Saturday, July 14, 2012

Obeying the Quilt

I am starting quilt and wanted to give you a sneak peek...


My original plan was to just machine quilt it in close, straight rows, but the quilt wanted none of that and after several attempts I gave in, ripped out my stitches, and did what the quilt wanted me to do. The quilt seemed to demand that it be machine quilted in un-straight rows, spaced further apart in unequal distances, and with hand quilting done in between, also in un-straight rows. (And yes, I know that by looking at these close up photos, the rows of stitching seem pretty straight, but in reality they aren't... it's all much more organic. Exactly what the quilt asked for!) 


Of course, this is a wee bit more time consuming then what I had first planned, however, the quilt was right and I am glad I listened to it. I find it's always better to give into the work then to try to force your will upon it. 


Hope to finish the quilt this week and will be sure to share the final results. Have a happy weekend everyone!


33 comments:

LSS said...

Love the combo of hand and machine quilting on this piece! I, too, have hand quilted "on demand" in the past. there's no arguing with a quilt.

Pamela Nees said...

Really, really love it.

And I love how you speak of "the quilt demands it." What a novel idea! (And to use both hand and machine quilting--love that too. Must file that idea away.)
Thanks--great inspiration!

nicolette at dutchcomfort said...

Love the red and neutrals together, as well as your machine- and handquilting. What a great idea to listen to what the quilt asks for! I’m curious to see the total beauty!!

Esch House Quilts said...

All the stitching looks fantastic! I love the machine and hand quilting together. Good for you for listening to the quilt! I'm not so good at that if I've already started stitching.

In my book, you can't go wrong with reds and neutrals either. Can't wait to see the finished quilt :)

Venus de Hilo said...

Lovely work, the machine and hand stitching melds so well! And yes, quilts do know what they need if we give them a chance to tell us. So important to stay fluid as the work progresses.

Teje said...

Oh, that looks so beautiful! I love quilting and especially by hand but to mix it with machine quilt gives very interesting look!
You have it so right in your last post 'Stitch in day keeps the doctor away'! Beautiful quilts again! x Teje

mathea said...

This looks wonderful! I love the reds and neutrals together and you have proved before that hand and machine quilting go so well together.

mjb said...

What a fantastic look at your process, and I love the detailed peek at your stitches, too.

Kim said...

Oh good listen ears Victoria! Great results :0)
What comforting colors too.

Happy sewing

Svetlana said...

wow! this looks totally gorgeous! Your quilt was right and good for you for listening!

Sally said...

Really gorgeous! Can't wait to see the FO!

Kit Lang said...

Love the sneak peek - can't wait tro see it whole!

Camilla said...

That is looking stunning! I love the subtle colour variations within each block, can't wait to see it properly!
I think it was you who inspired me to purchase some mode grunge recently for a project I have in mind too!

Quilter Kathy said...

It looks amazing! Love the combination of machine and hand stitches! Great photos!

Kathryn said...

It's so true that a quilt has ideas about itself. I can't wait to see if finished, it looks stunning from what I see so far!

Karyn said...

I've never though about combining the two. It looks good.

Rhonda said...

How wonderful it turned out! I am just learning what it means to "listen to the quilt" and as a new quilter it is wonderful to learn how to be more organic with my quilting. Thank you so much for your inspiration!

Rumi said...

Simply perfect.
I have to try combination of hand and machine quilting with straight lines.

Karin på Ösäter said...

Really really lovely, I love the colour combo and the handstitching is wonderful. Can´t wait to see it finished.

KrisR said...

I've never combined machine & hand quilting before but yours looks lovely - I think I'll try it.

Is the hand quilting done with quilting thread or pearl cotton? And, do you have a recommendation for what needles to use with the different weights of pearl cotton? I'm struggling right now with finding a needle that has a large enough eye for me to thread with 8 pearl yet isn't so huge that it leaves big holes in my fabric.

Nifty Quilts said...

I always love your combination of machine and hand quilting.

Hoola Tallulah said...

Beautiful hand stitching and I LOVE the colours you used here <3

Sujata Shah said...

Victoria,
I love where this is headed. Looking forward to seeing the final results of the series.

Victoria said...

Thanks too each of you. I am now at the sore hand and finger stage so the quilting is going slower, but I hope to have it done by the end of the week. :)

KrisR, to answer your question, I am using a cotton quilting thread, (12 wt.) threaded through a quilter's between needle, (sorry, as I don't remember the size... I just use whatever I have on hand). I then double the thread over, knotting the ends, (and hiding it under the back layer of the quilt.) Thus, I am stitching with two strands, but only having to thread one. This is my favorite way of working, as I like the extra thickness of the thread doubled over, but I also get to use a small eyed quilting needle. Hope that helps!

Sandy said...

Looks gorgeous! Can't wait to see the entire quilt.

Jenny M said...

As always, I love your colour combo & your organic stitches.

Patrick said...

Victoria,
I love your work, and I find myself going back to your blog again and again for inspiration. I am a machine quilter, but wanted to try my "hand" at hand quilting. Have you ever considered doing a tutorial or a basic walk-thru a hand quilting project? Everything you create is so beautiful, and I would love to see a bit more behind the scenes of how you work!
Thanks,
Patrick
www.straightstitchingsinger.blogspot.com

Clare Wassermann said...

Oh I love unstraight...it suits me so much better. This quilt looks almost snuggly and Christmassy!

Victoria said...

Patrick, Thank you for the kind words. It's one of those things that I keep meaning to do, but never get around to it. Hopefully one of these days I will.

I will say that I learned to hand quilt in the traditional manner, thread basting the quilt, placing it in a hoop/frame and using the rocking motion of standing your needle straight up to insert it in the quilt, then rocking it all the way back down until it's parallel to the quilt in order to pick up the stitch... repeating this motion over several times to gather several stitches onto the needle before pulling the thread through. The tinier the stitch the better, (especially if you sit with a group of Amish and Mennonite woman at a quilting bee, which I have done. Getting their approval felt like getting a doctorate in hand quilting!)

However, over the years I have created my own methods based on my own likes and dislikes. I no longer use a hoop or frame as I find them cumbersome. The machine quilting that I do prior to the hand quilting allows me to forgo the hand basting. My stitches are bigger as I like the look, and my technique is a bit of a combination between traditional hand-quilting and a Kantha-like running stitch. I describe my thread and needle preference in an earlier comment to this post. Hope that helps a bit!

Jennifer Falkowski said...

Great work. I love following what the quilt tells me to do.

Pomegranate Quilts said...

You may be surprised to hear this, but: this is actually my quilt. The one I've been dreaming of making for years! But I've been distracted by other quilty love...
So thank you, THANK YOU, for reminding me of what is beautiful and true.

sewyouquilt2 said...

aleways listen to a quilt's wishes. it will never steer you wrong. looking great!

Victoria said...

Thanks again to each of you.
Pomegranate, special thanks for such sweet words. xo