Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hand Quilting BTCT

The past few months of hand quilting have been on projects that I 'had' to get done, and now it's time to pull out my Beyond The Cherry Tree (BTCT).  I saw Lori over at Humble Quilts got another block finished on hers, so this was the nudge I needed to keep mine moving towards finished.

This is all I need to work on this quilt, well, this and time; the elusive element for so many of us.  I use a Roxanne Thimble, the little blue rubber thimble for my pointer finger to help eliminate the stress on my wrist when pulling the needle through, some scissors and the lint brush.  There is always fluff or cat hair or threads that need to be removed.

 I like to load up my spool of thread with a group of needles.  I do this for a few reasons.  The biggest reason it that I can keep track of my needles.  I would hate to loose one on the carpet and then find it with my foot.  The other reason is that it helps me keep my rhythm when stitching. Finish one thread, and just pull off another one.  No need to stop and thread a needle.  I always make sure I end my sessions with the spool loaded up, makes for a fast start the next time I sit down to stitch and I count my needles.


Speaking of spools, my 'go to' hand quilting thread is YLI. It comes on wooden spools and the manufacturer still hasn't realized we need a place to dock or lock our thread.  No worries, a Sharpie and a sharp pocket knife will do the trick.  I just put a little notch in the edge of the spool, and mark it with a dot of Sharpie.  This makes it easy to find the notch when locking the thread.


Here's a picture of my quilt.  Clearly, I have not stayed on task with the quilting as the top was finished in 2012.  My original goal was June of 2015, then it moved to end of 2015 and now I'm thinking end of 2016 is a possibility.  All the blocks have been outlined, and about 2/3 of the border has been outlined.

The 9 center blocks have all the cross hatching completed, but the quilting in the appliqued pieces will wait to the end.  Changing colors will be the last part of the quilting. 


 However, most of the outside round of blocks, 18 in total,  look like this.  Random lines of cross hatching have been stitched, but most blocks are a few hours away from each being finished.  I got a bit done on the weekend.  It's the perfect break from my longarm machine.  Just getting this quilt out and back on the couch is enough to keep me motivated. 


This is definitely my 'best quilt' to date, and I hope I can keep focused on it in 2016 and find those few minutes here and there to keep rocking the needle on this treasure. 

Keep stitching,
Sharon

19 comments:

moosecraft said...

Beautiful quilt! I always stress myself out with "quilt as desired"... but it seems the cross hatching always compliments just about any quilt perfectly! Thank you! And, thanks for the recommendation of YLI... I've started researching quilting threads trying to find the most durable. I'd hate to have broken threads after a few washes... so much time devoted to quilting...

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

WOW! Your quilt is beautiful. Yes I have found many needles with my feet or my backside! Don't beat yourself up because you did not finish the quilt in 2015--just keep on sewing and a finish will happen

julieQ said...

What a beautiful treasure you are creating!!!

Karen said...

I use the YLI quilting thread also. It looks like you have a great deal of the quilting done but I know the outside rows of blocks can add up to a large amount of quilting to go. It will be a beautiful finish.....whenever.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Beautiful quilting and thank you for sharing your threading tips.

Kyle said...

Cross hatching and applique just seem to go together. It's takes a lot of time but most masterpieces do.

Lori said...

Fantastic Sharon! It is looking so wonderful!!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I can see why it is your "best quilts", it is a beauty!!

taylorsoutback said...

Cheering you on - it will be wonderful no matter when the last stitch is taken. Looks like a bunch of us are all the same page this year. Was it really 2012? Does not seem that long ago. My own BTCT quilt has been stitched on during 2 trips to Alaska & getting ready for a 3rd this summer...

paulette said...

DDG!!!!!!!!!!! (drop dead gorgeous!!!) Heirloom material! Way to go!!

Louise said...

I love YLI as well. It is what I am quilting my whitework quilt with. You know the one...I love Your Beyond The Cherry Trees quilt, I think it will be stunning.

giraffe said...

Absolutely phenomenal !! I am so glad I found you and can see what a wonderful job you have done with your BTCT. I am just putting my borders on, and would like to cross hatch it, but on my longarm I have never hand quilted. I wish I had started quilting years ago, but just entered the field in 2005. Getting there slowly, but enjoying every minute of it.!
GREAT work Sharon

Linda O said...

Wow, is that gorgeous, Sharon!! It will be an absolute treasure for sure. All the hours will be well worth it. Love the crosshatching!!

Janet said...

Your handquilting is beautiful!! I love crosshatching :0) Where would we be without these long term projects? Cheering you on for a 2016 finish!

Janet O. said...

GORGEOUS! (And a great idea with the spool.)

Marni Henrickson said...

This is so beautifully done. Thanks for the inspiration and for the helpful tips.

Aunt 'Reen said...

Your hand quilting is looking exquisite!
Great tip with those threaded needles.
Thank You, I want to try this time saving trick.

Sue said...

Hi Sharon
Lovely to see your quilt again! Did you mark your top before you started HQ or are you marking as you go. Would love some tips as I have block # 1 prepped to go! Haha!! Way behind every-one else I know, but its you girls with your finished quilt tops that inspired me to buy the pattern.

liz said...

All I can say is WOW. The cross hatching is dynamite. Must get moving on mine. Yours is inspiring me.