This is the quilt I have been working on- not too up close as I don’t want the receipients to get too much of a preview! Annoyingly I only have a small hoop, which is frustrating, but the piecing moved along much faster than I thought it would and I’m onto the actual quilting now. I don’t use a machine at all which is slow but gets faster the more I do it, and I think it looks nicer- without wishing to start a nasty machine vs, hand sewing debate amongst fiesty quilters out there!
When I started designing the quilt I was going to do a spring or summer scene, but was so surrounded by snow it had to be winter time on my quilt. Now of course I am on holiday in Trinidad and working out how to pop a little hummingbird in it somewhere!
The radiating pattern you can see is just the basting, or tacking, stitches which hold the three layers of the ‘quilt sandwich’ together- the patchwork top, the warm cosy bit in the middle, and the backing fabric. These are big and get taken out once all the teeny tiny permanant quilting stitches are in place. My quilting book says to aim for 8-10 stitches per inch/2.5cm, and I have read of Amish quilts with 12 stitches per inch- quite incredible considering at best I am managing about 7 or 8! And they look miniscule! There is no way I will get to Amish levels- the average Amish 8 year old will quilt better than me but hey, practice makes perfect, and I have lots more to do… more pictures to come.
Update- I have just read in my quilting bible, The Complete Book of Patchwork, Quilting and Applique that there are antique quilts with a staggering 18 stitches per inch. This may not seem an amazing statistic to many out there but I am utterly blown away. Microscopic!