Aimée 6: hearts and darts

It’s about 30% done.

I sat and contemplated a bit before I started, and then the quilt told me it was all about hearts and arrows – or darts, if we’re being all clever for the title. Curiously appropriate, given that the name means Loved or Beloved. Each border gets a stitch-in-the-ditch outline to stabilise it, and then I start working into it. All 5 heart appliqués are outlined, and there’s chevron quilting to echo the Anita’s Arrowhead block. It’s all straight line quilting using a walking foot; there are curves in the hearts, but a bit of care and going slowly ensures you can still use the walking foot for these too.

Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 4.51.50 PMScreen shot 2015-01-23 at 4.52.51 PM Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 4.53.48 PMAs always, it’s lightly quilted. I don’t really like dense quilting, I think it stiffens the fabric too much and you lose some of that nice soft drape that lets the quilt settle around you.

I admire lavish and technically expert quilting, but not for a lap or bed quilt that’s going to get used for snuggling up under – and that’s all my quilts. I don’t make wall hangings, mini quilts or other non-functional pieces. I suppose that’s one reason I’m not sufficiently motivated to do the endless practice that FMQ requires. Maybe one day…

I still have the rest of the borders and the dresden plates to do, but that’s work for another day.

Another two days should see this baby quilted, and then it’s just the label and binding.


34 thoughts on “Aimée 6: hearts and darts

  1. knettycraft says:

    It’s getting better and better with every post! It looks wonderful.

  2. tialys says:

    I’m with you on the FMQ. I like the look of it but I’ve tried it and I feel ‘out of control’ and I worry about something going wrong with the bobbin thread that I won’t see until too late. Also, like you, I’m a fan of lighter quilting but, unlike you, it’s mainly because it’s not my strength. Ideally, I would have somebody living nearby who doesn’t like piecing, basting and binding but loves quilting and we could produce lots of lovely quilts between us.
    I just zoomed in on your larger photo and noticed the fabric that looks like an old street map – love it!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a reproduction of a 19th century map of Paris. I wish I’d had more of it, but I only got the 5″ charm square… I do feel that lack of FMQ skills is a handicap in case I do ever want to do something very heavily quilted and textured. I suppose the best way is to make lots of test pieces you can then use as placemats for the table or something…

  3. mdlonnie says:

    Love your blog!!
    Can you clarify “not densely quilted” please?
    Yes I agree quilts are to be soft and snuggly, and definately functional – yep practical with a capital P LOL.

    • katechiconi says:

      Quilting about 2-4″ apart is what I would class as not densely quilted. Essentially, quilting is designed to hold the layers together, and decoration is its secondary function. For me, it’s about colour and composition and the quilting is a bit less important. For other people, the reverse is true, and the quilt exists as a canvas to showcase the beauty of their quilting.

      • mdlonnie says:

        Do those measurements differ with hand or machine quilting?

      • katechiconi says:

        I’d probably do hand quilting closer than machine quilting, on the basis that it’s a little less robust. The look of hand quilting is so different that the quilting design you use might need closer quilting to avoid looking too ‘spacey’. If I want to do something complicated, I tend to hand quilt, to avoid hauling the quilt around in the sewing machine! It’s a lot slower, of course…

    • katechiconi says:

      … and thank you for enjoying my blog!

  4. Your output is phenomenal. I don’t do FMQ and mostly hand quilt, sometimes very densely,

  5. Elizabeth says:

    your sister is a lucky girl – this quilt looks great!

  6. You can quilt a whole quilt in two days? Maybe I should not be so frightened to start my hand quilting. Encouraging!

    • katechiconi says:

      Relax, this one’s not hand quilted! If it gives you an idea, Amistad was hand quilted and it took me about a week. The good thing about hand quilting is that you’re not trying to stuff a huge thing through the throat of the sewing machine. It’s you, the hoop and a needle and thread. Much more low tech and user friendly…

  7. that heart in the middle is soo cute !!!

  8. Kirsten says:

    Love the backing fabric!

  9. pattisj says:

    This is pretty. I like the idea of lighter quilting, too. I’ve seen some items that were so stiff–especially the garments on display at a local quilt show.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve always felt that too much quilting is just showing off! Not that I dream of criticising those who produce artistic fireworks with theirs, but to me, it’s a functional thing to do with holding the layers together, which has the added benefit of looking pretty. Too much quilting, too much stiffness seems counter-productive to me…

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