Sunday, March 31, 2019

End of March Quilting

It's been 24 weeks since I've started quilting the Pastor's Attic quilt in October. Now it's the end of March and I'm still quilting. This is the longest I've ever had a quilt in the quilting frame.

I'm writing this post on Friday afternoon because tomorrow several friends and I are driving to Chicago to the IQS show in Rosemont. I should make it clear, Lynn is driving, I'm a passenger.

Surprisingly I did get more than half of a row quilted this week. 

Remember, the seam line in the top border.

This is the left side border which was terribly boring to quilt.

I was glad when I got into the applique.

These blocks with larger pieces of applique quilt fast!

I enjoyed quilting this block much more than appliqueing all those fingers. I can quilt faster than I can applique.

This is the middle block of the row.

This is where I am now. I'm sure I quilted Friday evening so more progress was made on this block. You'll see that next Sunday.

I've had some questions about the quilt and my quilting. Here is a link to the marking process

I've used a Hobbes wool batt for stitching ease. I love wool batts. Wool is my go batting for hand quilting from now on. The needle just glides through so smoothly.

I use DMC #7 quilting needles. I like the DMC brand because the needle is a little thicker than John James which I bend.  Most hand quilters like a smaller needle but I don't seem able to manipulate the smaller needles. They flip out of my fingers and gash my thumb just under the bottom of my thumbnail which then bleeds. I make small stitches with this size just fine, it's my personal preference.

The thread I'm using is YLI brand thread. I'm using a variegated color called Pyramids but you can't tell it's variegated on the quilt.

The ends of my fingers and thumbs are calloused so I'm able to quilt several hours a day but you don't start out being able to quilt that long. It takes time to build up the callouses.

Another important issue in hand quilting is the backing fabric. I buy my backing from a LQS. I want to see and feel the fabric before I purchase it. I don't want a backing that has been stiffened with sizing or starch. I know you can wash it but I don't think it washes out with just one wash. The sizing makes the stitching harder. 

Also if you wash the backing multiple times, you're going to make the fabric shrink which will make the thread weave tighter which quilts harder.

I hope I've answered the quilting questions.

The local weather - the grass is still not greening up but tulips and daffodils are sending up green stems, spring is slowly coming. We've also had a skunk hanging around so when I head out to the barn, in the dark, in the morning, I need to make sure he isn't in the yard. I don't want any surprises of that kind!

Linking to the Peacock PartyKathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell Monday, Monday MakingDesign Wall MondayBOM's AwayMoving It Forward


Kim said...

Your quilt Gretchen is truly a work of art! I can well believe all the time it has taken to quilt this gorgeous quilt thus far. Callouses are a thing of great pride when it comes to stitching, aren't they. Thank you for all the helpful information you have talked about. It is wonderful to have these tidbits of practical information. Enjoy your little trip away.

The Cozy Quilter said...

I am looking n awe of your quilting! Lovely, as usual. My daffodils are up but no sign of blooms yet. Have fun at the quilt show!

Quilter Kathy said...

Have a great time at the AQS show! Great progress on the hand quilting!
I haven't tried wool yet, but you have sold me on it and I have purchased a small batting to see how it goes for hand quilting.

CathieJ said...

I hope you enjoyed the quilt show. Your hand quilting is always amazing.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

enjoy the quilt show - that is one I have never been to. love the progress on the quilt. We have a lot of flowers here and I hope the freeze tonight doesn't damage them or the apple tree which is ready for the blossoms to open

Julierose said...

Gorgeous blocks and beautiful quilting work on these...hugs, Julierose

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Your making great progress on this gorgeous quilt. I agree the type of fabric we use really makes a difference in how are stitches turn out. Enjoy the quilt show!

Created by Kathi said...

I read your post yesterday but when you responded to my blog post I realized I never wrote that I was here!
I am sooo excited you got to go to the quilt show over the weekend... that sounds like fun with friends revolving around a nice array of quilts and products too!
I used a John James 8 needle and love my stitches... not as small as yours but small enough for me :) I may have to give those DMC 7's a try though.. I have arthritis in my hands and I can hand quilt but not hand piece. Where do you find yours? Online or in a shop??
Hope you share pics from your excursion this past weekend and hope you are staying warm enough with this latest cold front moving in... 22 this morning here in NC.
I love your photos of Pastor's Attic quilting... soon enough you will be washing it and enjoying it... is it destined to be shown or used I wonder???

Julierose said...

Absolutely stunning appliqued blocks and beautiful quilting...lovely work on this hugs, Julierose

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

So beautiful and so much hard work put into this quilt! This one has taken a long time considering how quick you usually turn them around, but there is a lot of stitching around applique work! I do hope to get one in my frame sometime soon. You are such a great hand quilter and you make some of the prettiest quilts using scraps and now this beautiful work of applique work! Hugs

Bonnie said...

Great progress is being made -- even if it seems slower than your usual pace. I hope you had a great time at IQS. And, yes, please share some photos! Did you have fun at the vendors? (Assuming there were vendors!)

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

I thought it was just me that had small short needles flick out of my fingers. I had to give up trying them. Thank you for sharing your tools and methods. Always helpful especially to someone new at this like me. Your quilting is beautiful, which I know I've said before. Glad you are having some spring signs.

Lynette said...

I can't do those super tiny needles, either. The time spent on this quilt is well worth the number of weeks it's been taking. It will be so gorgeous when it comes off! I imagine it will feel like losing a close friend when it's gone from the frame. I usually feel a strange emptiness that's a mix of loss and anticlimax when I finish a very intricate quilt that I've been working on for months.

Linda H said...

What beautiful quilt blocks, and your quilting is lovely too. This is going to be a stunning quilt. Hope we'll see it when it's all finished!

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

Your quilting is beautiful! But I know that feeling when you think you've spent long enough on a quilt and it's time to move on to something else. Hopefully the end is in sight now. Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

Sue said...

I am so loving all your quilting posts. I hope my BTCT quilt will have such gorgeous quilting...thats my aim anyhow. lol!

Judy Hansen said...

How was the Chicago quilt show? I am enjoying quilt shows less and less, as they feature more art quilts, and my interest is in vintage quilts. But I'm glad there are new art quilters joining in the fun, so that is good.
Thanks for linking with Design Wall Mondays, Judy

em's scrapbag said...

Your quilting it gorgeous! Thank you for sharing with Moving it Forward!