Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This quilt top was pieced out of some scraps over five years ago. I will be the first to admit, that piecing quilt tops is not a skill that I have perfected, but I continue to try and improve.
This top was intended to be machine quilted, but that is another skill that never came together for me.  My love has always been hand quilting, and so alot of my later quilts are appliqued with alot of background to hand quilt. So, what does one do with a quilt top that isn't pieced very well?  So I pulled it out this week and  decided to Big Stitch it. I believe back in the day, quilts that were big stitched were called utility quilts.

The utility quilt was the quilt made to be used in everyday life. Those made out of bits of fabric and clothing and used on beds to keep the family warm.  It seemed a fitting way to quilt my not so perfect pieced quilts made out of scraps of fabrics from other projects.  I must say so far, I am really liking the process. I am using presencia #16 black on the cream areas and Guterman cotton thread on the patchwork. I am marking as I go, using a sliver of soap and a ruler in the patchwork areas. I am using a mechanical pencil and stencil for the motif in the light area.  I am so glad I have come up this solution, and am pleased so far with the results.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side is once again holding Bloggers Quilt Festival!  What a great idea to allow bloggers to link their quilt to an appropriate category and share their efforts with others in the quilt world.
 I have decided to link Amish Ice Cream Social to the hand quilting category. This quilt started as an effort to tame the scrap box. When it comes to quilting, I love anything that involves hand work, so my scrappy stars are appliqued onto the solid background, which allows for a lot of space for hand quilting. The quilt measures 74 inches x 74 inches.
So if your in need of some inspiration, you might want to stop over at the Bloggers Quilt Festival and see what others are doing.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Matilda's Tulip Garden

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Well, I couldn't decide which basket block to do, so I decided to get the tulip block out of the way. It has gone well, although it did take some time to stitch all the stems down.   Along with pins I am using the aid of a glue stick to place stems on the block. There is nothing worse than getting your thread tangled on a pin and a knot forming just when you need to make a stitch. The glue stick really helps, although I still pin, but it nice to remove the pin when I am working in that area and know that the stem will not accidently shift. Warm weather has finally arrived and the air has come on in the house. But, that also means early mornings will be warmer and I love stitching in the morning on the terrace as I enjoy my morning coffee, so it should be a great week. As I finish the flower heads on this block, I will also go over to Kathy's Quilts to see what other fellow slow sticher's are doing!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hand Stitching! Why?

I look back at my quilting history, and it has been quite a journey. I started out in the late nineties, wanting to get back into sewing. When my children were very young, I would sew a lot of their clothing and always loved to sew.  I also bought fabric back in the late seventies, when the bicentennial  sparked a new interest in quilts.  Time and family never allowed me to make that quilt and eventually after moving several times from one state to another, the fabric was donated to some charity.

Some twenty years later, with my children grown, I once again got the urge to make a quilt.  I purchased a new machine, hopefully this would help get me closer o my goal. It was a designed to really help someone conquer machine quilting, which was now becoming quite popular. Yes this could be the ticket!

It didn't  really do the trick, I gave it several tries. I even made a machine appliqued top that turned out quite well. Then I tried to machine quilt it, and became so disappointed in the results. Over the next several years and another move I found myself with a lot of time and this wonderful thing called the internet that was bubbling over with information and forums that discussing any subject that interested one.  A lot of practice later, I am making the quilts that I had dreamed about thirty years earlier.
So for me hand stitching is relaxing and allows me to be creative. I try to fit a bit of sewing into everyday of my life.  In today's busy world, it gives me "ME" time. A time to unwind, kick my feet up and ponder life.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Slow Stitching Flowers

I finished block one of Baltimore Garden early this week.  I am happy with the way it turned out and love how the variety of green fabrics are working together. I am using a solid turkey red for all of the flowers.
Block two was started earlier this week, and today I will be working on adding the last three flowers. This is block is E1 and called Natilie's Nasturtiums. Again, it is one of the easier blocks, and it going together pretty well. I love the detail work of applique and the pure enjoyment of stitching. I guess all the practicing I did on my Bluebird of Happiness and Red and Green Quilt have paid off!
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