Skip to main content

Hand Quilted Whole Cloth


Seven years ago when my daughter and my son-in-law became engaged I started designing this quilt for them. Having just moved to Montpellier in the south of France, I was influenced by the quilts and linens I saw there, in particular by the lovely boutis quilts. At the time, my knowledge of boutis was quite limited, so I borrowed the look and some of the motifs used in boutis and adapted them to this whole cloth hand stitched quilt.

The heart is one of the symbols used in wedding quilts.

Five years ago, when they got married, the quilt was no where near being completed, but it was well on it's way. Four years ago, when my husband and I stopped spending winters in France, I moved the quilt to Vancouver. (The summers are much too hot where we live in France for lap quilting.)

The section in the hoop shows the border that I am currently working on. There are 3 rows of border motifs.

Sadly since then, because other things always seem to take priority, I have spent very little time on the quilt. I love to hand quilt, and I tend to look at time spent quilting as a decadent pleasure, so often it gives way to something that seems more like work. (A bit warped - I know!)

All of the empty space between the motifs will be stitched into narrow channels,  imitating the background pattern found in traditional boutis.

But now, I am determined to finish the quilt. There is still a lot of stitching to do and there are always other obligations that have to take priority, but my goal is to spend a minimum of 10 hours each week at this quilt and make some substantial progress this winter. Realistically, the 10 hour minimum will not happen until after Christmas, but I will post my progress each week. Stay tuned!




Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, your work is incredible! What a wonderful gift for your daughter and son-in-law. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more photos as you make progress on it this winter. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a beautiful project. In my experience creativity and schedules don't work well together. But, if I don't make a schedule, things are usually even worse! So it's an interesting experiment. ;) Happy quilting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much. This quilt has been far too long in the making already, and I really do want the kids to enjoy it soon. I'm hoping that posting my progress on the blog will light a fire under me and get me to focus on it a little more regularly. Here's hoping!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know what you mean Monica, about sticking to a schedule. It is not always easy, nor practical to do so. I know that if I am working on another project, I don't want to put that down if I'm on a roll, but I'm hoping that by putting a little bit of pressure on myself, I will make some progress on the quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am in awe. As one who has attempted hand quilting, I can only say, gorgeous! I can hand quilt passably (if your eyesight is not too good!) on a lap frame. On one of those big ones, such as are used here at church quilting groups, I am hopeless. The quilt is always stretched too tightly and, of course, you can't move it around to suit yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Mary Ellen. Thanks for visiting and for your very kind comments. I can identify with your reluctance of hand quilting on a large floor frame. The quilt is always stretched very tightly, which really does make it more difficult to stitch, and you must be able to stitch easily in all directions as well. For me, it tends to become more of a chore then a pleasure. Whereas lap quilting for me is the ultimate decadent pleasure in my "stitching life". I find a very comfortable chair with ottoman, turn on some good DVD's or music, and can then stitch for hours. This particular quilt is taking so long to finish because I don't allow myself the pleasure often enough. I am hoping that by putting some pressure on myself, I will make some progress this next year. There's a lot of love in each stitch of this quilt and I am really looking forward to presenting it to my kids.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blocking and Squaring Boutis

The door of her cage has been opened. She is free to fly off and find her destiny.


After many months of hand stitching and then many more months of cording, my little "calibri" is ready to set off on her own. As this was my first attempt at designing so large a boutis piece, it has been a bit of a learning curve. All of the tight swirls, curls and circles are a great deal more difficult and time consuming to cord then are the longer more gentle channels. Maintaining an even tension is absolutely necessary throughout the process, so patience comes in very handy when doing the cording.

Once all of the stitching and cording is complete, the boutis must be washed and squared up. After it is soaked overnight in a basin of water with a mild detergent, it gets rinsed gently in several clear washes, then rolled in a towel to remove the excess water. 


The final step is the blocking process. There are a number of ways to block a boutis piece, but I have found that the easiest metho…

Amazing Applique by Yoko Saito

The quilt exposition in Nantes "Pour L'amour du Fil" was filled with a number of highlights. Certainly one of the more memorable experiences was seeing the works of Yoko Saito in person.
"Elegant" is the word that best describes Yoko Saito's quilts. Although her palette is neutral, the lights and darks play very well together to create a perfect balance to the quilt. To say that the applique is amazing is an understatement. The perfectly formed 1/4" circles and the tiny leaves and stems are inspirational. And of course, the hand quilting is perfect. For the final touch, she uses embroidery as adornment in much the same way that the perfect pair of earrings complete the look of the little black dress. The opportunity to see her quilts in person has been truly inspirational.

The photos in order:
- Yoko Saito in her booth on the floor of the show
- "Pointsettia" - by Yoko Saito
- "Spring of Sweden" close -up - by Yoko Saito

Alsace Quilts

A quilt show is a great place to be inspired and to celebrate our craft with other artisans. Spread throughout the town of Ste. Marie-Aux-Mines, as well as 2 other nearby towns, this show did not disappoint in either way. There were many fantastic quilts to marvel at, and even more fantastic people to meet and share ideas with.

When at these shows, time is always at a premium, so I prioritized the exhibits that I hoped to see and did my best to get there. Here are a few of the highlights.

The first exhibit we saw were the Canadian quilts. Just as with the Amish quilts, a church acted as the gallery. Churches make great venues for displaying quilts.




Libby Lehman is very well known throughout the quilt world for her free motion machine quilting and threadwork. As she was the featured artist at this year's show, there was a large retrospective display of her quilts. I am more familiar with her current work, so it was quite a surprise to see her more traditional earlier work. It was a…