Bonnard quilting: halfway

We’re getting there.

This clamshell quilting design creates a lovely texture under the hand and looks really good when it catches the light. I’m glad I finally listened to the quilt.

I was worried red quilting thread would stand out too much on the front, but as you can see, it works really well, and disappears on the back.

The spray basting has held up very well, I haven’t had to manage any saggy bits or excess fullness, and despite not using a frame, working with the quilt simply laid across the table, everything is still good and stuck! I also haven’t had any issues with spray baste gumming up my needle, possibly because I was fairly frugal with the spraying. The 505 spray I use is quite a ‘dry’ product, you don’t get wet splatter. If anything, it goes a bit like Crazy String, which is a sign you need to clear the nozzle. I’m also happy to report that some of the excessive fluffiness of the backing fabric seems to disappear as I work, which is probably due to my right arm rubbing across it as I sew.

At this point, I’m allowing myself to think ahead to the binding, and what colour I might use. No fixed ideas yet, but it has to work with both back and front. I have a fair bit of the red backing fabric left, and I might use that if it doesn’t look too strong against the front when I audition it. Otherwise, maybe a dark green. I’ll see…

Halfway there. 16 lines quilted, 16 more to go.

Right, onwards and upwards. I’m not going to post about every additional small increment; the next time you see this quilt it’ll be fully quilted and I’ll be ready to bind it.

37 thoughts on “Bonnard quilting: halfway

  1. itwasjudith says:

    Fabulous, it’s coming out really well, I’m very impressed. Thanks for sharing

  2. nettyg says:

    Satisfying progress!

  3. claire93 says:

    there’s so much gorgeous colour and quilting in this project Kate – it’s going to be smashing when it’s finished!

  4. It’s absolutely beautiful! I look forward to seeing quilted and bound:)❤️❤️

  5. jeanswenson says:

    I am a new follower to your blog, and have a question: are you quilting this by hand? From what I gather, you are, which is totally amazing to me!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I sure am, and the hand in question is telling me all about it. It’s taking a while, as you’d expect, but I hope to have it done in a couple of weeks, ready to bind. Welcome to Chiconia, and I hope you’re finding things to interest you 🙂

      • jeanswenson says:

        I am – and thanks! I make tops, but have never actually attempted the ‘quilting’ aspect. Right now, I back my tops with fleece, binding the top and fleece with an edge binding using my sewing machine. I also do a lot of cross stitch, and think, heck quilting by hand is probably akin to cross stitching, but just on a much grander scale. You have encouraged me to rethink my reticence of hand quilting!

      • katechiconi says:

        Hand quilting through fleece would be fairly tricky, I suspect, as the extra loft of the fabric would make getting the needle over to the next stitch much harder. Flannel would be OK, I think. But with fleece backing, I do think you might consider tying your quilts, using embroidery floss to knot through from back to front. It’s quick, and the effect can be very pretty. I did one quilt like that for my father, with a fleece backing. I used tapestry wool for the ties and using a little cross stitch on the front and tufting the end of the ties on the back.

      • jeanswenson says:

        I am actually considering doing a “real” quilt, with fabric backing! 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        Then hand quilting will work well! There is nothing to prevent you starting with ‘big stitch’ hand quilting and graduating to smaller stitches as you become more proficient. Many people use colourful perle thread for that, but I prefer the ease of using coated standard quilting 100% cotton thread. It’s non-tangle, and passes more easily through the fabric.

  6. Wonderful. I do love the texture that quilting gives. Have you used any spray basting in the past? Yes, I would think it would take a pretty light touch for hand-quilting, so the needle doesn’t get icky. But that probably works fine if you are not shoving the layers around a lot, like you might with machine work.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve spray basted all the QAYG blocks for the Ovarian Cancer quilts, but as individual blocks they don’t get much hard usage. This is the first decent sized quilt I’ve spray basted, and so far, so very good! I think the way I’m quilting helps, as I’m not disturbing the quilt much from its position flat on the table.

  7. dayphoto says:

    I have come to believe the secret (THE SECRET) to everything is to listen…our hearts will tell us. Your quilts are lovely!

  8. anne54 says:

    I had to enlarge the photo to see the quilting, so it seems subtle enough to me! Isn’t it too hot to hand stitch? (It’s going to be 39 here today, and humid. Eek….and I am off to be a marshal for the Gay Pride March! Lots of sunscreen and water,)

    • katechiconi says:

      It is hot, but I have the quilt laid across my dining table. The worked section is rolled up, the rest hangs off the opposite side, and this provides tension. I only have my left hand under the quilt to tent it up and manipulate the fabric under the needle, so no, it doesn’t get too warm, luckily! I’ve found this way of quilting works well for me instead of using a frame, and it ensures the spray basted layers stay flat and smooth. Good luck with the March, stay sun-safe and well hydrated!

  9. magpiesue says:

    Seems to me this is moving along at quite a clip! It’s always a surprise to me what color thread ends up working the best in a quilt top. Red was the color of choice here too recently. Never would have guessed it!

    • katechiconi says:

      I think the decision to use red was prompted by not wanting any errors to show up on the plain red of the backing, but it does work well on the front to, giving a little sparkle to the darker colours.

  10. Not only wonderful in itself, but wonderful that you are enjoying the process so much as well ❤

    • katechiconi says:

      Practice truly does make a difference. The first quilt I ever did by hand was a nightmare because my technique was very faulty, it was huge and it was my first. Now that I’ve done it a few more times, the process is becoming satisfying and enjoyable, and there’s rarely too much blood-letting.

  11. craftycreeky says:

    Beautiful, I love the colours, it’s amazing how red works so well on the front. Looking forward to seeing a finish 🙂

  12. dezertsuz says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! The colors are rich, and I’m thrilled you used the red quilting thread – what a brave decision that worked out well.

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