Monday, January 7, 2013

UGRR/Pioneer Update

Well 2013 is starting off promising!  After getting these sampler tops completed in 2011 , I fully expected to quilt them as part of Myra's PHD (Projects Half Done) Challenge in 2012. 
But I really wanted to hand quilt them and then was stumped about what to do for that.  I was admittedly disappointed when I let them remain undone as 2012 was coming to a close.

But I finally decided to step it down a notch.  Looking at the Quilt In A Day books that these projects were drawn from, I realized that many of them were quilted simply-- the blocks and borders just stitched in the ditch.  That seemed to me to be simple enough.  To me, the blocks themselves were powerful enough that they didn't necessarily need additional stitching which admittedly would be difficult for me to do by hand given the amount of piecing in them and the size (6") of the finished blocks.  Since getting these displayed was more important to me than how ornately they were quilted, the week before Christmas I decided to get started.

To date, I've completed the ditch quilting of the blocks on both tops and am now working on the borders.  I wasn't going to quilt the borders but decided they did need a little something more.  I found two cable designs in Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham's Quilting With Style book that added just enough without being too much for my current hand quilting skills or patience. 

I am happy with the progress on them even if my quilt stitches are still far from proficient.  I learned a lot doing this one:  how important the thinness of the batting is in getting good stitches (need to test for that in the future) and why it may be better to do larger blocks and outline stitching or a wholecloth for my next hand quilting project if I want to get my stitches per inch down. I even came to the heretical (for me) decision that once they were up, If I wasn't satisfied with the level of quilting, I'd take them down, take off the binding and add more quilting.  We'll see if that happens though!

I am very happy that this is finally moving toward completion and hope to be able to display them in the coming weeks.

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