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Monday, September 24, 2012

Leaf time

by Rose Marie Castonguay

When the leaves start turning colours around my town, that is the time I gather up all my leaf quilts for display in our home.  Here are all of my leaf quilts that have been made in previous years.  All are hand quilted!

This was my first leaf quilt that I designed back in 2004.  Quilt title:  An Autumn Sky.  Oh the things I would do differently if ever making another one of these.
 A close-up of my hand quilting.
A swap quilt that was sent to dear Gudrun (she doesn't blog anymore) in Iceland.   Quilt title:  Nature's Art.  All leaves were fussy cut, appliqued on and then buttonholed stitched.
Another swap quilt called Canadian Maple Leaves.  The idea for this quilt came from my An Autumn Sky quilt that you see at the top of this post.  This quilt now resides in Belgium.
I love this little quilt so much that I just had to have a mug made from the photo.  Guess what mug I'm using for my morning coffee these days?
Had fun playing around with EQ software and designed Just Leaves.
Turning Leaves was made for a niece and is on my 'to do' list because I want one too!  Quiltmaker is selling this pattern on their website if anyone is interested in making their own.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finally Getting Around to the Monkey Wrench

By:  Audrey Easter

Monkey Wrench Quilt
I finished this quilt top several years ago and for some reason I'm just barely getting to the hand quilting.  Other quilt tops seemed more pressing (or exciting) and this one kept languishing away in the drawer.  All the brown and black fabric in the sashing was given to me by a lady who was trying to thin out her stash.  Don't you just love it when that happens!  There is also fabric in this quilt that my mother bought for me on her genealogy  trip to South Carolina, which I think was very sweet of her.  After all the time I spent ignoring this quilt, I am amazed at how much fun I'm having now that I'm actually doing the hand quilting on it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Little Here, Little There

By: Karen

One day my Joseph’s Coat quilt will be finished.  I tend to work on it in spurts – a little here, a little there.  Sometimes it seems to drag on forever but it really hasn’t been that long since I first put it on my quilting frame.  This quilt is 104 x 104 inches – it has been on the quilting frame since June 2 so it really isn’t that long for me – 3 months so far – very fast for me.  Sometimes a quilt this size takes me 10 months to a year before I finish because I always work on 3 or 4 quilts at one time it seems.  How about you – more than one quilt at a time?  How long – if you keep track— how long does it take you to quilt a quilt this size?


When I get done with this row and crank it down some more I do believe the end will be in sight – only a half of a row left up there on the back roller.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

29 years later

Learning the hard way....1983 to 2012

This is a baby quilt that was made for my niece 29 yrs. ago.  Hand appliqued and hand quilted.  Back then, I didn't know any better and used poly/cotton fabric for the background blocks, borders, backing and in some of the applique.  It was very hard to hand quilt as you can imagine. 
Twenty-nine years later, this is the baby quilt that I made for her 3 month old daughter.  Hand appliqued and hand quilted.  Much better to hand quilt, for sure!

My nieces with their baby quilts.  Awesome!
Have a great day!
by Rose Marie Castonguay

On my lap today...

is a handquilting project. Finally it is cool enough to get the hanquilting going again.

This is the dresdenplate quilt I am working on. I used wool batting so it is nice and warm to have on my lap while quilting.

It sure feels good to be handquilting again. Summer is too hot for me to have a quilt on my lap.

I am using this thread to quilt with. It is originally a embroidery floss, made of silk. It is onestranded and gives the quilt a really soft touch.
The quilt is basted on a longarm machine, it is the yellow thread you see. I don`t use a frame while quilting it.

