Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Ooooooh!  Dramatic!

Really it just means that I've begun to finish my quilt ;-)

My backing fabric came lickety-split, and yesterday I washed it up and made my quilt sandwich.  I was just able to cover the back of my top with a single, 2-yard cut of 54" wide voile.  I won't have the normal 1" - 2" extra buffer around the edges, so I'm going to have to be super careful with my quilting.  To that end, I pinned the heck out of that sandwich!


And then I did my first little foray into hand quilting.  It's really not that hard.  Maybe a little straining on the hand holding the needle, but manageable.





I decided to go all the way around each feather, about 1/4" from the edge, and then down the middle of each vane.  (Yes, I googled "parts of a feather" to find the correct word.  Once a Montessorian, always a Montessorian!  We're obsessed with nomenclature!)  I used a piece of dried bar soap to mark the line down the vane to keep things nice and neat, but the outline is freehand.

 

You can kind of see the dimples down the center of the rachis (ha!) where I tested out how I liked stitching on that.  I didn't, so I took it out.

My quilting thread matches the saffron color of the backing.  My plan is to do all the outlining of the feathers first, and then go back and do some quilting on the background in ivory.

It looks pretty cool from the back too:


The hand quilting isn't as slow or tedious as I'd thought it would be, but this certainly isn't going to be quick.  And that's OK with me.


29 comments:

  1. This looks so beautiful! I do so like hand sewing . . .

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    1. Thank you! You know, I like hand sewing too!

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  2. This is looking so lovely Gail.

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  3. Gah! After reading this all I want to do is go home and hand quilt to my heart's content (stoopid work getting on the way of life... oh wait, it's because I have a salary that I can support my craft addiction!). Really, really like the way this is looking, Gail. Your stitches are pretty perfect and the AMH print you chose for the back is so nice. Plus, this ESL lady learned a few new words reading your post :)

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    1. Sorry to drive you nuts! You should bring your piecing to work so you can sew at lunch!

      Stitches are not perfect, but passable. I think it adds to the hand-made vibe. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. I've seen some hand-quilting online you could draft blueprints from!

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  4. oooh, that's some seious work for the hand quilting! so pretty, i'm sure it will be worth the effort!

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    1. Yes, it is! I'm reminding myself that sometimes it's good to slow down . . .

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  5. It really makes the feathers pop the way you've quilted round them. Looks brilliant! I wish I had the patience to hand quilt, but I usually just machine quilt because its easier. Maybe I need to take a leaf out of your book, or a feather out of your wing, if you will?

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    1. Well, I can't take creative credit, as the original was done this way. But I fully agree with you! In this case, because I wanted to go all the way around each feather, I think it's actually easier and faster to do it by hand, believe it or not. That's a lot of fabric to shift every time you want to turn a corner!

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  6. This looks wonderful!
    -- stashdragon

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  7. LOVE, love this quilty art. It is extraordinary!

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    1. I love so many of Anna Maria Horner's designs, but I think this one is her absolute best!

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  8. Your quilt is looking really, really fantastic! I love the quilted feathers!

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  9. It's so beautiful! I love the hand stitched touch. It's gorgeous :)

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  10. Your post title had me worried when I first saw it. The quilt is turning out so beautifully! I loved this when you posted the top the other day, but the hand stitching adds so much! I've learned something too today since I now know some of the parts of a feather (you see I realize you quilted both the anterior and posterior vanes :).

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    1. That was my little Halloween trick. Now I need a treat!

      Ha! You out-nomenclatured me!!

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  11. The hand quilting is the best part!

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    1. Thanks for inspiring me to give hand quilting a try! I doubt I would have braved it if I hadn't seen your gorgeous quilts this spring!

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  12. I love your hand quilting! I love hand quilting in general, but this is especially good in the contrasting thread :)

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  13. So, I'm not much of a quilting lover, don't really like the patchwork look so much. However, I've noticed lately I'm really digging more modern looking quilts and thinking about possibly making one in the future.
    I really, really love this design. Would you mind sharing the name of the pattern? I'm gathering inspiration!

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  14. Nevermind! I just stalked your blog til I found it, hahaha! Seeing the whole pattern makes me love it even more! So pretty!!

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    1. Sorry I forgot to link it up and you had to go searching! I've fixed it - although a little too late!

      I've said in other posts - this design is the one that got me back into quilting. I used to like doing more traditional quilts when I lived in my cute little 1950s ranch. But in this very modern house, they look out of place. This design really opened the world of modern quilting for me - there are SO many stunning designs out there. I love AMH, but also Elizabeth Hartmann's designs.

      You could easily delve into this world with a little crib quilt!

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  15. Your quilt is beautiful Gail. I really like how the hand stitching really accentuates each feather.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! I'm so glad I decided to do it this way. Even the imperfect stitches look good to me - they add character.

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