Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Hand Quilting

Despite coming from a quilting family that skipped a generation and a half (read: my mother quilted and then my paternal great-grandmother), I am a newer quilter. I started when I was 10 or so with a puff patch quilt (that is probably in some trash bag at The Homestead somewhere in a closet), but thanks to LiveJournal and a couple of the quilting communities there, I've been more involved these past three years or so.

My great-grandmother mainly machine pieced, made the sandwich and then hand-tied her quilts. I've inherited 8 or so of her tops, one of which I've finished, in the way that she would have.

Finished Pinwheel

For that quilt, I mainly finished it by tying, but did do some hand-quilting as cornerstones since the sashing did not use any.

Where I'm Hand-Quilting

I really enjoyed the hand quilting on that project and learned so much in just doing that alone! (Most notably that you are only supposed to use one ply of thread when hand-quilting) I knew that one of my projects in the wings needed to be hand-quilted.

Which leads us to the current "quilt-in-frame":

Modern Squares - Top

I fell in love with the tan fabric at JoAnn's - it already screamed to me something about squares and either "wonky" or modern squares. I already had the brown and white dots in stash. The lighter blue and green were also picked up at JoAnn's and the darker blue and white backing from my LFS, Patricia's Fabric House.

After machine piecing the blocks, the top and the back, I put it in the frame. What began as stitching in the ditch with a coordinating thread, turned into inside edge quilting about 1/8-1/4" inside each block of color.

Modern Squares - Quilting Detail

Through this practice, my stitching (at least as it appears on the top) has become much straighter and more uniform. I'm pretty impressed with myself and my progress.

My back is a modification of the modern squares on the front.

Modern Squares - Back

What I did was start with the same center and make a much larger square for the back (approximate) center of the quilt. I used my zig-zag to attach it to the back, realizing that much of the stitching that I was going to be doing would also help to adhere it to the back.

As I have to occasionally climb under the frame to look for threads/untie knots, etc., I love how it looks like stained glass where I've already quilted when the sun shines through.

Modern Squares - Stained Glass Effect

Although I've learned so much already working on the two quilts that I've hand-quilted on, I obviously still have a lot to learn -- just look at this stitching on the back!

Modern Squares - Back Quilting Detail

At least I'm learning, right? I think it's time for a hand-quilting class, don't you?


Thanks for tuning in, come back in 2 days for Food Friday & stop by next Wednesday for another installment of WIP Wednesday!

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