Monday, August 9, 2010

For the Love of Quilting






For those of you who don't know I am a hand quilter. I love the process of hand quilting as much as I love the result. There is just something soothing about the rhythm of the needle rocking back in forth through the layers and I love how you can feel it begin to be a quilt as you make progress. Before I started quilting for publication, I hand quilted everything and I had never had anyone quilt anything for me until my first book. It may be the control freak in me that makes it hard for me to hand over my top and let someone else finish it. I don't know, but it is hard for me to do. I am weird about some things. Well, ,maybe more than some...

Anyway, with deadlines it is really hard to find the time to hand quilt all my quilts, especially since I do hand applique. I am pretty fast but it still just can't happen. In my first book, Geese in The Rose Garden, I handquilted the main quilt only. In my next book, due out at the end of the month, one of the three quilts is hand quilted. That kind of eases my mind so to speak if I can quilt at least one.

I am currently working on 5 new patterns using layer cakes. The one I am doing right now is nearly quilted. I machine quilted the sample for French Wrens, so I really wanted to hand quilt this one. To make it do-able. I am using the big stitch method. I really enjoy this. It allows me to hand quilt but at a much faster pace.

For those of you who have not tried it, it is the same process as regular handquilting. You use a hoop and rock your needle exactly the same way. The difference being you are using a pearl cotton thread that allows you to take large stitches, speeding up the process greatly. I use a number 8 pearl cotton and an embroidery needle. You get a quilt that softly drapes and has great texture.


These photos show a sneak peak at the first new pattern. It is called Selene and uses a layer cake and a tiny bit of yardage for some sashing borders. The fabric is Luna Notte by 3 Sisters for Moda. I LOVE it. I have been a 3 Sisters fan always but this line is probably my favorite since Wuthering Heights and Chocolat. The black is gorgeous. I love black fabrics and good ones are hard to find sometimes. The paisley is fantastic. The precuts are in shops now and the yardage shoud be available soon. As soon as I get the pattern printed I will be doing a give away. Stay tuned.

Dawn

16 comments:

  1. I love hand-quilting, too, but I've never been able to master the 'rocking' of the needle. LOL - I still push and pull! I don't care, though, I just love working the needle by hand! :)

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  2. It's always nice to hear of others who love hand quilting. I do too and I am like you in that I like to make the whole quilt mine with quilting it as well. I can't seem to get the machine quilting down especially with a conventional machine. Hand quilting is like hand piecing...it's calming and relaxing. I enjoy it.

    I can't wait for your new book to come out!

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  3. I was never able to "rock" the needle for hand quilting and envy those who can. I do love the Big Stitch or Primitive Stitch...something I could handle. Looking forward to seeing your new patterns.

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  4. Looks like this is going to be a really beautiful quilt!

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  5. Muy bonito, el acolchado resalta mucho.¿Qué hilo has empleado?
    Me gusta tu blog y te sigo.
    Bye-Bye!!!

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  6. From what I can see, the pattern is beautiful. I just love the Luna Notte fabric line too.

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  7. Dawn, your big stitch looks very pretty. I do not have the patience for hand quilting...I think because I am terrible at it......I love to do embroidery and applique but my quilting is crappy unless you like uneven stitches....I even tried big stitch, but pearl cotton and I have never gotten along. Maybe I was using the wrong weight of pearl cotton?? it was couple of years ago. Anyway, your sneak peek looks interesitng!!! can;t wait!

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  8. This seems to be catching on ..hand quilting with Perl thread...love those fabrics & the quilting really suits it..
    cheers

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  9. quilts are very pretty! really really like the big stitch, will have to try this. I like hand quilting and it does take a while for me to finish. Have a great day!

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  10. Love your quilt, just discovered your blog, it is great.

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  11. Love your quilt, just discovered your blog, it is great.

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  12. I love hand quilting too, it's really relaxing - but I do love a finished quilt so I get most of mine machine quited by friends.

    I love the look of your handwork with pearl cotton - I've seen it done with primitive quilts, but yours looks quite elegant with what you are doing - I love it and shall try it next time!

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  13. Love the sneak peek. I have not tried the big stitch yet but plan to in the future.

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  14. Gorgeous work as always, Dawn! Can't wait to see the finished quilt. And thanks for sharing this big stitch method. It was fun working with you on your latest book project!
    Kimber

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  16. Beautiful pattern! How creative you are and the fabric is gorgeous! Thank you for giving away two of your patterns!

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