Hand Stitching

Modern Mabel Quilt

Modern Mabel Chicopee y-seam star

Modern Mabel Chicopee y-seam star

I finished hand quilting and  binding my Modern Mabel quilt, an ode to my Grandmother and WE love it! All the fabrics except the background (Kona Maise) and backing, a baby blue tiny houndstooth flannel, are by Denyse Schmidt.    I hand quilted it as my Grandmother had 50 years ago when she gave the original to my parents as a wedding gift.

I have a very special attachment to this quilt and think I will make another for sale in my Etsy shop, which is rather empty at the moment.

I also hand quilted my “How many squares?” puzzle block, my entry into the Project Quilting Season 4, first challenge, “Square in a square”  competition. Being a square block, I thought droplet like quilting — the polar oposite of squares, would add interest and movement to the block.

Droplet QuiltingAlthough my stitches aren’t perfect (who’s are??), I really loved quilting with Thimblelady’s needles, they allowed me to fit many more stitches per inch than a regular short quilting needle.  I can’t quilt like Thimblelady yet but I’ll practice!

Someone mentioned I should submit this block for the 100 Blocks magazine, if you have information on this, I’d love to know!!

My girlfriends Andrea and Tara came over yesterday for our very first Durham Modern Quilt and Craft Guild meeting and had a blast. If you’re interested in joining and live in Durham, Ontario, Canada, send me an email and let me know you’re interested in joining us for a great time of chatting and stitching, we’d love to meet you!

Hope you had a great weekend with family or being creative!

xo xo Tabatha

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Hand quilting Modern Mabel

Hand Quilting Modern Mabel

Yesterday morning I basted my Modern Mabel quilt top with both 505 basting spray and pins then started hand quilting in the afternoon. My stitches aren’t as bad as I thought they’d be!  The circles are what was quilted on the original quilt and I’m also stitching around the stars. I love the process!

Finished: Modern Mabel quilt top

Modern Mabel Quilt TopModern Mabel Quilt Top

I really love how this quilt has come together, it’s a very simple layout and the hand stitching will be very simple as well. Each of my blocks finish at 10″ with 4″ sashing on each side, the final dimensions for this quilt are 60″ wide by 74″ long, a great size for a twin bed or lap quilt. I have to thank Sharon Schamber for teaching me a whole new way of accurate piecing, I used this video to create the stars and my Grandmother’s quilt for inspiration.  If you’re interested in trying a y-seam star, you don’t need a lot of fabric and if you’ve done some garment sewing, it’s not difficult at all.

I’m not sure what my next project will be but I have to quilt some quilts before I make another quilt top!

I have a few ideas for my next quilt top, last weekend I signed up for the Craftsy class, Scrap Quilting: Big Techniques From Small Scraps taught by Australian quilter Sarah Fielke. She demonstrates a technique I’d never heard of before called Step Down Piecing which looks like fun.

Another pattern I’m really attracted to is “Snow Crystals” I discovered in the book “Quilter’s Academy Vol. 4“.

Snow Crystals

Quilter’s Academy Vol. 4

This is an excellent book if you’re looking for a real challenge and where I found this block. I’ve since ordered Vol.s 2 and 3 as well. Volume 4 focuses on sewing hexagons, stars and diamonds. It was a complete fluke that I found this book, it was recommended by Amazon for me.  Be forewarned, this book does not hold your hand step-by-step but there are a lot of great patterns I’ve wanted to try for awhile. I’m looking forward to building my quilting skills!
Stars Aplenty

Twinkle, twinkle, I finished my stars!

I just finished my last four stars this morning for a total of 20!

Y-Seam 8-point star block

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There are many more experiments I want to attempt with this technique but for now, I need to sash these with wide 4″ strips and am planning to hand quilt like my Grandmother did. I made 4 of each blue, green orange, pink and purple, mostly with Denyse Schmidt fabrics. I’m going to back this with flannel, a small blue houndstooth pattern. I wasn’t able to find a blue rose flannel print like the original.

After I finish this project, I have a number of quilt tops waiting to be quilted before I start anything new!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I found my bliss!

Chicopee Star

Orange Chicopee Star

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What could be better than y-seam stars made with Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee?! I had to refresh my memory on how to make these, the monotony of 4-patch blocks put my brain to sleep. A reader asked me how I pressed the back seams, I hope these photos are self explanatory. I clip the center seam to split it. Click on any photo for a larger view.

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I don’t know which is my favorite, the first purple or the orange?? The dog’s bath will have to wait till later. 😀

What are you working on this week?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

More y-seam stars

To enter my giveaway, visit this page.

I don’t know about you but I get a huge thrill when everything lines up perfectly or closer than you’ve ever been before. I wanted to show you my stars before I trued them up. I don’t think I’ve ever had blocks turn out like this before, less than 1/4″ fabric to trim. And you know, when you can achieve results you’re pleased with, you want to repeat them because they’re so gratifying! (Click any image to enlarge then click again to magnify.)

Sharon Schamber has really lit a fire under me, to strive for accuracy as best I can and I have to thank her for her YouTube tutorials! Some techniques I feel have really helped me are:

1) Starch, starch, starch! Starch your fabrics before you cut, starch them twice! It prevents your fabric from stretching and becoming distorted and makes a HUGE difference! Spray your starch on your fabric then turn it over and iron, this prevents those pesky white flakes from littering your fabric. It also helps after you stitch your seams, fabric behaves better and you don’t need more (starch) after your initial pressing.

2) Take your time and cut accurately! I wish I could go back in time and recreate some of my quilts, to improve upon them. Alas some of that fabric is no longer readily available (sob).

3) Lock your seams by a stitch or two. The traditional quilter’s rule is to not backstitch but I found my seams would come undone, I started backstitching awhile ago to prevent this and it really helps.

4) Last but not least, especially when you’re cutting triangles & diamonds, cut your fabric parallel to the bias it gives your pieces more stability.

6) Once finished your block, take the time to give it an overall press with a wet pressing cloth and, of course, more starch. 😀

Here is the video tutorial of Sharon Schamber’s y-seam 8-point stars if you’d like to give it a try. If you do try it, let me know what your results were!