Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Developing New Skills…

Do you try new things? 

Like maybe hand quilting?  Like maybe hand quilting on a Challenge Quilt project?  A project that is due in just a few weeks…

Yeah – probably should pick something a little less public for a first real attempt at hand quilting – you know something I could throw on the dogs bed when I’m done… but no… I’m just going to go for it.

Usually for these quilt challenges I just get my ‘top’ done and I never get it to the point of being quilted… like last years Crayon Challenge Quilt.  I just love this quilt!

Howdy Challenge-2[4]Howdy Challenge-1[4]

I think the last quilt I completely finished to the quilted and done point was the Swimmies quilt for my grandson (who is almost 5) – and that was handed over about 3 years ago – Dec. 2010.  This picture is from when I finished piecing it while we still lived in the townhouse – spring 2008.

Swimmies quilt 009[3]

I also did some machine quilting on some (4) of those Calendar Quilts… but after I broke my knee in Feb. 2011 I was lucky to get the remaining tops assembled and nothing else happened with them after that. 

Last year I saw an Ulmer Quilter frame at a new quilt shop in the area.  As I was finishing up the piecing of the Star Challenge Quilt for this years retreat I decided to go and get the frame and give hand quilting a try.  I liked the frame because of the way it’s constructed, reasonable cost, and portability.


The Engineer came over to where I was working last night – scrunched up his face and said “why are the stitches so big?”  He saw all the basting stitches and thought that was what I was doing… I guess by comparison my uneven quilting looks just fine… LOL

I decided to just post a picture of my work in all it’s ‘new quilter glory’… I selected a ‘light brown’ thread because although it stand out in the white squares it isn’t all that noticeable through the colored fabrics… and there is more color in the blocks than there is white.  I thought about changing thread color – but it is actually helpful to be able to see the stitches.  This is the first area I worked on – I hope to gain some consistency as I go along.  But I know once I wash it and the wonderful all forgiving rumpled look sets in… all is forgiven!

Do you hand quilt?  Do you have a favorite method?  Favorite Thimble?  I suppose I could have done all this research before hand… but what would be the fun in that?

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