Celebrate Hand Quilting Blog Hop

I’m excited to be one of the stops on Sunday, Day 7, the final day, of the Celebrate Hand Quilting Blog Hop!! If you click the button below, you can go to the home page and find the links to the previous 6 days in addition to day 7. Lots of hand quilting goodness to drool over!

Celebrate Hand Quilting

And while my preferred method of quilting is by hand, most of the blogs I follow are machine quilting blogs, so I was really happy to hook up with this group. Many of them are especially active on Facebook, making a quick question turn into a festive afternoon of learning! There are now 614 members of this group and while it is growing every day, we are still trying to spread the word. It feels like hand quilting is possibly making a comeback. I think people are starting to feel that more, and faster, isn’t necessarily better. Then with social media we are getting bombarded with ads, fabric options, everyone competing… It stresses me out! Maybe I am feeling like hand quilting is coming back because I am now hanging out with more hand-quilters who prefer the, slow and steady, heirloom pace? I don’t know but I’d like to think the tide is shifting.

I really struggled with what to share today because I generally share as I go. If you click the quilts link at the top, you can see my progression. If I’ve blogged about the quilt then clicking on it should take you to a link, or to Flickr, then to a link, or if nothing happens, I still have technological catching up to do…

I made my first quilt around 1978/79, but I didn’t begin the push to more challenging quilts until about 1993. Those earlier quilting years are such a blur with raising 3 kids and doing sewing and alterations for the public, working outside the home a few different jobs, volunteering, but mostly just doing the mom thing. I didn’t photograph my quilts back then, either.  Apparently I need pictures to burn memories into this brain of mine….

My first really challenging quilt project was a queen sized Double Wedding Ring  quilt (1993). We continue to sleep under it every night. Adding and subtracting a thin fleece blanket, as needed.

Double Wedding Ring quiltAnd I still kick myself for the colors I chose, I am so not a pinky mauve person, never was, but I think it was just what was available, at the time, in our local, small quilt shop. And after years and years, I finally flipped it over to where it looks more like a whole cloth quilt and I am loving it even more!!

Muslin back quilt

I marvel at just how much quilting I put into it. Each of the strips of color are only about 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and I outline quilted, all the way around, inside each one of them. Obviously I learned a few lessons here. It was enough to get all my crescent shapes to lie flat…. But constantly stitching through the seam allowances had to have been a bear, but I guess I didn’t know any better, I don’t remember complaining. I used a heavy cotton batting and they were not nearly as smooth then as they are now. But it makes a wonderful heavy quilt to sleep under, I love the heft. I am a lap quilter, no frame or hoop and I do remember wrangling this heavy thing for probably a year, it was definitely a fixture on the arm of the sofa through many seasons.

Fast forward to the evolution of my style. My Oakshott batik, trees quilt, that some of you advised me on, through the Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook group, is about as far from the Double Wedding Ring as could be in style, color, texture and even size.

Grow*ing* Benzie charity quilt

I previously talked about this one here and here. I was advised to try wool batting, so I did. I like it! It is puffy, but thin, reminds me of a poly batting. But then again, I’m not putting heavy quilting on it to “calm” it down and that could be why it feels like it could float away. The wool is extremely easy to quilt, but then I’ve recently been using heavy fabrics like  Kona, as opposed to this, which feels like a lawn, a little fragile feeling, but lovely.

Oakshott batik tree quilt

You all recommended I try big stitch quilting and I did. My stitches are about 3/8″ with a 1/8″ space between them while using #16, dark gray Prevencia Finca Perle cotton. I really do love the look, but it just isn’t enough quilting for my taste. You can barely make out the quilting above, but maybe you can see where I tried doing some fill in stitching? I tried several different things, removing most of them. It’s interesting how you figure out what you do like by seeing what you don’t.

Grow"ing" Benzie quilt

Now I’m thinking about adding some “wind” to the background using a traditional quilting thread, orange is what I used, because I have it and the backing is orange. The color doesn’t really show when doing small stitches.

I continue to brainstorm… I Googled images for wind and came up several different pictures that look like the weatherman’s map. In the above picture you can hardly make out the big stitch quilting, partly because it is only finished on about half of it, LOL! It doesn’t stand out as much as create a shadow. I tried some stitch in the ditch quilting on it, but it actually made the trees look smaller. This way allows the fabric to roll over the edges of the branches and just look defined more than anything. I think I will go ahead and finish big stitching it, I’m getting close to finished with that, then freehand quilt some more wind on it, then I need to make a final decision!

This big stitch quilting is hard. Harder than I thought. Consistent stitching is not easy, it shows inconsistancy as if under a magnifying glass. And it just doesn’t seem right to intentionally make such big stitches. On top of that, using contrasting thread!

