Monday, September 1, 2008

Utility quilting and other ways of finishing quilts

I love to make quilts with a folk art or primitive look. There is just something about the simple designs that appeal to me. These quilts lend themselves nicely to utility - or "big stitch"- quilting and other ways of finishing quilts other than traditional quilting. I especially love utility quilting because it is so relaxing to do - no hoop and no worry about getting tiny stitches. This can be done with pearl cotton, but I prefer to use DMC Cébélia #10, a cotton crochet thread, because it has no shine. It comes in a nice variety of colors, though I do wish they included a darker warm brown.

This is the quilt I finished these last few days while I was laid up with this head cold. I used Camel #437 for this one, a medium golden brown. I covered the surface with large Baptist Fans using Magic Chalk and a stencil for marking. I love how it turned out! I started this quilt in 2004. A shop about an hour away had started a Country Threads club, and since I've always loved Country Threads patterns I decided to attend. The only way to get the patterns at that time was to attend. I finished the house during class - it is invisible machine appliquéd - and started on the stars. Well, that was the only club meeting I attended, and this project sat neglected until I finished the top last spring. I'm so glad to have it done just in time to hang in the entry for this fall.

I finished this plaid quilt- started in a class with Roberta Horton - years ago, but am showing it here as another example of how quilts can be finished. I used Pearl Cotton #5 on this quilt and used crow footing to tack it together instead of quilting it. There are several different tack stitches for fastening quilts which I think are a nicer alternative than tying. I learned to do this in an old Patchwork Place book by Judy Hopkins and Nancy Martin called Rotary Riot, published in 1991. Other stitches include cross stitch, buttonhole stitch, Mennonite tack and Methodist knot. I'd forgotten all about finishing quilts this way until I dug this one out for the picture. I think I'll use this method on at least one of my primitive Jan Patek tops that is waiting to be finished.

19 comments:

Megan said...

I LOVE the big stitches! especially the Baptist Fan. Thanks for the reminder of why I bought all that Perle Cotton!

Mary said...

I hadn't thought of using DMC cotton for quilting - I'll have to look for some of it.

Love the fly stitch quilting - I've been looking at some Sashiko designs for my trees but I think this might look more appropriate.

Kristie said...

I was so excited to see the crows footing!!!! My great grandmother made quilts like that and this is the first one that I have seen other than hers! I have a book that shows that stitch!!!! I love your quilts. I have also been thinking about doing the baptist fans!!! Thanks for the memories!!
Kristie

Tazzie said...

Loving the baptist fans Patti, they look just wonderful. I love quilting with perle cotton too - wish I had more hours in a day for hand quilting.
I was looking at your goals in the sidebar, and you're doing so well. Can't believe how much you've achieved. Way to go hon!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Linda said...

Great job!

Sharon said...

I love both of those quilts!! I'm a big fan of Country Threads as well. I have one in progress (it's been in progress for about 3 or 4 years now!) and just recently decided how I wanted to do one part I had been stuck on. I love that crow's foot quilting. It's very appropriate for that plaid quilt! And I love Baptist Fan - always one of my faves! Good job! You've been so busy! Glad you're feeling better!

Tine said...

I love the pinwheels!

anne bebbington said...

I too have that book and often thought about using those tacks to finish a quilt - seeing yours has given me the kick to have a go - love the baptist fans too

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Great post! I, too, love the big stitch..quilting goes really fast that way!
You've done a great job on both those quilts...very pretty!

Karen said...

I REALLY like your quilting. I have been thinking of tying a quilt but like the idea of the crow's foot much more. I'm curious what the back looks like??
Karen

Jeanette said...

I was just thinking about trying to quilt using pearl cotton and doing a baptist fan pattern. Do you know what stencil you used or where you got it? I love how yours looks!!

Libby said...

I just discovered 'magic chalk' and can't wait to give it a try. I love big stitch, too. Now I can use that Baptist fan stencil and get to work *s*

Lucy said...

Wow I love these big stitches. do you make them in a hoop too? or lap quilting??

Tanya said...

I've never seen or heard of quilts being tacked this way but it makes sense and looks lovely. How do you jump from tack to tack? Inside the quilt the width of the needle? I'd love to know what the other stitches look like. Mennonite tack? Methodist knot? Sounds intriquing and there must be a story behind the names!

Nancy said...

I'm with Tanya, how do you move between the tacking stitches? And what do the other stitches you mentioned look like. Maybe time for a tutorial, please?

Helen said...

You did a great job on this one. I love Baptist fan for this type of quilt.

Clare said...

I'm with Tanya and Nancy. Any chance of a tutorial or guidance on where I can find a "how to" on the web?

cherice said...

I've heard magic chalk is great stuff, but I don't know where to buy it. Is there another name for the same thing?

Sandra said...

I would like to know what size and type of needle you use for the utility quilting. Your work is wonderful.
Sandi