This took 10 years to quilt! I put it away for years at a time, but finally finished it late last year. It is a Smithsonian reproduction of a antique baby quilt. It was very fun, until a water bottle spilled in the bag it was in and erased the marking, and stained it from the hoop. After avoiding it for years (too painful), I remarked the corner and soaked it for 2 days in oxy-clean and presto - a finished quilt.
It's about 36" square. I know it took 10 years, because I quilted 2000 around the center square.
I also quilted the initial of our family members, B, R, A and H in the upper corner of the pomegranate blocks. In mine, I also quilted a sparrow, which I have used in many, many quilts. It's fun to switch out a design motif and it's a great surprise for those who notice it.
I'm really enjoying hand quilting on my Olympic Eagle. Thank you all for your lovely comments. Several people were interested in the eye-ball quilting so I thought I'd offer a few tips. I in no way intend to sound like an expert, these are just things I've picked up over the years of hand quilting.
Load the Needle -
The toughest stitch is the first, and when you load the needle the chances of going straight are much higher. Sometimes you can see the seam allowance underneath and follow that as well. If you use a good thimble you can really shove it in past the first stitch or so and I use a office finger, inside out, to grab it and pull. I can do a side of these diamonds in 2 loads.
Watch where you're going, not where you are-
I like to keep my eye on the distance from the seam I'm following, rather than the line I'm making. My mother once taught me to watch where I wanted the cup of coffee to go onto the table, and not the cup of coffee....it's pretty good advice.
Quilt Straight Lines -
So what I mean here is, quilt all the lines going one way, then turn the hoop and go the other, then turn and cross the lines. You may have a little thread waste, but the lines will be straighter. When you turn a sharp corner you can often pull the thread and make it a little rounded. Also, end a row in a down stitch. When you do turn, start with the space then the stitch, again this helps things stay straight.
In case you are wondering, I like Gutermann thread, a size 9 between, a big 18" hoop and Quilters Dream Request or other very thin cotton batting. On the Olympic Star I'm using Fairfield Cotton and it's very nice. I also wash my quilts afterward to get the good crinklage that we like in the old quilts.
So let me know if this is at all helpful or you have other great hand quilting tips - I'd love to hear them. We can always learn a new way of doing things.
So here is a little quilting from a project I did several years ago. I did a real sampler of quilting designs and this is my signature corner. It is great fun to quilt in surprises and here are a few.
Here is my signature double line quilted and the year 1998.
A heart and a pair of scissors.
And a bumble bee, a motif I often use on signature blocks, and that I have tattooed on my right foot.
After surviving the great Nor'easter of 2010 and being out of power for 36 hours, I now have the cleanest refrigerator and the freshest food I've had in years. I'm not sure when I'll invest in eggs and meat, maybe tomorrow.
When will coco grown into those paws and all that skin? Who knows. She is a pooped out pup after a long walk.
Great Give away - The Queen on Creativity, Karen is having a great give away here: Sew Many Ways