Have I  enjoyed the process? Well, I don't know yet because it was my first attempt so it wasn't as fun as handpiecing but I am sure that with practise it could be fun.

I'd better stop talking and show you the block.

Any ideas on what to do with this block ? How about making three more identical blocks and making a small wall quilt ? It's an 11-inch block.

Until later,

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Handquilting : third block

I  have dared to be a little bit more creative on this block.

I made wavy lines for the cat.

Then, concentric circles for the water jug and floating stems for the background.

For the milk jug, I used straight lines with the same space measurement to get the right balance with the previous blocks.

I do know now,  what I will do in all the other blocks to achieve something I like. Making the top is often seen as the most creative part in a quilt but I think that quilting can also be creative.

Have a great Sunday,

Until later,