Bee, Myself and I #17

And on to a new phase of work in my selfish sewing.

Not the final layout, but you get the idea

It’s time to start quilting the Hatbox Quilt. Because of the design, there was no way I was going to do some generic overall machine quilting.

These beautiful fabrics deserve quilting that emphasises them, that makes a soft, cuddly and lovely quilt, that gives it the heirloom quality it deserves.

So, I’m hand quilting. I’m not a good hand quilter, but I can produce moderately even big-stitch quilting. Primarily it’s because I’m no longer dextrous enough for the little controlled movements needed for small stitches – the arthritis in my right hand has taken care of that. There is, too, the fact that I don’t care much about weeny stitches and lack the patience to execute them in any case! I actually like the texture bigger stitches give, a soft ripple and a play of light and shade. I’m using regular white hand quilting thread rather than perle cotton because I want the texture to stand out rather than the stitches and thread colour.

I’ve outlined the hatbox itself, echo quilted around it on the background, and done a little detail outlining in the design of the hatbox fabric itself, to give texture. It would be easy to go totally crazy and outline every detail, so I’ve been careful to hold back a little.

I’m not using a frame. These blocks are only 10 inches square, and with the extra backing and batting around the outside, 12 inches square. It’s enjoyable and gives a bit of swift gratification, because the job is done in a couple of hours. But the nicest part of holding the block in my hand to work on it is the backing. I’m using a beautiful soft Japanese voile, and it feels just lovely with the surface quilted. If all the blocks feel as nice as this one, it’s going to be fabulously cuddly!

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column.


45 thoughts on “Bee, Myself and I #17

  1. What an interesting quilt! You come up with some very good ideas!

    • katechiconi says:

      I wish I could take credit for the design of this one, but it’s by a famous designer. I just chose the fabrics…. I saved pretty pieces for the hatboxes for years and have just finished making all the squares. This is going to be my longest-running quilt project of all time…

    • katechiconi says:

      I really like how the process of quilting the block has converted it from a flat piece into something soft and dimensional. I already love the blocks. I’m going to LOVE the quilt!

  2. kathyreeves says:

    Enjoy your time hand quilting, Kate, the quilt will be beautiful when complete, and I’m certain your next project is brewing I your head!

  3. Lynda says:

    Kate, that Japanese voile is perfect and I love your easy quilting strategy. This is going to be a gorgeous piece when it is done!

  4. tialys says:

    I love your quilting Kate – it reminds me of the French Boutis or the Kantha ones. It will make for a beautiful, soft quilt.

    • katechiconi says:

      It looks like a vintage quilt texture, doesn’t it? I wish you could feel how soft and cuddly it is. I’ve started a second block, and that one looks good too 🙂

  5. oooh that backing is absolutely beautiful

  6. Wowsers, just divine!

  7. Sandy says:

    It’s lovely!!!

  8. just too much loveliness for my brain to take in right now! ❤

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m totally besotted with this quilt myself right now… The start of the quilting, the way it looks and feels, has totally supercharged my enthusiasm. Soooo soft…

  9. Quilting each block separately will make it pure pleasure, I’m sure. And what beautiful back fabric! I can imagine your excitement at finding that!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s wonderfully liberating to work on such a small piece without needing to haul a big, heavy quilt around. I’m really enjoying the opportunity to just wing it as I stitch around the designs in the hatbox fabrics. And you’re totally right about the backing fabric, I love that so much I wish there was enough to make myself a garment, but it was the end of a bolt.

  10. Jule says:

    This is going to be a great one 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I think it will… I’m loving the vintage texture the quilting is giving the blocks.
      I’ll be cranking up the air conditioning just to give myself an excuse to snuggle under it!

  11. […] I won’t bore you rigid with the choices I face again but I’m still not sure and now I think I’ve made it worse by having three to choose from instead of two.  Kate, on the other hand, is making great progress and has started hand quilting (yes hand quilting) her full size quilt and putting me to shame.  See and admire here. […]

  12. craftycreeky says:

    Looks gorgeous, I haven’t hand quilted for years but I’m seriously considering it for my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt, just not sure I have the patience for a big quilt!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m thinking about hand quilting the centre of my Sea Glass quilt, and then machine quilting round the outside. It takes care of that whole issue of stuffing an 80 inch square quilt through the throat of my rather ordinary sewing machine!

  13. Moira says:

    Looking beautiful! I’m sure it will be very cuddly when you’ve got it together.

  14. magpiesue says:

    Lovely. I’m glad you’re enjoying the hand quilting. It’s not that different from other needlework afterall. I’ve just never found pleasure in that process. I can totally understand having to restrain yourself from outlining or highlighting every wonderful detail in the hat box prints. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      What is enjoyable is that the pieces are small and individual enough that they’re finished quickly, so I can quilt a block in a few hours… and the there’s a different one to play with!

  15. rutigt says:

    I like your hatboxes! Just think, who would have thought of sewing hatboxes as a theme on a quilt (yes, I know it´s Kaffe Fasset, but still). I think it is a wonderful idea!!!!!

  16. I love all of these blocks and the voile you chose for the back. I am glad you decided to hand quilt this. I think it was the perfect call for all the reasons you mention, especially texture.

    • katechiconi says:

      Having finished all the blocks, I got a bit stalled till I unearthed the voile. It was the deciding factor in choosing hand quilting, because the hand was so soft and supple I really couldn’t see the crisp lines of machine quilting working except in opposition! I have 4 blocks quilted now, and they have a wonderful vintage look and feel.

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