Friday, June 20, 2014

Campagne Française

What a journey it has been to hand piece, hand appliqué and hand quilt this wonderful quilt.

As is usually the case, I will start with the "Acknowledgements".

First, I want to give credits to Nataliejo from l'Atelier Perdu who is the designer of this pattern. Thanks Natalie, you know how much I like your designs ;-) The folded quilt photo is for you as I know you love seeing quilts folded :-)

Second, I want to thank Sakae from Tokyo. She gave me the inspiration to start quilting it the way I did. When I saw her quilting on the first block, I told myself that this was the time for me to try quilting the way I dream my quilts to be quilted. I convinced myself to just do it and that I would decide one block after another what the next quilting design would be. Let me tell you, I have learnt a lot through this process and I have been very happy to share with my FB friends most of it along with some of my  tips and ways of doing things.

This quilt is for my 20-year old daughter. She is just finishing her Khâgne B/L and will very soon know where she will study next year. It has been two very difficult years for her because prep schools in France require students to work very hard. I am very proud of her. She is a smart young lady. I didn't manage to finish this quilt for her birthday in February as I had planned but it is here. This quilt is for you Emma ;-) You have waited long enough...

But I guess you want to see more, right ?

A bit more ?


How about going in the garden in the morning light for an even better view.

The whole quilt unfolded, now!!! Unfortunately not the best photo but this is as much as I could do.

Now  both my daughters have their quilts ;-)

Thank you all for stopping by and welcome to my new followers.

Until later,

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The last block is quilted!

The last block is finally quilted.

For the four corners squares, I had drawn a beautiful feather crown. It was beautiful on paper and I was sure it would be great but....

.... once quilted, it wasn't  looking so great. The feathers were not really visible.

So guess what I did ?

Well, you got it!!! I unquilted that part and I can assure you it takes more time to unpick the small stitches than to actually quilt them.

I decided on something which is very simple compared to my first idea  but it is perfect for the block and sometimes simplicity is what is best.

Anyway, here is the photo of this last block.


I will now quilt the small and large borders. The quilting will be simple again so it only complements the whole quilting  in the blocks which is the main focus. Well, this is what I would like to achieve though...

It is almost the end of the school year for me. It's been a complicated and difficult year here and I am happy to be able to relax soon and gain some needed energy again.

I do hope it will not take too long before I can post  photos of the completely finished quilt.

Until later,

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's been a long time...

... but here I am! As you can guess life has been busy... very busy. So not much was quilted or done.

But I do have some (little) progress to share with you.

Block 7 is finally finished and though the weather is overcast today again, I have decided not to postpone  taking photos.
The quilt with a bouquet of roses from my mum's garden.

As you can see, there is only one block left to quilt. The more I quilt it, the more I love it. I do not have to think about the design now because everything is planned for the last block and the two borders. Yesterday, measurements were made and paper templates drawn for the inside border.

A closer view of the block.

Don't you think that these concentric circles suit the block perfectly?

Even closer for some details.


When I needed a break from quilting, this is what I was working on.

It's a long forgotten project... Why am I SOOOOOO long on projects I love ?

 Stitched with silks, it is a beauty!!

Until later,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Handquilting : 7th block

I have not made much progress on the block. I didn't have much time for quilting last week but I am going to show you what I have done so far on this block.

The inspiration comes from a basket quilt by Yoko Saito in the book "Traditional Models In Lessons" (les Modèles traditonnels en leçons) published by Quiltmania for the French translation.

I think that these concentric circles soften up the background surface of the block and go well with the medallion on the top-right hand corner.

At first, I didn't know how to trace these circles and asked Sakae on how to do it. Following her advice I have used this. There is a tiny hole in each circle so I put a needle in it, place the large circle and trace. Then I remove the circle and leave the needle and place a smaller circle and trace and go on like that for each circle. Thanks to the needle, I place every circle correctly. I mark them as I go, usually tracing four or five sets of circle at a time.


I just LOVE the effect... What do YOU think ?

I might not be back for a couple of weeks now as I have another very busy week ahead of me and the following week, I'll be in London.

Until later,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Handquilting : sixth block.

And another block is finished. I am quilting at a slow pace but make little progress everyday and the end is not that far away now.

I love the puffiness  the quilting produces.

There is a quilted flower in the middle...

and the corners are adorned with leaves.


Here is the block...

... and the quilt so far...


 I still have two large blocks to quilt, then the little border and finally the large one.

I have started quilting the background of the top right-hand corner. It's the large block with the house, the flowers in the vase and the girl's face. It is going to be the most beautiful quilted piece of this quilt, I think. Whatever my progress, I promise to show it to you next weekend, even if it is not finished as will probably be  the case because I have a very busy week coming ahead.

Happy quilting to you all ;-)
Until later,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Quilting pattern

I thought it would be nice to share with you how I work when I come to deciding and marking the quilting pattern of a specific block.

First of all, I read and read again my three quilting "bibles" which are a great source of inspiration for me as regards handquilting designs.

Then, depending on the block, I decide whether I want straight lines, curved lines , wavy lines or any other design like florals or feathers, for example.

Finally, I try to take into consideration the block itself and whether I want to accentuate the block pattern or want my quilting design to have a unique pattern and/or add something different.

For the block photographed, I wanted to have a specific design which would add some curves to the straight lines. Then, I also wanted to just accentuate the graphic pattern and give it dimension by quilting straight lines or smaller quilted triangles.

Once these decisions were taken, I chose the design in the books and used my photocopier to reduce them to the size I wanted and cut the paper out to place it on the block to get an idea of how it would look. I did the same for the leaves for the four large corner triangles.

That's when I realized that the brown outer borders were larger than the other borders and the same size as the outer borders on the second block I had quilted (the basket block). So I chose the same design which would echo the quilting made in the previous block and add some coherence and harmony to the overall quilting design.

The space I try to maintain between lines is 1.5 cm. It is easy to mark using the lines on my ruler. So that's what I did again. Just to be sure of the effect, I draw it on paper first. You will notice that I draw a vertical line right in the middle but this line will not be quilted.


Well, you now know how I decide on a quilting pattern. Hope to post the quilted result in a few days.

Until later,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Handquilting : fifth block

And the quilting goes on....

This block is more graphic and I had to play with the design of the block and the textured fabrics.

I like the way it has turned out.

I quilted straight lines   but in the opposite direction from the previous block which is just above in the quilt top.

I played a bit with the lines direction in the sahsings in the middle of the block.

 Here is an overall view of the quilted blocks.

I have been asked about my quilting tools.
I quilt using a Hinterberg floor hoop. My hoop is 22 inches which is perfect for large quilts.
I use either a Roxane thimble or a Ted Storm thumb thimble on my right hand. The Ted Storm thimble is used only when quilting away from me. I do quilt in all directions but am more at ease when quilting from right to left. Underneath the quilt, on my left hand I have a porcelain thimble which is a needle glider. This one is designed by Yoko Saito. The two rubber thimbles are very useful. The one I put on my right forefinger helps me pull the needle. The one put on my left forefinger keeps the porcelain thimble from sliding. Moreover, one size fits all thanks to the rubber thimble, which is great too!!!

I told you about the extra texture given to the block by the quilting... here is a photo that proves it.

Thank you  for following my handquilting journey for this top. I am happy to share my progress and if you want to use any ideas, please do.

January will finally end soon! I don't know why but each year, it is the same! January seems to never end ... and this is a period when I long for spring time, blooms and warmer days. The only benefit when it's cold and raining is that I have nothing else to do but quilt ;-)

Until later,