Sea Glass #10: central square complete

This is more fun than I thought it would be!

Hand quilting can be physically demanding. It can make wreckage of your fingers, give you a backache from hunching over your work, and a slight sense of “will this never end?” if you’re working on a really big quilt.

But somehow, I’m managing to avoid most of those problems. Not the finger wreckage of course, that’s an occupational hazard (although my calluses are developing nicely), but I find to my slight amazement that I’m really enjoying hand quilting this rather large piece of work. All 6,400 square inches of it….

So, anyway, I’ve got the central flower basket medallion and Border 1 done. Now I have to address Border 2, which consists of large 16 inch pieced squares with a windmill at the centre of each.  I’m thinking of maybe something that’ll create a swirl effect around the windmills, with gentle curves, to create a contrast to the formal geometric woven design used for Border 1. Or it could be something completely different. I need to spend some more time squinting at it before I decide.

Something I need to consider with whatever design I come up with is that I don’t want to keep turning the quilt to stitch the design fully; it needs to be something that can be stitched in just a couple of directions so I don’t need to do gymnastics across the table top. It’s not a question of compromising the design, just being a bit clever about how it’s executed. Unless it turns into a freehand design, I’ll probably make another paper template to make marking up the quilt top easier.

It’s a good job the days are getting longer and summer is coming. I need all the good daylight I can get 🙂

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33 thoughts on “Sea Glass #10: central square complete

  1. lucyannluna says:

    It’s looking very pretty

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, I’m pleased with how it’s coming along, but I do have to take it relatively easy or I’ll poke holes in my fingers.

      • lucyannluna says:

        I’ve worn holes in my fingers many times, they are so painful. I do not use a thimble, as I then use the next finger, & poke a hole in that.

      • katechiconi says:

        Exactly! If I’m quilting something very thick and tough, I’ll use one to push the needle, but it makes me very slow and rather clumsy so I prefer not to.

      • lucyannluna says:

        Have you tried those leather pads that stick on they are expensive but are better than plasters if you have started to where a hole.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’ve tried them, but they make me very fumble-fingered and they tend to come off and stick to the underside of the quilt! I’m finding that if I work up to it slowly and let the calluses build up, it’s a bit easier. My thumb’s the worst victim – there have been times when I’ve had to wind layers of surgical tape around the end of it just to stop the end of the needle continually reopening the same holes!

      • lucyannluna says:

        I put the leather pad under the surgical tap, to stop it coming off, over the most sensitive bit. My nail on my right hand index finger doesn’t grow properly due to all the sewing I’ve done.

      • katechiconi says:

        The things we do for our craft….

  2. If you’re having to do gymnastics across the table top, you could try your hand at pool or snooker ! 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m the person who can’t throw, hit or catch a ball. Not proud of it, but there’s nothing I can do about it. My klutz genes are too strong! Luckily, I’ve been able to avoid the gymnastics so far.

  3. claire93 says:

    it’s looking gorgeous, Kate! make sure you don’t hunch over for too long at a time. Lots of standing up straight and walking about in between.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m being careful because of my back, and making sure I get up, walk around the table and work on the other side for a bit. But it’s going well, faster than I thought.

  4. craftycreeky says:

    It’s looking very pretty,having seen your quilts I am now seriously thinking of handquilting my rabbit quilt, so I’ve been reading a bit about big-stitch quilting, do you use a perle thread?

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m not using a perle thread for this one, just Gütermann CA02776 waxed hand quilting thread, which is thicker and bouncy and doesn’t tangle or twist. I prefer not to use perle thread where there are a lot of seams to cross; being so much thicker, it’s harder to pull through the layers even if you run your stitching thread through beeswax. It works beautifully for outlining appliqué on a non-pieced background or for wholecloth pieces, though! I also like a longer needle than Sarah Fielke uses, because my technique isn’t exactly standard! Gets the job done, though…

  5. This is looking terrific. I do like the grid pattern in the first border. I’m glad you’re enjoying the process!

  6. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    LOVE the flowerbaskets !!

  7. kathyreeves says:

    Finger wreckage is the perfect description. It is coming along beautifully, Kate.

  8. cazinatutu says:

    while you’re celebrating longer days, I’m bemoaning the sunrise and sunset coming closer together

  9. magpiesue says:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the hand quilting so much. It’s sort of surprising how our tastes and experiences change over time isn’t it? I like the idea of a circular design around the windmills. Hope you can figure that out. It would be a nice contrast to the straight lines elsewhere in the quilt.

    • katechiconi says:

      I did a lot of experimentation yesterday, and couldn’t find a ‘whirl’ I liked enough 😦 So I’m going to go with outlining and echo quilting the windmills, and then having parallel wavy lines in each quadrant, rotating through 90° as they go round the square. Not a very clear explanation, but you’ll see what I mean soon enough!

  10. Hand quilting?! You rock Kate:)!! I think it is PERFECT with that gorgeous Quilt:)!

  11. I love the idea of swirls around the windmills… the movement or air captured in a quilt ❤

  12. rutigt says:

    Clever woman, I guess you know exactly what to do, how to stitch!

  13. Lynda says:

    This turned out so lovely! I liked it from the start, but I never noticed your clever use of floral fabric to fill the baskets till now.

    • katechiconi says:

      I thought, well, they’re flower baskets, they need to contain flowers. Using that large print meant that I could quilt around the flower shapes without having to go too crazy. I have a lot more done by now, working on the big windmill squares around the centre. Another post soon.

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