Sea Glass #12: just the border to go

I feel fully justified in a bit of “tah-daaaa”

All 12 of the large 16 inch windmill blocks are quilted. Yes, my fingers are sore, thanks for asking, but the sense of satisfaction has a wonderfully numbing effect.

Now I just have the border to do. But before I get started on that, I need to repin the border. Working from the centre out is important in hand quilting, just as it is when quilting on a domestic machine. It’s virtually impossible to get pinned layers perfectly smooth and tight as you can on longarm rollers, and I had nowhere suitable to spray baste an 80 inch square quilt. There will always be a little excess fabric in one layer or another, and it’s better if that manifests itself at the edges instead of the middle. Sometimes you can quilt the excess out, sometimes not.

On this quilt, there’s a teeny ridge of surplus backing fabric between the quilted blocks and the rest of the pinning, which needs to be smoothed out and the layers repinned. It’s not a biggie, but it does need to happen before the border quilting starts.

Also before I start I have to think about what I want to put there. It would be a lot easier to mark up without the pins in place, so maybe I have to do that first…

So, thinking cap on, cup of coffee… oh bother, no chocolate!

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34 thoughts on “Sea Glass #12: just the border to go

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    Thanks for the tip about quilting from the centre out, it makes sense when I think about it. The sea glass is gorgeous btw.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s logical, but often there’s a temptation to start at the top and work down. If you do that, you may end up with a big ruck in the backing before you reach the bottom. I’d rather repin just the borders! I’m glad you like the quilt, I’m looking forward to giving it to my SIL.

  2. claire93 says:

    oh well done Kate! almost nearing a finish ^^

  3. Kathy D says:

    WHAT??? No stash of chocolate? You must dash to the store post haste! That quilt is absolutely stunning! I haven’t hand quilted before, but I found a very basic pieced top at an antiques store that was had stitched. My thought was that it should be hand quilted – I do have a hoop so maybe I should go shopping for some hand quilting thread. Not sure if I’m looking forward to sore finger tips.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m so glad you like it! Yes, buying the right thread will make a big difference, since hand quilting thread just doesn’t seem to tangle and is stiff enough to make needle threading easy. I’ve just discovered a quilting genius called the Thimble Lady, who says it’s possible to learn how to do it without pain. Search her on YouTube and marvel… I shall be practising her technique as soon as I’ve finished this quilt!

      • Kathy D says:

        I have watched her videos in the past and was surprised she doesn’t use a hoop. Almost bought one of her thimbles, then looked at TJLane (wow$$$) then settled on 2 sizes of Roxanne’s. Do you always use the waxed thread?

      • katechiconi says:

        Always the waxed thread! It’s firm and wiry, it just doesn’t tangle, and it slides smoothly through the fabric. It’s one less hassle to think about. And the spool itself is a different colour so I don’t mess up and try and use it in the machine.

  4. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    wow ! stunning ! love the colours !

  5. knitnkwilt says:

    Either I have lost track of time or you have quilted quite quickly. (Ya gotta love alliteration.) It’s been a while since I’ve hand quilted, but I think I started in the center too. I know I usually do for machine quilting.

    • katechiconi says:

      I *have* quilted quite quickly, which is good, because there was a bit of a hiatus between assembling the top and getting this done. I’m still debating the design for the border, but I’m thinking it’ll be a woven cable of some sort running between the 16-patch corner and centre posts.

  6. craftycreeky says:

    Gosh, you’ve quilted this quickly, it looks gorgeous, you’re tempting me more and more to hand quilt my Rabbit hole quilt!! Glad you mentioned about starting in the middle, I’ve always gone round the edges first, probably beginners luck that I’ve not had problems 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I still have the four borders to go, something over 300 inches long by 8 inches wide. But I’m planning to quilt in a pattern where I can pick a line and stitch continuously rather than stop and start, so that’ll help. It does produce such a nice finish, I’d recommend giving it a go on the Rabbit Hole! My hands have held up OK, my back is OK, you just have to pace yourself.

  7. lucyannluna says:

    So pretty, the colours are beautiful

  8. kathyreeves says:

    The quilt is looking great, but how are you, Kate? Are you feeling a great as your quilt looks yet?😄

  9. coffee? No, man, go straight to whiskey. You deserve it!

  10. It is such a beautiful quilt, Kate. Stunning, really.

  11. Those colours really are stunning.

    • katechiconi says:

      I reckon I’ll have the quilting done by the end of next week, the quilt bound and finished in another week, and then I can photograph it outside so you can see the true colours. The balance isn’t quite right in artificial light.

  12. rutigt says:

    I don´t know how you do it! So much handquilting in no time and besides that…….having time to repin the border and figure out the next quilting pattern. My latest hand quilting project has been going on for the last five year now and it still isn´t finished 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      The answer is: Do big stitches, mark a whole section up at once, and choose a design that all goes in one direction, so you don’t have to move the quilt around. That’s why I like that braided cable design!

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