Monday, March 20, 2017

Some quilting at last

Bee Sewcial Swap quilt - in progress

I had time to quilt this weekend so I did. This quickly taken not great photo is where I finished on Sunday. The quilt is about 60" square and is made from the small blocks that my friends in my Bee Sewcial bee swapped last spring. The negative space - or background - is yarn dyed Essex linen (55% linen, 45% cotton) in shale.

I am trying to decide on the binding. I have sufficient Essex linen to bind it to match, thus making the binding disappear. However, I also wondered about a scrappy binding using solids that basically match the pops of colour in the quilt. I am not sure if the colourful binding makes the blocks pop more or if it would steal the show. So I'm going to think about it for a bit.

Topographical map, contour line quilting

I decided early on that I would quilt this quilt with mainly an all over topograaqwsxç phical map, contour line type quilting. The quilt is made from swap blocks from all over Canada and the USA so the quilting represents the land between the friends so to speak.

I quilted it about 1/4" to 1/3" between the lines so it is fairly dense. This motif has become a new favourite, it is fast and easy to do, more interesting that a stipple, relaxing, and very interesting looking when done. For me, it is easier to make this kind of curves than swirls, maybe because my brain does not see them as curves but as a map and I like maps? I am eager to see how it looks when it is washed and dried.

Quilting in progress

For the medallion, I planned and quilted matchstick quilting, to bring the friends together.

I matchstick quilt free hand on my APQS Millennium Long Arm Machine, without rulers, channel locks or computer. Given the nature of the frame, one can make long long lines horizontally but the length of vertical lines is limited to the throat space for the most part. So I left the vertical sides unquilted and when the rest of the quilt was quilted I took it off the frame and reloaded it after a quarter turn. I did spend a few minutes making sure that the medallion part was lined up nicely but otherwise it was faster to turn than I expected. Adding the quilting went off without a hitch too.

Thread reflects the warp colour

I used a light blue variegated 100% cotton King Tut Superior thread for this quilt. I matched the thread to the weft of the yarn dyed Essex Linen.

I used almost 2000 yards of thread

In the end, I used 20 and a bit bobbins, the remaining thread is in this photo. I also used most of the 2000 yard spool - almost 2 kms, or just over 1 mile. It was a lot of quilting I guess.

If you are interested in more quilting photos, I shared several on instagram.

I am hoping to decide on and finish the binding this week and also mend in those thread ends you can see in the first photo. This quilt is on my Q1 2017 FAL list and the end of the quarter is fast approaching.




  1. I love what you've done! The topography quilting is lovely and I love the meaning behind it! ;-)

  2. The quilting is fantastic, Leanne, and I'm so glad to hear you had the inspiration and time to devote to it this weekend. How about mostly essex linen binding with pops of color roughly aligned with the blocks (yeah, like you needed more options to consider).

  3. Great quilting design Leanne! I may have to try this out...

  4. Leanne, it is looking beautiful. Can hardly wait to see the binding choice.

  5. Wow, Leanne, what an achievement! The quilt turned out beautiful and the quilting compliments the minimal design very well =)

  6. Your quilting is awesome! I vote team scrappy for the binding.

  7. Love it! I second the mostly Essex linen with the pops of color in the binding. It would let your blocks shine, but still draw your eye across the quilt.

  8. Love the topographic quilting.

  9. Just love the topo quilting! For the binding, I like the 'pops of color' with the Essex. Looking forward to your decision.

  10. The scrappy binding looks great. Draws your eye around the quilt, making you more at the medallion motif.

  11. I love that type of quilting, too. It's almost hyponatical, lol! Is that a word? It is now. And your binding will be perfect.

  12. I love the quilting! It could be a topo map but it reminds me of brain coral?! The linen was a great choose for the background it is so rich in texture. I think the scrappy multi colored binding might be just the right finishing touch! Congrates on a great finish!

  13. This is just amazing!!! I really love the perfect!

  14. Amazing quilt. Love that you picked a quilting design that represented something to you and the story behind the quilt. BTW vote for the scrappy binding :)

  15. Beautiful. That's a lot of bobbins. Scrappy binding seems like a fun finish


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