Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hand quilting progress

I'm enjoying hand quilting again so much! And there is no sign of any pain in my hands from arthritis - a definite miracle in my book. The first three fingers on my left hand are starting to develop their touch callouses again from being pricked a tiny bit with each stitch. As long as I quilt a little each day they will stay this way - getting tougher and tougher the longer I quilt.

At least one person commented that they liked the cable on the quilt sashing. I liked the cable also when I stitched the first one, but it wasn't in proportion to the width of the sashing. I was using a stencil, as this was before I learned to create my own quilting templates and stencils. When I'd finished two cables I realized the proportions were really bothering me. That's when I decided to quilt 1/4" from each edge. Much better as far as balancing the sashing quilting with the rest of the quilting, but rather strange looking. The more I looked at it the more I disliked it. The cable was slow going, so I finished the 1/4" from the seam stitching on all the sashings. Then I put it away for several years. When I got it back out last weekend I realized I still thought the sashing was very strange looking with a skinny cable running down between two straight lines of stitching. That's when I knew it was time to rip out the cable. If I were starting from scratch today I'd just draft a cable the width of the space between the two lines - too late now since the lines are stitched in every strip of sashing. The pencil I'm using is supposed to wash out - I sure hope it does! I have a fall back formula of dishwashing liquid and a couple other things for getting out pencil - just in case I need it.

The good news is the sashing quilted up WAY faster this way, and as of now is almost all done. That will leave a single row of blue stitching down the center of the narrow inner border, and something on the outer border. The quilting on this will be done soon - hooray! I guess I'd better start searching my stash for fabric that coordinates so I can have my binding ready.

I always handquilted my quilts almost to death, because I love the visual texture created when light hits the quilting. This quilt was no exception. I've posted a couple blocks so you could see the quilting - these are the best shots I could get.
It will be such a good thing to cross this one off my list of flimsies!

1. A cool morning breeze with just a hint of mist caressing my cheek
2. A fat, ripe Italian prune
3. Three quilt backings prepared and a fourth that needs only one seam stitched
4. Customer quilts coming in from several unexpected sources
5. Chili dogs for dinner - first time in ages!


Mary said...

I'm also enjoying the hand quilting on the doll quilts. I guess I could have taken any of the tops I have waiting and hand quilted them but the small quilts suit my need to hand quilt AND to finish too.

I find it difficult to take time to hand quilt a larger top when I have tops waiting and the longarm in the other room!

Anonymous said...

looks great Patti,
I agree nothing like hand quilting.
I just really enjoy the process and the look!
Kathie in NJ

Darlene said...

One day very soon I'll get back to learning how to handquilt. Yours looks wonderful Patti. There's something about handwork! Sheer bliss! :-)

Bren said...

I love hand quilting and also quilt things very heavily..if your going to do it, then DO IT!
I have the same cable and love that is fun to quilt. Your hand quilting is gorgeous!

Shelina said...

Hi Patti, you certainly have been busy this summer organizing your UFOs and using up your scraps. I keep a percentage on my spreadsheet - what percentage of the quilts I start are completed. I'm at 60 something which is pretty good, but I'm trying to get to 75.

But then you also have to give yourself credit for doing handquilting and making the quilt just right rather than just whipping something together.
Your mile a minute quilt looks wonderful.

Colleen said...

It was fun to read about your feelings about hand quilting because I've just started my first hand quilting project in a long time and I'm LOVING it. There is something so soothing and fulfilling to me as I hand quilt. My fingers are starting to toughen up, too. It reminded me why I need to keep hand quilting so I don't have to keep toughening up my fingers. YOur quilting is beautiful!

Violette said...

I love to hand quilt also. It is very relaxing. Since I also have arthritis, I understand what you have to deal with.

kjquilts said...

When the pencil marks on one of my applique blocks wouldn't come out I used a Shout wipe to rub very gently. The marks came out instantly!