Monday, June 10, 2013

All Quiet on the Quilting Front...

I've been working "behind the scenes" so to speak. Most of the sewing I've done lately is preparation of backings for several quilts. Not too exciting, but where would our quilts be without them? I did, however, have the chance to attend the Florida Quilt Study Group meeting recently. It is always a pleasure to spend time in the company of old quilts and those who care about them. Just look at this lovely example. What is more basic than a Nine-Patch two-color quilt? Simple, but oh so pleasing. Just an up-close look at the indigo and shirting fabrics is fascinating.

Another two-color quilt, Winding Ways, is simple yet graphic. It has such charm and those secondary curved patterns keep your eye moving. We tried to figure out how this one was pieced. It looks as if that center hour-glass shape was a single piece joined on each side by a 5-piece curved unit. There is a little more space at the center of the block than I've seen in the pattern before.

Wouldn't you have loved to meet the quilter who pieced this Jacob's Ladder block? The use of color is and pattern is so bold. It looks downright modern. What a treat to see these examples of vintage quilts.

This is one of those quilt backs I mentioned. They are a great place to make use of some stray blocks and pieces that don't have a home. This large circle is a case in point. After attending one of the Ricky Tims Quilt Seminars, I just had to try his method of piecing a circle. It worked, but I didn't really have a place for the resulting block... until now, that is.

And more curved piecing is at play in this Drunkard's Path quilt made using batiks. The top part of the photo shows the quilt top, and the bottom is the backing, again using some stray blocks. I like to press open the seams on backing but sometimes they wobble a bit and get pressed to one side or the other. So I thought through the steps in pressing open that might guarantee a better result. You may already know this, but I'll share my approach just in case you find it useful: 1) Press the seam as it is sewn, 2) then quickly turn the piece wrong side up on your ironing board while it still retains some heat from the iron, 3) run your finger along the seamline to finger press it, open the seam slightly and "training" it to lie flat, 4) direct the tip of the iron along the seamline to press it open while at the same time lifting the fabric ahead of the iron at a slight (45 degrees or less) angle. This seemed to do the trick and none of the seams went wrong. Of course the iron heat dissipates for the very long seams, but still the method helped me. So the backs are pieced and the quilts are off to the longarmer for quilting. Now on to preparing the binding so I'll be ready when they are!


Robbie said...

Winding Ways is fantastic!!! I love the movement of that piece!!! This pattern would be perfect for a Chihuly piece I have to do!!! I have to study this more!!! Thanks for sharing these...where would we be without our traditional quilts and quilters!

Susan said...

Beautiful quilts! I love the colors in your drunkards path quilt! I'll bet it will be gorgeous when it is finished!

Dorothy Donna Parker said...

All so beautiful and all so different. I love "Winding Ways' for some reason ... you could get lost in it. xoDonna