Monday, March 29, 2010

Machine Quilting

I finally tried machine quilting and to my surprise, it was not as scary as I thought it would be! I am sure it will take lot more practice to come close to perfection  but for now, I can see my quilts get finished. 

 It was a great feeling to put the binding on the quilt. It had been a while since I did that! 
It is one of my favorite things about the whole process. You work with raw edges for so long during the whole process of cutting and piecing the fabrics. If you are a hand quilter, it is even longer!   
There is nothing like turning over the edge of the quilt while you are sewing the binding and take a peek every now and then to see how the quilt is going to look in the end!

As a quilter it has been always about enjoying the process and not rush to the final result I was afraid that if I started machine quilting, I will get into a production mode and not enjoy the journey. 
I really never learned how to use my wonderful Viking for machine quilting!
All I had to do was to try!

I have been getting ready for my long awaited trip to India and need to finish a few projects before I leave. 

  I can not wait to baste another top and practice some more! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

String Quilt

End of the bolt strings folded in quarters, cut and stitched together along with scraps of clothes from family members and other projects.
Trimmed down to 9 1/2" wide blocks. Pieced into columns and put together as a top.
Another practice sample for machine quilting!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another take on Thomas' Quilt

Quilt made by Helen Knopf

Helen made this quilt in the class inspired by Gee's bend quilts. The idea was to try to experience the limits felt by the women of Gee's bend and choose the background for the quilt strictly from the clearance rack. We often plan out the quilt in advance and miss out on the journey and the surprises that awaits in the end result!

Helen says,"I remember thinking this was the ugliest quilt I had ever made but continued to experiment until it became something I could love." 

She was unhappy with the original design and struggled with it for some time.But she kept with it and by cutting it up and framing the squares with shot cottons gave this quilt the life that she was looking for. I am still envious of this quilt and you just have to take my word for it when I say that the picture does not do the justice this quilt deserves!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Close up of Thomas' Quilt

I wish I had the picture of the original quilt. It truly was something extra ordinary!

For each column two different fabrics are used. Total of 36 different fabrics were used and to avoid copying the original, this was made on a larger scale. With out a doubt, some of us long time quilters would have to do a lot of 'unlearning' if we wanted to replicate his quilt. We all know how hard that is!

Hope this answers any questions you might have.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thomas' Quilt

Few years ago when I worked at a quilt shop, an artist named Thomas Wurst stopped by to buy some fabric. It was interesting to watch him select various textures and scale of the prints over the colors. He needed only 2" strips of each fabric. I could tell that he had never bought fabric before!

No store sells 2" strips and better yet, no quilter buys 2" strips of fabrics! Really!!!

As I was cutting the fabrics for him, I asked what he was planning to do with all those 1/8 yards of fabrics   He said that he was going to make a quilt.

Few months later Thomas stopped by with most beautiful quilt I had ever seen.  I can not remember if it was hand or machine pieced! He had hard time quilting it and the quilt had puckered from few places. It looked like a vintage scrappy quilt! The tiny squares were painstakingly pieced one at a time and  must have taken him a long time to finish that quilt.

I asked his permission to make that quilt in the class. Since I was inspired by his quilt in the first place, it got his name too. Thomas went on making miniature quilt paintings. He also made some pillows with similar technique. I wonder what he is up to these days!

As you can see, I still need to quilt mine! Now that the tops are piling up, I have decided to pull them out one at a time and give machine quilting a try.
Wish me luck! When it comes to machine quilting, I really need it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green House

It is a slow process but I am happy with my 'Green House'.

Going Green

 I have been quilting for at least 15 years for now. During this time I must have thrown  away  hundreds of yards of precious selvage by now. Ever since I came across Karen Griska's blog and saw what could be done with those strings, I had been feeling sorry for not saving them. 
I decided to put all of the should have and could have aside and started gathering my own pile of selvage. Soon, I realized that if you constantly tear and slice like I do, it does not take that long to collect enough selvage to make a small project.

It is exciting to try something I have never done before. It reminds me of my aunt who used to piece every string she could get her hands on. She even tied the tail ends of the threads and saved to reuse. I did not understand all that as a little girl but now it makes perfect sense!

Today's project may not be as utilitarian as those in old days but makes me happy! In an effort on going green, I will piece the back from scraps and patch the batting pieces to make a large enough piece for a small quilt.


Stay tuned to see what happens next!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, it is finally here! Warmer mornings and toasty afternoons! 
Daffodil and Tulip shoots are out and upward and
the birds are singing their hearts out!
I have been busy in my sewing room and on the computer. 
Busy writing new patterns and basting quilt tops! 
Trying new colors and loving every minute of it! 

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Progress Report on my challenge

Well, I am happy to say that I achieved what I had set out to do! I finished the piecing of the quilt and now working on the centers!

It was a challenge and I learned a lot! Biggest lesson  was to take small steps and stay in the moment.

 I have managed to enjoy this quilt so far without getting frustrated.

 Doesn't it look like a giant Ferris Wheel?

Can't wait to play more with all the patterns that are evolving in this quilt!

I am also proud to say that very talented quilt artist Melody Johnson started similar quilt after seeing my quilt. You can follow her progress and her beautiful work here

Conversations on Quilts from India

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