Happy Quilting

Ann-Mari Duffy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Evolution...and it's relation to quilting

By: Marjorie Rich

      Normally when I make a quilt, I know exactly how I will quilt it at the same time that I'm deciding on the design.  This hand applique is a variation of Ester Aliu's Heart's Desire.  It was a mystery, free block of the month quilt along.  If you are not already familiar with the design, I would encourage you to go take a peek.  Go ahead, I'll wait.
      As you can see, mine looks very little like the original.  I made the center (now the heart/flower in the lower left) month one.  Month 2 was the circle of vines with the bird, and 3 more like the top center circle vine with the 3 flowers.  As evidenced from the lack of 2 circle-vines, I lost momentum.  And enthusiasm.  But I had really been drawn in to the whole project by those yummy flowers that you now see on the bottom and left.  While I was figuring out how to use lots of them without spending time on things I wasn't in the mood to applique....I thought that including more blank space for quilting made a lot of sense.
        Months later, I am now confronted with what, exactly, that quilting might be.  I had originally planned on some variation of flowers and leaves.  Maybe even trapunto.  And my plan also includes using hand quilting as I love the texture that results from hand quilting with a cotton batting.  But here is my conundrum which I have chosen to move from the battle in my head to a forum of hand quilters....
1) The only trapunto I have done was a machine quilting technique (extra layer of batting basted with wash-away thread on top, trimmed, sandwiched then topstitched using FMQ).  a) Would that work if I went through the same steps and then hand quilted over the basting stitches rather than FMQ?  b) Will it be worth the extra time of all hand quilting vs a mixed method approach of machine outlined trapunto and hand quilted fill? c) If I use cotton batting to get the 5% shrink that I like for the added texture, should I use cotton for the trapunto layer, or consider using a lofty poly batting?  ( *Gasp* did she really just use the words "machine quilting" and "poly batting" in the same paragraph on THIS blog?)
2) In a weak moment I bought a silk batting (Tuscany Collection 90% silk, 10% poly) which I have been saving for something amazing that I want to quilt by hand.  Having never used it before, I'm not sure what to expect in the way of outcome.  One of the reasons that I love an all cotton batting is that I LOVE the texture created by the slight shrinkage and the hand quilting (as demonstrated by viewing the back of my hand quilted Joseph's Coat above).  I was encouraged because the  on-line sources indicate a similar 5% shrinkage with the silk.  But on the other hand, I normally wash in hot and dry on high to make sure that nothing sad or surprising will ever happen to the quilt once it finished. The sources say, wash warm, air dry.  Will it shrink some /none /same?

I apologize for the long wordy post, but promise lots of photo heavy posts over the next few months... provided of course your share your trapunto & silk batting experiences with me now.

It's a big job

I've been trying to get as much hand quilting done as I can but with spring arriving here with some very warm weather, I think summer is going to be too hot for it.
This one is a huge job, not because of the size of the quilt but because the background quilting is quarter inch apart.
I'm happy enough with the stitches on the front but the back is a whole other story.
Every quilt I do teaches me a lesson and this one has taught me something about backings. I hate this backing with a vengeance.
I had trouble finding an extra wide cotton in an off white that had a suitable thread count. I did know that a high thread count would not look as good on the back but I went ahead anyway and attached this one. It's a Moda 200 thread count and let me tell you, it's like hand quilting with a sheet on the back. The stitches look very humble. The stitches on the back look mostly like tiny pin dots, not pretty at all.
Regardless of that hitch, I can live with it, I don't make quilts for competition, I make them for myself.
In case you haven't seen it before, here it is prior to basting with the trapunto completed.
Link to the original antique quilt this is based on is here.

Hand made Egyptian quilts in Michigan

by Annemart Berendse

The AQS Quiltshow was for the first time in Grand Rapids end of August. I was so lucky to be able to visit the show (and to meet Caron!). Hand quilted quilts are getting scarce as we know, but there was a special exhibition where handmade quilts were the only part of the exhibition: Quilt like an Egyptian.

Two amazing Egyptian tentmakers decorate the inside of tents with applique quilts. The applique is done in complex patterns, with tulips, stars and leafs. But first see this YouTube video, where you can see the men at work:

In an amazing pace these men made applique patterns with the most intricate designs. As it is forbidden to post my own pictures without the consent of AQS and the makers, and I obviously don't have that, I post a video of 14 minutes from Bonnie McCaffery, where you can get an impression of the amazing quilts these men made, and were on show.

Aren't the quilts amazing?! I loved the exhibition a lot, especially because of the handmade quality.
Hope you enjoy!

Have fun quilting!

Wordless Wednesday

by Ann-Mari Duffy

wordless wednesday by Françoise