Sunday, January 31, 2016

A little of this a little of that!

It has been one of those weeks.  The hand quilting on Baltimore Garden has slowed as I needed to mark five more blocks.  I did manage to get one block quilted.

In the evening I focused on my Shenandoah Valley Botanical Quilt. One pineapple block is completed.

The other two pineapple blocks in the quilt will be my focus today. I just need to applique the final two pieces on both of the blocks. That will complete the three pineapple quilts except for the inking. My  concern about working on such small blocks has left. The back basting really keeps everything in place and makes stitching them a lot of fun.

Next week I will need to decide whether I want to start another panel for trailing vines or stick with SVBQ blocks.  I think since it will be quicker to prepare a small 9 inch block for SVBQ, it will win out.  However, if I take advantage of a bit time here and there maybe I can get both prepped.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Back Basting

There was no slow hand quilting going on at my house this week.  I needed to mark five more blocks on Baltimore Garden before anymore stitches could be taken.  So during the good light of the day I was busy marking.  In the evening I pulled out Trailing Vines to add some more leaves.  The third panel was about half way done, so I decided I would continue stitching till it was finished.  The final stitches were put in this morning.

I just love how the bits of scraps play off each other!

So today, I am going to start a new applique project. I am a little late starting this one, as many bloggers started this project last October.  But better late than not starting at all is my motto when it comes to an applique quilt with a botanical theme.  Shenandoah Valley Botanical fit the bill.

I am going to make this quilt using 9 inch finished blocks. So, I have decided to do the whole project using back basting to prep my blocks for needle turn applique.  I found a great background fabric at my LQS right before Christmas. It has honey bees all over it, without these little creatures our gardens would just not be the same. So, I thought it would be wonderful to honor them and all the hard work they do!

Back basting is a great method to prepare the pieces to be appliqued since it places the pieces in the exact location on the block. The pattern is traced to the back of the background fabric.  I use a light box to do this, and then the fabric is place on the right side but basted from the back side using a hand quilting thread and a large needle.  I like to use an embroidery needle.  The thread and the larger needle leave holes in the piece that is going to be needle turned and helps it to turn right where it needs to. Sentimental Stitches has a great tutorial on back basting in case you want to try it.

My first block is a pineapple block.  I have one prepped, but there are three pineapple blocks in this quilt so I need to get the other two block traced and prepped.  Looks like there are plenty of slow stitches to get done today. Hope you will join the group of slow stitchers that link up at Slow Stitching Sunday and share your project.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


It's been a good week here in the quilting department. I finished up two more blocks on Baltimore Garden.

Making quilts has been an amazing journey for me.  I just love the vastness of the craft. There are unlimited combinations of patchwork that can be done.  Endless color combinations and techniques to try.  With every quilt, I try to incorporate something new.   The little squares formed by the woven baskets were calling out for something.   I decided this may be a great area to try some stippling.  A little confined space that needed some sprucing up.

A few years ago I picked up a copy of John Flynn's book Step-by-Step Trapunto & Stippling!  It really breaks down how stippling can be done.  So far I have enjoyed what the stippling has done for Baltimore Garden. It's a small detail, but I think it really adds a lot to the quilt.

The stippling takes time, but I have to admit, I subconsciously don't want to finish this quilt. It is such a joy to watch it transform with each stitch I take.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

In the corner

Here we are enjoying the second Sunday of January.  I must say life got the best of me with a vacation after Thanksgiving and then celebrating the Christmas season.  I went back to my last blog post and realized my last posting was Dec 6th.  I was working on block #8 of Baltimore Garden.  Today, will be working on the last corner of block #13.  I guess I have done more stitching than I realized. I guess I really needed it!

 As I took my pic this am of that corner, it made me think about my childhood.  Way back when we didn't call it "time out" but we did get put in the corner as a punishment.  I think they both have the same results time to sit and think about what got us there.  I also remembered how your mind would wander while sitting there.  The same thing happens when I quilt.  I really need that time each day to let myself meditate and forget about all the demands that we have upon us.  I am super excited today, as the sun is shining and Tom has volunteered to cook dinner.  So I have a bit of extra time to link up with Slow Stitching Sunday where Kathy reminds us to slow down.  I can get in some more stitches and take a break and visit others who are enjoying the hand work. It doesn't get better than that!