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Whole Cloth Quilt Silk: Finished

"Dancing Shamrocks", as I have named her, is finally finished and on the bed.


My hope had been to finish the quilt for our 40th wedding Anniversary, which was March 17th.
2019!

It was in May of 2018 that I was ready to start the machine quilting. By November of that year, the top of the quilt was finished with only the border left to quilt. A 2019 finish seemed quite possible. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances put the project on hold from Dec.2018 until October 2019. However, from then until it's finish in April of this year, my sewing machine and I have been best of buds.

Even so, we didn't quite make it for March 17th of this year, our 41st, but came close. The last stitch closing the binding went in on April 24, 2020.


When squaring up so large quilt (94" x 100"), a clean floor is my only option and the parquet flooring gives me great reference points for getting it square. Unfortunately, when I laid it out, setting up for advantageous photo angles didn…
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Boutis Gold

A sister project to "Boutis Blues", but with a brighter outlook, "Boutis Gold" represents hope and light. This project will require 8 - 10 of Medallion A, (see below)


and another 6 - 8 of Medallion B. (below)

To create boutis, two layers of a fine white Swiss cotton batiste are stitched together into channels and small closed shapes, and are later corded.


Although traditionally cotton thread is the thread of choice, my preference for detailed stitching like this has become a 50 weight silk thread. (I use Tire thread by Superior. It's available in Canada through Cindy's Threadworks. ) As well as being a pleasure to stitch with, the contrast of gold silk on a bright white background, adds a luminescence not possible with cotton thread.


Most of this project is stitched with a tiny back-stitch, (point d'arriere), one of the most frequently used stitches in boutis. The background filler, which acts almost like a stipple stitch, is a tiny running stitch. It&…

Stitching the Boutis Blues

Europe is rich with magnificent historical buildings, many dating back to medieval times and earlier. Spending time exploring some of these amazing architectural structures is always a priority and highlight for me when traveling in Europe. After reading "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett, I became particularly fascinated with cathedrals and living in France for a number of years gave me the opportunity to visit many of them.

Cathedrals provide a huge source of design inspiration for me. From floor to ceiling, inside to out,  they hold a treasure trove of motifs and patterns. I have spent hours photographing and collecting data in these churches and cathedrals and they have become an important resource for me. Rose windows, in particular, fascinate me and have become a recurring theme when I'm making patterns for my boutis. The radiating bars that divide the circular windows into segments easily lend themselves to boutis design.

With the help of my husband and Auto…

Remake of an Old Favourite Shirt

When a shirt (or any item of clothing) becomes an all time favourite,
 it is worn beyond threadbare to such an impressive point that there are not even enough threads to mend. Replacing it wasn't an option, because the store where said shirt was purchased some 15 - 20 years ago had long since closed. What to do?


While evaluating the options, I came across an almost identically coloured cotton in my stash, so maybe mending would be possible.


The thought of unpicking all of the seams was extremely uninspiring, (understatement of the year), but the more I thought about the problem, the more of a challenge it became. So unpick is what I did. (The things we do for love)


Once the daunting, dreaded task of unpicking was done, I used these pieces to draft new pattern pieces for the parts to be replaced. Taking another look at the shirt to be mended, I decided that even though the worst worn bits were to be replaced, the rest of the shirt was not in a condition where it would withstand a …

Whole Cloth Silk Quilt: Quilting Progress

Stitch by Stitch and Line by Line


When I started the first rough sketches for a quilt for our bed back in 2013, I had no idea it would take this long to finally get the quilt to the quilting stage. As the ideas came and went, and we came and went to and from France every six months, the designs got altered, rejected, put on hold and restarted many times. Staying at home for the last few years, progress was actually possible. Thanks to Autocad and my husband's input, the design finally came together early this year.  Whew!

The quilt is now well on it's way, with a hoped for finish before 2019. (Fingers crossed!)








Progress has been steady, if not quick. Still hoping for a 2018 finish.

Marking a Large Quilt for Stationery Machines

When quilting on a stationery, domestic machine, the overall visibility of a large design gets lost because the quilt has to be scrunched and bunched to fit into the machine and to distribute the weight. For this reason, taking the time to mark accurately is the first step to a successful result. In my experience, too often impatience has led to shortcuts which more often than not leads to regrettable results.


Because this quilt is so large, I did my marking in 3 main steps:
1. Registration Lines - the main division lines in the pattern
2. Skeleton - Outline of all design features
3. Detail -Filling in the shapes

1. Registration Lines: 
My preferred method for the initial squaring up process and marking of registration lines is done on a clean floor, where the quilt top can be fairly accurately squared up on one flat surface. (Works especially well on a gridded floor, such as parquet.)


2. Skeleton:
I had a second full size pattern printed which I cut up into the main design sections to c…