Sea Glass #13: breaking the border

It sounds so much worse, “over 2,300 square inches still to be quilted”.

But of course, if you break it down into sections, everything is suddenly much easier. Each of the Sea Glass borders consists of 2 sixteen patch corner posts, 8 inches square, a centre post the same size, and two long strips in between. Eight squares, eight long strips. I like those numbers much better.

So if you quilt three squares and two long strips, you’ve done just over a quarter of the border. Sounds a lot better like that, doesn’t it? Or is that just me? It certainly seemed to work in practice too.

I have two of the three sides done already. Three more days will hopefully see it done, and then I can start thinking about the binding. You know, the fun stuff: what colour, 2½ inch or 2¼ inch binding strips, sewing on the strips, and then my very favouritest part. The hand stitching. No, actually, I’m not in the least bonkers. I love hand stitching – or why else would I have just hand quilted 6,400² inches of quilt? (More of those scary numbers…) Most of the time I have a deadline and cannot afford the luxury of leisurely and lengthy stitching, but this quilt doesn’t have a due date, so I can indulge myself.

You know what? I didn’t draw blood from my sewing thumb or middle finger once, a bit of a record. Normally I drive the eye end of the needle into one and/or the other multiple times when I hit a bit with lots of seams. Of course, I don’t count the needle sticks in the underneath hand… They’re almost obligatory for hand quilters, but you do have to watch out for blood spots, or as I prefer to call it, DNA quilt marking.

So, two more sides to go, and the more I do, the faster I quilt. The template I made will be well and truly knackered by that time, it’s only paper with punched slots for marking through, but so long as it holds out till the end I’m not worried. And it’d be great if the white ceramic leads for my quilt marker would last till then too, but I’m not 100% confident of that.

Time to turn the quilt and start the next side.


30 thoughts on “Sea Glass #13: breaking the border

  1. Such a lot of stitches. The first picture really shows off the quilting beautifully.
    I once calculated how many stitches I had knitted in a month… I now can’t remember the numbers, but I know that it soon added up to many thousands. And we do it all for the joy of creation!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, calculating area or counting stitches is just wrong, that way lies madness. But it’s kind of fun to work it out afterwards and give yourself a tiny pat on the back 🙂

  2. claire93 says:

    love those hearts!
    I think quilting is a bit like cross stitch. If we sat and worked out how many crosses we stitch in a xstitch design, instead of just looking at global measurements, we’d never start a project lol

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s absolutely right. I had every intention of machine quilting everything except the 4 central flower basket blocks, but when I got there, I just couldn’t do it, and I took a deep breath and plunged into hand stitching the lot.

  3. tialys says:

    I must be bonkers as I’m not a fan of hand stitching but do like attaching the binding. Maybe it’s because it’s the final part. You’ve obviously had lots of fun making this particular quilt – the colours are a feast for the eyes – your SIL will love it. (it was for your SIL wasn’t it?).

    • katechiconi says:

      It was, and I think she’ll like it, she’s been enthusiastic so far! I think you’re right about enjoying stitching the binding because it’s the final part, but for me it’s also because I find the finish so much more perfect and neat than a machine stitched one.

  4. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    That fabric on the first picture is awesome !!!!!

  5. rutigt says:

    I love to sew the binding. It somehow closes all the raw edges and makes the quilt look so much better. I mostly (99%) stitch by hand!

  6. nanacathy2 says:

    I lofve that abric in the first picture, glorious. And the pattern is nice too and the quilt. I just like it a lot.

  7. Debbierose says:

    Beautiful piece of fabtic, colours incredible

  8. Good work, and yes, if we are counters, we need to find ways to count in the most hopeful possible ways. 🙂 I usually finish bindings by hand anymore, and I love how fast it goes. But there is no doubt it looks terrible (mine often does) compared to hand-stitching the finish.

    • katechiconi says:

      My machine finished binding *always* looks terrible anyway, but that’s probably lack of practice compared with hand finishing. I use it mainly for when I know the quilt will get a lot of rugged use!

  9. Hand quilting too?!! You are amazing Kate:)!

    • katechiconi says:

      Having finished the centre medallion by hand, I found I was enjoying myself too much to stop! I do love the look and feel of hand quilting, but normally I don’t have the luxury of time to do it. No deadline for this quilt, so I could hand finish the whole thing.

  10. lucyannluna says:

    That’s really pretty fabric, it’s going to look beautiful

  11. I’m in love with all of your quilting projects, Kate. This is stunning. I love these colors and the pretty heart quilting in the center. What a clever idea. I enjoy sewing by hand so I can see why you like hand quilting. It’s rhythmic and satisfying.

  12. Lynda says:

    Kate, I have never counted stitches and only judged progress by a visual estimate – blocks, quadrants, etc. I think the exponentiality of counting stitches would be overwhelming for me. 😯
    Exponentiality of the stitches aside it remains that your work is beautiful.

    • katechiconi says:

      Even I am not obsessive enough to count stitches, only calculate area! It works both ways; I get a sense of achievement from covering area, but I get intimidated if I think about it too much at the beginning, hence breaking it down. Thank you so much for your kind comment 🙂

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