Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hints, Howler and Stitches

I have been busy sewing. For now, all you'll see are hints. Mwa ha ha ha.



Just because she's gorgeous (and in the way!), here's Lily:

Even though he's not gorgeous -- but I did get a request -- here's Howler:

Doesn't he look put out that I'm taking his photo? Black cats are hard to photograph. He's a black hole, not to mention he gets nervous and runs whenever I pay too much attention to him with the camera.

Julie asked how I hand quilt multiple stitches and catch the backing on a single needle. Well truthfully I don't catch the backing with every stitch. When I first started out I was lucky to catch one in ten all the way through to the back. I just didn't worry about it and kept at it.

Bonnie once quilted her freehand fans from the back of the sandwich so that she could see where she was going. Not for me - my front stitches are definitely better than the ones on the back:

I can tell you what works for me to get multiple stitches on the needle. No hoop! No hoop, no frame, nothing. You can read more about it in my tutorial here. Since the quilt isn't stretched at all I have lots of flexibility to manuever the needle. That's what works for me anyway. That and practise, practise, practise.

By the way, my needles of choice are Richard Hemmings Large-Eye Betweens size 10.

Want to see some beautiful hand quilting and quilts? Sara recently posted about her great time at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat with Gwen Marston - woohoo!!! Here's part one and part two. Sara took some great photos - just click and look at them closely.

The retreat this year was about solids and if these quilts look wonderful to you, then hop on over and check out Gwen's new book Ideas and Inspirations here on lulu (where you can also get the e-book) OR you can now get it directly from Gwen. Don't forget to tell her you you want it autographed. While you're there, pick up a copy of the now-out-of-print Liberated String Quilts - you won't regret it.

Indigo Threads Sharon has been working with some vintage 30's fabric. I love the first top in particular that she just completed as well as the pics of her kitties with the work in progress.

Jenny Bowker always posts some of the most incredible photos of Egypt and the Middle East, but in particular check out her post about the textile tour of Egypt and Syria.

22 comments:

Joyce said...

I'm intrigued! And wouldn't I love to go to a Beaver Island retreat some day...

nicolette said...

Thanks for all the links and the needle advice!

jovaliquilts said...

Love those solids!

Just ordered from Marston's website, thanks for the heads up. So is this a reprint of Liberated Quilting?

Quilt Pixie said...

those solids are looking mighty fine!

Clare said...

I don't know what you're up to, but whatever it is it's got Tonya written all over it.

I'm getting seriously down hearted about my hand quilting again. I'm just wondering if I should start again, but with a hoop this time to get the stitches even. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Tonya,
I always wondered if my hand quilting looked that way on the back because I didn't use a hoop. It must be so, because your non-hooped handquilting looks the same as mine on the back.

Lois

Kristin L said...

You are such a tease! i look forward to seeing teh finished project some day -- it looks like it's going to be riotous.

Bonnie said...

Love Lily in the Strips! Lily is a Stripper...too funny! :cD

You are a BIG TEASE with just the hint of stringy blocks going on!

Bonnie

Katie said...

Black hole! That's a good way of putting it. My black dog is hard to take photos of too. She can disappear in the background even on a bright sunny day!

Tanya said...

So nice to see Howler and Habibi! That's one big cat Habibi!! And Howler is gorgeous. I love black cats!

mumzy said...

Thanks for the advice. I'm amazed that you can quilt without hoop or frames. I just can't do it that way. It has to be frames for me.

Howler is just gorgeous. We don't have a pet right now but when we are ready for one again, I have said I want a pure black cat.

Karen said...

Nice to see Howler and Habibi. I love all cats.

I shall try the Richard Hemmings needles. I have just started quilting my dresden plate quilt and am testing out new needles - Jeana Kimball's size 10 betweens. I didn't even finish one row and the needle bent. Very bent! So did the second and third needle. The only difference in my quilting is in some spots,I am going through an extra layer of fabric (appliqued part), but this shouldn't cause the needle to bend. Should it?

Paula said...

We just might be twins....I never use a hoop or anything. My stitches on the back look like yours and we use the same needles!! Pretty cool. Maybe I'll make as many quilts as you someday too!!

Diane said...

Tonya, you tease you! The strip pieced blocks are tantalizing. Thanks for the mention of MS in your previous post and your continued support for the cause.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the mention, Tonya! And I love your little tease. Can't wait to see what goody you've come up with this time. Lily looks so pretty in all the strips. Isn't it great how the kitties help?? And Howler is a pretty boy. You got a good shot that time!
When I used to do hand-quilting, I never could get the hang of using a hoop. I always did the quilting just like you do it. My quilting friends thought I did it "wrong". Ha! My stitches never looked as good as yours though, darn it.
Hope you get some sunshine this weekend!

niki said...

Cool -- I've always wondered how to spell that sinister laugh. You really nailed.

andsewitis Holly said...

These little previews look happy and cheerful. I love your latest "love" quilt.

Cher said...

ah, strings in solids...they look good! great links..especially Sara's-what a lucky quilter and what wonderful tops she makes as well.

LindaL said...

Howler IS gorgeous. And, I agree about black cats being hard to photograph--"black hole" is a good term for it!!

Julie said...

Thanks for responding to my interest in your great hand quilitng. I will try out those needles. Maybe no hoop next time. Maybe more patience... Howler is a handsome boy. Thanks for posting his pic. Habibi - I love orange kitties! Thanks for posting him too.

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desertskyquilts said...

Tonya, I was going to give your hand quilting tutorial url to someone, but I find the link doesn't work now. Did you post it somewhere else than Quiltville? Thanks!

dezertsuz at gmail

Susan