Tag Archives: big stitch hand quilting

April Finishes

I’m a little behind schedule here posting about the two quilts I finished last month. Since then I’ve been working on some smaller projects that had hard deadlines so I neglected to get this up sooner.

First is my Denyse Schmidt improv quilt.  As I mentioned last October, I attended her lecture for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and the follow-up workshop.  I ended up with seven blocks of various sizes and had no idea what to do with them…..until I saw what Shea had done with hers at one of our meetings.

DS improv 5I used chocolate brown Kona instead of Shea’s charcoal gray and I think mine is bigger and more off-center.

DS improv 4

The back is Moda Grunge, I’m not sure what color.  The photo makes it look very orange but it’s much more red.

DS improv 2     DS improv 1

I quilted the blocks with a boxy maze-like pattern and my go-to waves on the borders.

DS improv 6
Instead of binding the quilt I used the facing method I learned about from Valori Wells in one of her workshops at QuiltCon.  I think it looks good on this type of quilt.

hand hexie big stitch 002The second finish was a long time coming.  I started the English Paper Piecing probably two years ago.  Many hours of guilt-free TV watching ensued.  I wanted to use up some of my 30s reproduction scraps but I’m sure I ended up buying more than I saved.

I looked all over the internet for a good way to finish this off, without much luck.  Everything I found had you either appliqueing the flowers onto a really big background or cutting edges off.  Neither of those seemed like the best options to me.  So I cut the  foundation paper and pieced those for the edges before applying the border.

hand hexie big stitch 003

I then decided to big stitch quilt the entire thing.  I used a wool batting which made the stitching much smoother.    I think I’ll have to keep this quilt after all that work.

hand hexie big stitch 004


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Easy as A, B, C

I finished this quilt in May but just got around to taking pictures yesterday, for some reason.  My new Canon is awesome but if I don’t use it for a week or so I forget everything I’ve already learned and have to start from scratch.  Hopefully while we’re on vacation in two weeks I’ll get the basics committed to memory and experiment with the fancier stuff.

I got most of the Punctuation by American Jane through a Stitch Steals deal last summer, including the alphabet panel.  I decided this would be a retirement from teaching gift for myself.  I saw a similar layout in a Connecting Threads catalog about the same time that used a main panel for a baby quilt.  How hard could that be?

I had to sweep out the cobwebs from the math room in my brain and use a calculator but I was able to work out the border sizes without too much trouble.  The backing used up most everything I had left.  This photo shows the cute label by daughter designed for me and gave me for my birthday.

I really wanted to experiment with different quilting designs, ala Angela Waters, my quilting hero.  I used the lines of the chalkboard for straight-line quilting on the front panel and a wavier line in the blue borders.  My attempt at free-motion quilting in the half-square triangles was a DISASTER!  I hated it!  I spent a good four hours ripping that out and decided to try the big stitch hand quilting I learned from a class at Harper’s.


Ahhh!  Much better!  I even remembered to sew a hanging sleeve when I put on the binding.  Now I just need to buy a dowel so I can hang in in my sewing room and look at it every day.


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