Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Last time I showed the mostly completed flimsy of a baby quilt begun in March with members of our church's ladies group string-piecing colorful 4 1/2 inch blocks.  The group pieced 98 squares, enough to complete two baby quilts.   After adding sashing, we decided the design was busy enough that elaborate quilting would be overwhelmed, and decided to keep it simple, with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting and perhaps a bit of linear quilting in the sashings if time permitted.

At this point, I need to admit that I hadn't done any free motion quilting since early September, and sadly discovered that FMQ skills disappear WAY more rapidly than they are gained! I had hoped to add some free motion quilting to this, but without adequate time to practice some of the rusty skills, it looked like this was going to be a problem!  So, having decided that the linear quilting design was in order, after stitching each block in the ditch with the dual feed foot, a series of X's were free motion quilted in each of the sashings.  I had not attempted to FMQ straight lines other than brief practice in the past, but was happily surprised that as long as the lines aren't much more than 4-5 inches long, they are quite easily done.  So, white ceramic lead Sewline pencil and soap slivers in hand, the X design was marked out and quilted this past weekend, and this is the completed quilt.
I did go back to using the dual feed foot to quilt the outer sashings since they needed to be stitched so close to the edge, and that worked like a charm.  The four-pointed star and octagon designs that seem to emerge and then disappear between the blocks really add a nice dimension to this simple design.
The pattern is based on Marianne Fons' Rock Island Campfires quilt featured in the July/August 2013 issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine.  This one has Hobbs Polydown for the batting.

Ballerinas for the back!

My friend Sarah completed a second similar quilt, and here is a photo of both just before they were turned in to the school, to be sold during the annual school benefit auction on May 3.

Since completing the Checkered Past quilt, I've resumed hand quilting of the scrappy vintage bow-tie quilt found at a small local estate sale last summer.  While I'd love to have this completed by the end of April, it will more likely be toward the end of May before the quilting is finished and a binding added.  I'd love to find a yard or so of a nice vintage 1950s fabric for the binding, but wonder if it would be better with a plain muslin binding.  The back is a single width of a nice off-white or natural muslin that might be easier to match than finding 1950s fabric that would coordinate.  The white ground pieces on the front are a very loosely woven vintage fabric, perhaps from a sheet or tablecloth, very soft but too ravelly for use as a binding, even if I had extra.   What do you think? 


  1. I love the machine quilting pattern--it gives the quilt a Storm at Sea feeling!
    The bowtie quilt is looking good! I avoid muslin bindings if it is a quilt I plan to use regularly. The light edge shows dirt rather quickly. If you just plan to drape it somewhere, or hang it, that wouldn't be such an issue. I hate to be throwing hand quilted quilts in the washer too often, so I avoid the light binding when hand quilting.

  2. The 2 quilts that will be auctioned turned out great! The X quilting in the sashing gives it just the right look. I love your bow tie quilt and think that a muslin binding would be fine. If you see a brown fabric that would go, I think that would really look good as well.

  3. What a great stitching design you chose ... provides a cool secondary pattern! I'm with Janet on the binding for the bowtie quilt.

  4. Your machine quilting is great and is a really nice finish to the quilt. I love your bow ties!

  5. I love the checkered past quilts and the bow ties, one cannot go wrong with bow ties!


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