Ay Yi Yi… My brain is tired of thinking about it.

If you enjoy looking at hand quilted quilts the current Bloggers’ Quilt Festival has a hand quilted category and you still have time to enter. Check it out!

In other news…

Enjoying a celebratory weekend here, heading out to dinner tonight and super excited to spend the day with both my girls tomorrow!!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Make it a great day!

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21 Responses to Celebrate Hand Quilting Blog Hop

  1. mtetar says:

    Lori, that mauve and punky is the way to go looks beautiful with that particular design/pattern. All your work are gorgeous btw. Be Blessed, Mtetar

    Like

  2. Your quilts are always eye candy when I get to see them! Haven’t tried the big stitch quilting yet (at least not intentionally, lol) so learning about your progress with it is very interesting.

    Like

  3. knitnkwilt says:

    I like both looks, the traditional mauve and the modern bright, and in general I like it all. I just shift criteria with what I happen to be admiring at the moment. I love the wind addition to the tree quilt, especially the way it is in the orange block, not so much the way it is in the purple block.

    Like

  4. audrey says:

    Love how you turned your quilt over to enjoy the whole cloth look! I’ll have to remember that in the future because I can’t see myself ever having the patience to actually STITCH a whole cloth quilt! I think your ‘wind’ looks great with your trees. I haven’t tried the wool batting yet with my hand quilting, but I keep hearing really great things about it.:)

    Like

  5. citricsugar says:

    The wedding ring quilt is absolutely beautiful.

    Also, let me know when you’re finished that incredible tree quilt so that I can send you my address. :-)

    Like

  6. Teje says:

    Hi Lori! I love your quilt with trees! Colours are fantastic! Adding some wind to the quilting, makes it very live! x Teje

    Like

  7. Kathi says:

    I am pondering a new quilt for our bed and can’t decide style or color… my first quilt lays on our bed now and we love it but it isn’t as strong as the quilts I make now and I want to preserve it. Thanks for sharing your artsy quilting… I love your big stitches and I really enjoy using the 12 perle cotton I quilt with sometimes.. have a blessed day! Thanks again for sharing with us… and what a cute couple you make! Kathi from Fla

    Like

  8. Julie Fukuda says:

    Thanks for your delightful post. It has been wonderful to find other hand quilters out there for inspiration,advice, and support,

    Like

  9. averyclaire says:

    Absolutely LOVE your colorful tree quilt. And the choice of quilting is lovely. I agree, it takes a bit of getting used to when one switches over to big stitch quilting…but fun and quick. Hand quilting is so relaxing!

    Like

  10. Carla says:

    Love your bed quilt, I love heavily quilted quilts. I am going to try big stitching for the first time on a scrap quilt. I think it will be hard to make large consistent stitches, but I am hoping to find a rhythm. The quilt top has been in the closet way to long, it needs to come to life. Love the tree quilt, so creative.

    Like

  11. Jill says:

    Hello fellow Michigan hand quilter. Thanks for sharing your early wedding ring quilt. You made a lovely choice of prints that were available at the time. Love all the quilt stitches that give it the comfy scrunchy look.

    Like

  12. Karen says:

    our color choices change over the years don’t they – love the quilting – looks great.

    Like

  13. rosa says:

    Hi,from Spain handquilter.
    Your quilt and handquilt are just beautiful.It was nice meet others handquilter and I`m enjoying the blog hop.Thanks for sharing your prijects!!

    Like

  14. It’s so much fun seeing what other quilters are working on! I remember the pink age in quilting, too….and country blue (my favorite). Your batik trees are wonderful!!

    Like

  15. Linda says:

    Your quilts are beautiful and love the hand quilting. I have a double wedding ring almost done but will not put that much quilting into it!!

    Like

  16. Ann-Mari says:

    Love your dobbelweddinging, really beautiful handquilting,

    Like

  17. textilediva says:

    I loved your post – especially when you talked about being overwhelmed at the amount and frequency of choices quilters now have. It gives me a headache sometimes as well. Though I machine piece/quilt some projects, my overall preference, hands down, is to hand piece/quilt. There is a tranquile rhythm to quilting by hand that just doesn’t happen with the buzz of a machine.
    McKenna
    textilediva.blogspot.com.au

    Like

    • sewfrench says:

      Thank you for the validation of my feelings, McKenna. I’m not sure everyone “gets” it, but I do think hand quilters do. I usually machine piece my quilts, not all, but most, and I am about ready to hand piece another one. I think it’s time. Need a pattern and idea first!

      Like

  18. Dawn says:

    Love your hand quilting! You have made a lovely collections of quilts. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  19. Nita says:

    You have a lovely site. Both the double wedding-ring and the batik are very inspiring!

    Like

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