Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Direction

I apologize for the radio silence that's been going on here for a while now.  Recently I've been doing a lot more thinking than sewing!  And a bit of experimenting:

As I mentioned a while ago, I was very inspired by Sandy Lawrence's fusible appliqued and machine embroidered quilt.  I particularly liked the way the thread was a design feature of the quilt.  And I really loved the way she used more than one colour on the edges of the appliques.

I, however, do not have an embroidery machine, or even many decorative stitches.  But I did think that with careful sewing I would still be able to get some interesting multicolour effects.  You can see that I had mixed success with that!  There are some good bits, but there is no room for error.  This is all 50 wt thread, and my plan was to use 30 wt for the "blanket" stitches so they would show up more.  But it turned out that my local quilt store was closed for the Creativ Festival the day I went to buy the 30 wt thread.  So I had more time to think!

The other thing I've been investigating is quilting techniques for both machine and hand.  I came across this website where she hand quilts big stitches with pretty perle cotton thread.  I've seen this before, but this time, with Sedona Star on my mind, the whole thing instantly jelled into a plan.  I can do both the seam treatments AND the quilting with some nice colourful perle cottons!  My sewing machine does a decent satin stitch, so I will start by satin stitching all the appliques, and then embellish them by hand.  It will also allow me to throw in a little embroidery here and there within the shapes as well.

I am VERY excited about this plan!  I can finally see how the whole thing is going to come together.  And I am pretty sure this will be a unique approach!  Right now I am waiting for my threads to arrive, but there is plenty of piecing to do in the meantime.  Happy sewing!


  1. Sounds very interesting. I really like the look of perle cotton for quilting. One piece of advice if you use a hoop or frame - leave some slack in the fabric or you will find it very difficult to rock the needle back up to the top of the quilt. Alex Anderson has demonstrated this several times in videos. It's very different from how you put fabric into a hoop for embroidery. Can't wait to see the result!

  2. Thanks, Mary Ellen! My first approach for hand quilting will be to do it without a hoop or frame and see how that goes. Sharon Schamber has some excellent videos on YouTube about it. I'll probably include them in a future post. Have a great weekend!

  3. I took a class in Hawaiian quiltmaking. Traditionally they do not use hoops or frames and just hold the piece in their hands on their laps as they quilt. As long as your quilt is well basted, it works well. Of course, in a warm climate (as it is here in St. Louis in the hot, muggy summers) that may not be too comfortable!

  4. Good point, Mary Ellen! Our summers are pretty humid too, although maybe not for as long as yours. I don't do any crafts with wool in the summer. I guess I will just have to see how it goes!

  5. A Hawaiian quilt is on my quilt bucket list, btw. My aunt used to live there and made a couple of beauties.


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