Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pins and Needles

After taming pinning the beast on Monday,
Half at a time, two tables wide

and basting the backing over the edges on Tuesday evening, I couldn't resist tossing it onto the guest room bed where it will rest after quilting.  Sneak peek ...

And last evening I finally got it into the Grace 2 hoop and took the first stitches!

The first circle quilted had to be our Olie block, which is in the very center of the quilt top. I'm going to quilt this with big stitch quilting, and am using Aurifil 12 weight thread. I've tried big stitch quilting a couple times, and have had trouble finding the size/type needle that quilts easily yet has an eye large enough to get the 12 weight thread through without shredding.  Earlier yesterday I rummaged through several older sewing boxes, and look what I found.
Oh-my-gosh, these are just about perfect!  Anyone want to venture a guess how old these babies are? My guess is that I bought them well over 30 years ago, but it may be longer, or perhaps they even were picked up in some yard sale long ago. Whatever the case, they are not rusted, and glide through the fabric beautifully, much better than the chenille needles recommended by the nearest quilt shop for big stitching projects! I think the chenille needles will be great for wool or flannel quilting, but they seem to drag through the quilting cotton and really tire my fingers. I'm so happy most of the needles are still in the JCP packet, all shiny, sharp and ready to go.

So now there are two projects in hoops, Quilty 365 is in my sewing room where it won't need to be moved constantly, and the basket quilt is in the hand-held hoop on my recliner in the living room where I can work on it while watching tv.
making progress slowly - fourth basket underway

I'm hoping to put some stitches into each quilt every day so they can eventually crossed off that 17 in 2017 list. Hopefully while it's still 2017! Meanwhile, languishing in a corner of the sewing room
the king-size vintage rose applique, just where it was plopped sometime last year when I began quilting my husband's Astoria/Oregon Memories quilt.  Under the big rose quilt is a tote with yet another vintage quilt top remake awaiting its turn and surrounded by 4 more containers with quilts-in-the making, including the remainder of the Quilty 365 circles. Still don't have any grand ideas for those leftovers yet, but they can cool their heels for a few years months while the beast is finished!

Do you have multiple quilts in hoops at the same time?  Or is this insanity?


  1. Always multiple projects! I feel no need to change that either.
    Thirty cents for a,pack of needles- that indicates some age! How great they work for you.
    Happy Stitching!

  2. Oh! My! Sizzling bacon!! Twenty quilting needles for 30 cents. That's ridicules! They must be older than I. Awesome find and at the perfect moment too. Your projects are beautiful. Love, love the Quilty 365 on the bed. It's gorgeous! Enjoy the slow stitching. ;^)

  3. First of all, your circles quilt looks fabulous on the bed! Good things to come!!
    Growing up, JC Penney was where I went for many of my sewing supplies. Our local store had a mezzanine and that is where all of the fabric, patterns, and sewing tools were sold. Won't find quilting needles in the current JC Penney at the local mall! : )
    I actually do all of my hand quilting with size 8 quilting needles. Most people tell you that you can't get small stitches with a needle that large, but my fingers handle it better. So that is pretty close to the size you are using for your "big stitch".
    I have a bed quilt in my standing hoop that sees very little action. Whatever small quilt is currently in my hand-held hoop is what gets my focus, because I can sit more comfortably when I work with it. Then there is the large quilt currently under the needle of Gidget, and the small quilt that is basted and getting some stitch-in-the-ditch on my Pfaff.

  4. The circle quilt is huge and looks fabulous on the bed. I bet it won't take you too long to get it done, especially with your "new" package of needles! I usually only have one quilt in a hoop, but piles waiting in the wings too.

  5. It looks amazing on the bed, I'm glad you took it for a test drive giving you a little more inspiration to get it done. Good find with the needles, that's a weird little memory when Penney's sold things like that, we used to buy fabric and books at Sears.

  6. It is always so exciting to start those first quilting stitches in a brand new pieced together quilt. Sending you many good wishes that you can continue on with your daily progress. The quilt looks fantastic on the bed. And they always say "the more the better". Happy Quilting!

  7. It looks wonderful!!! And no, I don't have multiple hoops going because I don't hand quilt, but I do have multiple projects in bins waiting for me to get the urge to work on them. I like to have different projects going and will interrupt a large project and make a doll quilt or something else small - just for variety.

  8. Oh, my goodness...what a wonderful, gorgeous, awesome Quilty 365/6. Thanks for the sneak peek on the bed.

    I have old packages of needles and other things too. J.C. Penney was where I first bought record albums and fabric with my paycheck when I was still in high school oh so long ago. Anyway, I am not sure what size needle I use...I just grab some from the packages I have in a tin and if the thread fits I use it.

    I have oodles and oodles of projects but never two quilts to be quilted in a hoop at the same time. If I have two things in hoops one is a quilt and the other is embroidery like I have currently. Embroidery is a take along project - big quilts aren't very portable.

  9. Great finish! love the circles quilt!

  10. LOVE your basket quilt. I can't seem to get to one hoop, let alone 2 or more!

  11. Great find in regards to those needles! And two quilts to enjoy at the same time ; I like that idea.


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