Sea Glass #14: Time for a new needle

… and new fingers and a new template.

It’s done. The hand quilting on Sea Glass is complete. I’m actually quite shocked at how quickly it went, but I suppose each time I do hand quilt a large project I’ve learned from the previous ones, and I instinctively know how to make a quilter’s knot and bury the end of the thread, and how much thread to load on the needle and what length it’ll cover, and so on. It helps also to have a large space to lay the quilt out on and be able to leave it undisturbed (hello again, dining table!).

I’ve used a nice thick cotton batting so there’s a good puffy loft to the quilt. One thing I’ve learned and will pass on to you to save you grief: do not use a white-on-white print for your backing. Sure, it looks lovely, but the over-printing is thicker than average to make it visible, and the thickness of the ink is hard to push the needle through. I worked that one out about 10 minutes into the quilting process…

The paper template was easy to make once I’d worked out that making the slots by poking through with the blade of small sharp scissors instead of laboriously cutting them with a scalpel was infinitely quicker. It was easy to use; I just marked through the holes with a white ceramic mechanical pencil designed for quilters, and literally joined the dots. The marker rubs off with an eraser or washes out, as does the thin lead pencil marks I used on the lighter fabrics. The template’s completely stuffed now, as is my needle. It’s a big old heavy quilt, there’s a lot of fine weave batiks, for which I like a fine quilting needle, so a bit of bending was almost inevitable.

Finally, I’ve bought my binding fabric. Strictly between us, I’ve bought a bit more than I really need, because I like the fabric so much… It’s another batik, very pretty shades of amethyst, and I think it’ll look lovely edging that greeny-tealy-bluey border fabric. So, tomorrow’s trim out day, followed by cutting and joining the binding strip, and depending on my time and energy, perhaps even machine stitching the binding on the front face. Hand stitching down the binding on the back will definitely have to wait till my hands have had a rest.

Now, time for a little glass of something to celebrate.


28 thoughts on “Sea Glass #14: Time for a new needle

  1. katechiconi says:

    That’d be nice πŸ™‚ But do you need another quilt? And let’s face it, if you’re my SIL, then I’m yours, so how about making me a quilt πŸ™‚ ? Heheh!
    I’m looking forward to getting it finished so my *other* SIL can take possession – a sort of early birthday present.

  2. craftycreeky says:

    Looks beautiful, thanks for the tip about the backing fabric, I’d noticed white on white seemed thicker but hadn’t sussed out why!

    • katechiconi says:

      I first noticed it when machine quilting: the white ink doesn’t close up behind the needle and you get big punch holes in it. Not a good look! I thought a hand quilting needle would make less of a mark. It does, but it’s also much harder to push it through!

  3. I can’t imagine doing all that quilting by hand and I am sorry it’s taken such a tole on your hands. The quilt is gorgeous! Who ever gets it will just love it.

  4. Moira says:

    Beautiful! And love the binding fabric. Enjoy your rest before the next project.

  5. jmcheney says:

    What an amazing lot of work, planning, figuring, stitching. I love your lining. Mama was a hand quilter & I remember her projects on her dining room table. We all treasure those gifts she made so lovingly for each of us for this & that occasion. It’s sweet to touch her stitches (some of them well after Arthur Itis came to stay with her – as she often said). Precious things handmade quilts.

    • katechiconi says:

      You know, people often remark what a lot of work quiltmaking is, but I have no sense of labouring at it. Quilts seem to make themselves known to me and demand to be brought to life. That sounds daft, but it’s how it happens! There’s a sort of sense of pressure until I’ve made and finished it πŸ™‚ How lovely that you have things your mama made for you – feel the love!

  6. kathyreeves says:

    What a great finish this will be, and a treasure for you SIL!

  7. dayphoto says:

    It’s looking very pretty!

  8. Kathy D says:

    Oooohhh – that binding fabric is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it all together and also what other things you are going to use it in.

  9. lucyannluna says:

    That purple fabric is gorgeous, the hand quilting looks like it’s going well

  10. Just lovely. Have another toast from me!

  11. magpiesue says:

    That binding fabric will be the perfect finishing touch! I avoided using white on white prints for ears because of the issue with the thicker blobs of ink/dye. Now I just look for the prints that use smaller, scattered bits of white on the white ground fabric. πŸ™‚

  12. rutigt says:

    I do understand why you bought some extra of that binding fabric! It looks great! Now let your hand take a break and stamp your feet with joy instead. No more hand quilting for the moment πŸ™‚ Well done!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I took a holiday from hand stitching today – except for darning a cardigan the moths had started to eat. But that doesn’t count as sewing, really πŸ™‚ And I took up a pair of pants for the Husband, but on the machine so that doesn’t count either πŸ™‚

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