Friday, February 26, 2016

Get over it....

"Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it"

The Eagles

We already hung my blue abstract quilt called "Midwinter's Night." I have now gotten over the imperfections in it and have moved on.

I think when we work on a quilt we are up close and personal with it for so long we see everything that is "wrong" with it. Sometimes when I finish a quilt I am not even sure I like it. I usually need to step back from it before I find I like it.

I remember that's how I felt about "Between the Shadows" (line abstract quilt) that I made in my EB master class in 2014. Once I hung it I decided I did like it after all. It was the perfect compliment to my "Midwinter Visitor" cardinal quilt. They hang together in my entryway.

So now what do I work on? I am ready to get started on my red and white schoolhouse quilt.

I found the quilt on this blog. It was made by someone called Judy. I have not had much luck tracking down Judy to give her credit for the pattern. Initially I saw it on pinterest, but that is usually not much help. So, Judy, if you see this please contact me so I an give you credit for the beautiful pattern. What I love about it is how the houses are arranged to create the illusion of a hillside with houses on it.

My fabrics are a bit less pink. I am thinking about adding a few fabrics that are a bit more pink. I have my bleached muslin ready to go.

Since I am going to hand quilt this I am looking for batting suggestions. The last time I really did much hand quilting was back in the 90's and had to use Fairfield poly batting because that was the only batt that came in king size back then. For machine quilting I use either Warm and Natural or Quilter's dream cotton. I did try needling both of those and they seem alright. However, I was tempted to use a wool batting because I hear they are really easy to hand quilt. I am considering Quilter's dream wool since it can be washed and machine dried under cool temps. It is supposed to be easy to hand quilt. This quilt will be a wall hanging so I need to be sure that the wool will work under those circumstances.

Any suggestions for batting?

Linking to Nina-Marie.

Thanks for reading.



  1. Hey Chris....I'm glad to see you are 'over it'. I think most of us end up not being in love with their finished quilts.......especially if they've worked on them for a long time. Like you, distance brings clarity....and we can fall in love with the quilt all over again. Keep up the good work.

  2. For hand quilting, I like Quilter's Dream 100% cotton or Quilter's Dream poly - in their "Request" loft, which is their thinnest. I think Warm and Natural is difficult to needle and takes the fun out of handwork. By the way, I think your finished quilt is beautiful! Great design. I enjoyed watching it evolve over the past year.

  3. I'm with Mary here. I always love, make that LOVE the quilt in my imaginings. The final quilt - not so much. Especially just after I finish it. I think of it as the natural arc of creativity. Surprisingly, when I look back at a piece that I haven't seen for years I am surprised that it isn't nearly as bad as I remember it. Personally, I thought the Midnight piece was gorgeous. You really captured light and shadow. Very compelling.

  4. Yes, we need to be reminded that beauty lies in the imperfections! Your work is so wonderful!

  5. I haven't kept up with the battings coming on the market in the last 10 years, probably because I've been pretty happy with a few standbys. For hand quilting - yes, a wool batt like Hobbs is wonderful to quilt through and adds a bit of dimension to the finished piece which you might want for the houses. Hobbs wool batting is washable and because of the springiness of wool, it helps prevent hard creases in the quilt if you fold it in storage.

    Another hand quilting favorite of mine is Hobbs Thermore (detecting a brand theme here?). A good quality polyester with very low loft perfect for quilts on the wall. It too can give a little dimension but not as much as the wool. But it's also a bit drapey because of its thinness. It won't give you the same sturdy quilt that Warm and Natural cotton batting would for instance. But it is what I use on most of my small quilts and the one I used in Masks that I put so many hand stitches into and then added so many heavy beads to. I hadn't intended to do beading, and if I'd known, I might have chosen a more substantial batting, but that piece has been hanging at home for several weeks and is holding up well to all that weight.

    A cotton/poly blend like Hobbs 80/20 (and I think there are some out there with a lower percentage of cotton) will not be as easy to needle as wool or poly but perhaps easier than an all cotton batting. Really depends somewhat on how much loft you want in the finished quilt.

    It might be fun (and interesting) to get some batting samples (I think Hobbs has a pack of 12" squares of batting you can purchase and other companies might have something similar) and make up some small sandwiches that you can do test runs on. I have a whole bunch of these I can reference if need be and in doing them they told me a lot about each kind of batting - from how easily it needles to whether it beards to how much it shrinks, and of course, how the quilting, be it machine or hand, ends up looking.


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