Sea Glass #9: keeping my hand in

I won’t be going back to the radio silence of the past couple of weeks…

And stuff has been going on in the background, just nothing I wanted to post about yet. But I wanted to show you where I’d got to with the hand quilting on Sea Glass.

So, the four central flower basket blocks are hand quilted. That wasn’t quite as much fun as it might have been; there are lots of layers in parts of the blocks which made it quite tricky getting the needle through evenly and tidily. I was very happy about my ‘big stitch’ decision at that point! Once that bit was done, I had to work out how to quilt the first border. I was in the hand quilting groove by that point and thought I’d carry on.  I’m not using a frame or hoop on this job; I have the quilt laid out on my 3 metre (10ft) dining table with the area I’m working on flat and the rest rolled and folded on either side. This creates enough tension that I can quilt without needing a frame if I work on the edge nearest to me. The only downside is that I can’t use the table for anything else right now!

You can see the design I’m using quite clearly on the template. Because it’s geometric, it was pretty easy to transfer the design; I just punched holes through the direction changes and intersections of the lines, and marked through with either a fine pencil on the light fabrics or a white ceramic marker on the dark ones. If you click on the image below you can see how it looks when marked.

Lift the template, join the dots by drawing in lines with a ruler and the job’s done. Hand quilting these is quick and easy, they’re all going the same way. There may be a bit of subsequent filling in around the corners, but I’ll see how it looks later once the main part is finished. This is a big (80² inch / 2m²) quilt and I don’t want to make work for myself if it’s not necessary.

Now I just have to think of something for the next border 🙂

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21 thoughts on “Sea Glass #9: keeping my hand in

  1. kathyreeves says:

    Looking great Kate! Hoping you continue to mend. Maybe having the dining room table filled with the quilt will keep you from getting too busy this week.😉

  2. claire93 says:

    that’s a lot of hand-quilting you’ve got lined up! Hope you have a leather thimble so your finger doesn’t end up full of holes

    • katechiconi says:

      I don’t use a thimble much of the time, but I do develop some serious calluses on my fingertips which do a good job.

      • claire93 says:

        I’ve only ever hand-quilted two projects (in my early quilting days) and ended up with a hole in my finger both times.

      • katechiconi says:

        I did that the first time, and after learning my lesson, I let the calluses build slowly. So far, cross fingers, I’ve avoided burying the end of the needle in one finger or another!

  3. Kathy D says:

    That is so beautiful – the colors, the design and now the hand quilting! I really like the geometric design for the inner border, anxious to see what you come up with for the outer border.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! The outer border has windmills, so there might be something whirly around those. I’ve got to concentrate on one area at a time rather than let myself be distracted. There’s a lot of quilt to cover!

  4. There’s something so satisfying about hand-sewing, isn’t there? I prefer it to knitting and crochet 🙂

  5. It’s really pretty, Kate. I’m glad you’re feeling better and enjoying your craft once again.

  6. Sandy says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for showing how you transfer your design to the fabric for quilting. You just solved a problem I have been mulling over! I love hand quilting but haven’t done an overall design yet. The crib quilt I am working on may be well suited for one and I have been trying to figure out the “how”. Now for the “what”!

    • katechiconi says:

      Glad to be of help! I’d also say not to try and mark up too much at once, as it can be hard to see the dots. Do it in short sections and not only will the marking and ruling be easier, but changing from marking to sewing and back will give your hands a rest.

  7. No frame or hoop? Oh well, who needs the table for now anyway. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Neither. I find that with a large quilt, if you roll up the parts you’re not using, the weight provides enough tension to the area you’re working on, with one hand underneath pushing the fabric up and the other hand stitching. As for the table, there’s a strong tendency for it to become a crap-magnet because it’s so large. A big quilt eating all the space does at least have the virtue of preventing that!

  8. Emma says:

    That’s really cool, it’s going to look great!

  9. rutigt says:

    Looking good! Now I´ll continue reading the next post 🙂

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