Pass Three again

Not too much stitching to show yet on Pass Three – I’ve changed my mind on “what to quilt where” at least three times since my last post…………. but decisions are finally made and marked.  Phew!

These nesting circle templates have proved immensely useful in my quest to fill corners and junctions in this quilt.  I think they were an early Creative Grids production in the late 1980s and they’ve been very well used since.  If you peer closely at the pic below you can see some circles marked in blue washout pen –

So, plenty to keep me occupied!  Working on a traditional fixed frame will mean that each circle will be stitched in two sections – from 3 o’clock over to 9 o’clock and then back to 3 0’clock and under to 9 o’clock.  Sounds awkward but it’s less twisting and twirling of a large quilt with a handheld frame.

Another gripping bulletin next week! Happy stitching everyone.




On to Pass Three

The quilting schedule has slipped by a couple of sessions so Pass Three is not as far advanced as I had hoped – but it has begun!  I need to have the quilt off the frame and the frame packed away by the end of next month so there’s still plenty of time.  If plans work out it will be a return to quilting at the Overseas Office in August and there’s already a sizeable stack of projects packed up in readiness.   And, in one of those inexplicable fits of organisation and tidiness, I have managed to empty out and sort out the three bags of essential notions that I seem to take everywhere –

Isn’t it amazing how stuff accumulates and increases with the passage of time?  and it’s all essential!

Second pass

Almost finished the second pass on the quilt in the frame!

As at today all sashings and borders have been quilted with very simple lines  (Pass 2) and all blocks outline quilted (Pass 1).  And, as you could have predicted, there is probably going to be a Pass 3 where some further simple lines will be stitched into each of the blocks and the sashing junctions resolved.  Every step of making this quilt has been so much fun.  It was originally planned as the focus for a series of hand stitching classes at my local quilt shop and I’m now thinking that it might be the focus for some online classes ….. or a stitchalong………… happy to hear your thoughts/advice on this.

The vintage Feathered Star shown in the previous post now has batting, backing and basting and is ready for quilting – so modest progress on that front.  All  Projects In Progress have been located and examined (this took a while!) and put back in their respective safe places, with some decisions made about priorities.  Vintage black and white blocks have been looked at for the umpteenth time, another set of decisions made for yet another black and white project.  I couldn’t resist recording a few of the fabrics –

Some surfaces may have been cleared and cleaned in my sewing room too so everything is looking good for the week to come.

Happy stitching!

Keep going

More steady progress on the quilt in the frame this week, currently two thirds of the way through the second pass putting regular but squiggly lines in all the sashing strips and zigzags and squares on point in the borders.  That said it’s progress that is difficult to see –

– still so much space unaccounted for!  I’ve decided that this second pass will need to be followed by a third where the open spaces in all the blocks will get some quilting attention.  You could call this procrastination, or even fear of finishing, but I really feel that this organic approach serves me better than deciding and marking everything before I start quilting.  So, with each complete pass requiring 10 – 12 hours actual stitching time I’m hoping to be ready to start the third pass next week.  I’m also finding that just an hour a day at the frame is working well, enough to see a result from each sitting.

Instead of delving into The Cupboard this week I needed to do a deep search of my stash and projects crates.  And, as is so often the way, various fabrics and projects that were not on the search list just demanded to see the light of day again.  Here’s one piece that was folded away in the lower levels of Projects Crate #1 –

The vintage Feathered Star block was purchased from Mary Koval at Houston International Quilt Festival a number of years ago.  I added the narrow green and wider red border before good reproduction fabrics were available to us.   If you are a fan of original green prints here’s a closer look

You can probably guess that the original intention was to finish and quilt the block, and we all know what happens to so many good intentions  . . !  So it’s a goal for the coming week to find appropriate batting and backing  and move this on to the next stage.

Happy stitching!



More of the same

Sometimes progress is difficult to measure – looking back over the past week I can see that I have progressed several projects and picked up a few others that should never have been put down, but overall there’s little to show.   The first two long borders on the quilt in the frame are done –

Decision taken for the sashing border and sashings – this may get an amendment from one curving line to a proper single cable, or it may not.

Behind the scenes activity this week with one or two more quilts from The Cupboard – this time a delightful 1930s Rolling Star and a somewhat older Basket top

And I may have found the perfect bling fabric for mask-making –

Happy stitching!

