Finding Extra Time to Quilt

I had an unexpected day off from my day job on Thursday so, I decided to spend it quilting. The Cat's Cradle quilt is still on my longarm machine and I really needed some extra hours to spend quilting it.

I spent about 30 minutes cleaning out a bookcase of old quilting magazines that I hadn't looked at in over a year. Then on to the Cat's Cradle quilt. The outer border was still not completed, so I focused on that. I had to redraw the design on the lower portion of the border because I had missed my target points in a large section of the design and the cross-hatching would have been way off if I didn't fix it. That took over an hour to redrawn the design.

Then it was break time. A cup of coffee, lunch, and time spent with my daughter and our dog made the 90 minute break go by fast. Another 2 hours of quilting and the border was done. This is one border design that I won't do for some time. It is soooo time consuming! It's beautiful, but time consuming.

The fa…

Cat's Cradle Quilt and Future Plans

I have been working on this vintage Cat's Cradle quilt top for several weeks now. When I purchased it I didn't realize how badly out of square it was. Most vintage tops are not square, so I was expecting an issue with squaring up the top, but not to the extent that this top was.

Above is the "after" picture. After I spent hours desperately trying to quilt this top "as is" and making it square in the quilting process. I finally gave up and decided it needed to be deconstructed in order to be saved. Luckily, I only had to remove the borders to get it back to square.

It is my opinion that this top was left to hang somewhere for years after it was made! Maybe on a hanger, but most likely the center of the quilt was pulled through a decorative hanger and mounted on a wall as a decoration. The reason I think this is because the center of the quilt is faded and it measured 10 inches wider and longer through the middle of the quilt than the edges at it's worst…

Designing Quilting for a Maple Star Block

The Maple Star Block is the 2nd block in the block of the month quilt I am currently working on. Click on the video below to see a video of different quilting design ideas for this block.

Quilting the Red Basket Quilt

My goal for the red basket quilt was to have it completed by Christmas. I am happy to say that I reached that goal.

I decided to combine traditional and contemporary quilting designs in this quilt. I wanted a traditional feel overall, but wanted the convenience of contemporary quilting. I chose to quilt feathers in the alternate blocks and the setting triangles. The alternate blocks have a traditional feather wreath and the setting triangles and corner triangles have a feather filler with a more contemporary feel.

For the pieced blocks, I chose to use continuous curve designs for the majority of the block. I did quilt some radiating lines in the section between the "handles" and the base of the basket. Feathers were added to the outside rectangles.

The border was quilting with a herringbone pattern.

The thread I used was an off-white machine quilting thread by Coats & Clark. This thread is 100% cotton and runs really well in my machine.

To see a video of how I quilted t…

1920's Red Basket Quilt

This quilt started as 9 machine pieced basket quilts dated from the 1920s. I purchased the blocks from an antique store. I put them together with some white cotton fabric as alternate blocks, and black on red fabric for the border.
The blocks are machine pieced and not done with precision. Many of the points were cut off before I squared up the blocks. The blocks were also various sizes from 8" to 9" and not many were square.
I pieced the top using my vintage Singer 15-91. The machine sewed beautifully, but, the top turned out to be out of square. So I measured the blocks from corner to corner instead of side to side and found 2 blocks to switch around to make the rows more consistent in length. That squared up the quilt.
So, lesson learned - measure the top through the middle and the edges to see if it is truly square. Also measure the blocks on the edges as well as through the middle both ways to see if they are completely square.
You can view the video I made the of the …

Bethlehem Star Quilt

I finished quilting the 1930's Bethlehem Star quilt last week, and am very happy with the way it turned out. The quilt is 65 x 65 inches square. The outer border is quilted with piano keys and the inner border with a freehand flower. I used an 80/20 batting and 100% cotton thread from Signature in white.

The background is quilted in a whimsical feather design using a mix of formal feathers and a feather with a curl. The feathers change direction within the large block which adds a lot of movement to the quilting. I chose to quilt the section where 4 blocks come together and treat it like I would an alternate block.

The stars are quilted with a continuous curve design.
Below is a video I posted on YouTube about the quilting.

Turn of the Century Sampler Quilt

The quilt above is made from turn of the century quilt blocks that belong to my mother-in-law and were made by her grandmother. She had asked me some time ago to put them into a quilt for her, but I couldn't find fabrics that would complement the blocks until just recently.  The border, sashing and cornerstones are reproduction fabrics from Moda.

The block above is called Four Crowns. This one is made from cotton fabrics. However, the other blocks with this pattern are made from flannel as well as cotton.

The pinwheel block above is a 13 inch block. The other blocks were 15 inches. So to make up the difference, I added a 1 inch border using the blue reproduction fabric to make it the same size as the other blocks. Most of the quilting is all straight line quilting expect for these blocks. I used 2 of my circle rulers to make the design in the pinwheel.

This Virginia Reel block was quilted using 1/4 inch outline quilting to emphasize movement in this block.
I used a neutral thread…