Zigzags and chalk

It’s been fun trying out different simple border quilting options for the quilt on the frame – my favourite “tryout” method involves lots of chalk lines and standing back, brushing the chalk lines out and making more, standing back …  You get the idea.  And sometimes it’s hard to do simple!  And just how simple can you get?  So far I’ve considered single cables, squares on point, lined twist, and now the game has moved on to zigzags.  This seems to be the most comfortable visual fit to date so the first section has been marked up (more chalk) ready to go.

The marking was made even easier by adapting an existing template (top of pic) with masking tape to give a guideline.  The next round of quilting begins right here!

The Friendship Star and Nine Patch top that was a mini Mystery for my locked down handstitching students is now complete and ready to move on to the quilting pile –

and more quilting choices to be made.  Top candidate at the moment is Baptist Fan – we’ll see!

Old favourite

No quilting this week – which feels odd.  Only excuse I can come up with is I’ve been busy finding my way around various online platforms and seeing how they could work for virtual classes (hand quilting and hand piecing maybe?), helping quilting friends on the same quest, making masks requested by family, and keeping up with students with their current handpiecing project.  Over on the chrisandbarbaraquilts side of things there’s a LOT going on behind the scenes – and, before you know it, another week has gone by!

So, a week with no quilting makes an excuse for showing you one of my favourite not-quilted vintage pieces from The Cupboard.  Foundation pieced Log Cabin blocks which measure 4inches approx, cotton velvet centre squares/rectangles mostly brown in colour, wide range of types and weights of fabrics from shirtings to sheeting,  equally wide range of fabrics for the foundations, blocks stitched together with overcasting stitch (as for EPP).  Rescued from a builders skip and gifted to me after a dark green velvet border had been carefully removed by the keen-eyed quilter who rescued it.

Now I really do have to make some decisions about borders on the quilt on the frame and move that project along…… happy stitching!

Fancy stuff

Update on the quilt in the frame – all outline quilting done and now awaiting final decision on quilting for the sashings and borders.

So while I’m cogitating on this and drawing interesting chalk lines to help the creative decisions I thought you might enjoy some quilted texture from one of the quilts in The Cupboard.

This small wholecloth quilt (47inches x 37inches) was acquired from a general textiles dealer 15years ago, no provenance, no information – as is so often the case.

I just loved the simplicity of it – simple strippy patterns filling the space and a cable border that didn’t turn at the corners, cheap satin front and back, carded wool batting and a stuffed knife-edge finish.  Very showy courtesy of the shine of the satin adding to the loft of the wool batting.


Now back to the frame!

Vintage quilting

One of my favourite things for this post – quilted texture.  The quilt is one I acquired in the USA at least 10 years ago, probably more.  In terms of overall condition it’s pretty decent, some broken stitches, worn binding and serious fading of green fabric to a pale buff colour, no spots or stains etc etc.  I would estimate the date to be circa 1860s .  The pieced blocks are Triple Sunflower.  My reason (if I needed one) for acquiring this quilt was the quilting – super small stitching and lots of it.

The quilting stitches are really alarmingly small, averaging 13 to the inch –

and the familiar classic motif Feather Wreath –

plus a very delectable Feathered Plume –


The borders are quilted with triple diagonal lines – easy to mark and easy to quilt on a frame –

I found it interesting that the pieced blocks were quilted with an allover pattern rather than “by the piece” – again, easier to quilt when working on a frame.

Note to self: I really do have to knuckle down and draft the quilting patterns from this and other quilts from The Cupboard. ( In the meantime there is a simple measurements-and-construction pattern guide for this quilt available at Meadowside Designs ).

And with that it’s back to my quilt frame where good progress is being made – update next week!

On the frame

An update on the activity at the quilting frame and a bit of background info on the whys and wherefores.

I first set the quilt on the frame lengthways and did as much basic outline quilting as I comfortably could.  This was what I refer to as the first pass.  Quilting patchwork is nowhere near as straightforward as working wholecloth!  Seam allowances to deal with and all that good stuff.  But you knew that …..

Second pass comes after taking the quilt off the frame and putting it back on widthways (longer lengths of tape required at either side) and then continuing to complete the outline quilting.

Pass One, row 1

Pass One row 2

Pass One row 3


Off the frame ready to turn to widthways

Pass Two row 1

I still have no idea what, if anything, I will quilt in the sashings and borders but there is plenty of time to think about that.  The lovely thing about having a quilt set up on a frame (and the necessary space) is that you can just go and sit and put in a few stitches when you can.  I’m doing a minimum of 45 minutes each day and making good progress so far.