Tuesday 10 February 2015

it’s February and some people’s thoughts turn to hearts

This is not the story of a finished quilt, so I hope Val will forgive me – but the Tuesday Archives link-up at Val’s Quilting  Studio looks like so much fun, I couldn’t help wanting to be a part of it.
Val's Quilting Studio

I have to say, this soon-to-quilt-top is one of my favourite projects ever and I’ve blogged about it several times but it’s never had it’s own post.

In 2011, DD and I , with two month old Younger Grandson, made the hour and a half trek across Sydney for the inaugural meeting of what was to become the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild (now the Sydney Modern Quilt Group). We needed a hand-stitching project to keep us busy (well, DD had her hands full anyway) during the three hour meet-up. I had recently acquired an Accuquilt Go! Baby and had been keen to try it out.
opened ready for use

I’m glad I learnt how to do fused appliqué in the few quilting classes I had taken at that point. I had also done embroidery in my past which, of course, included blanket stitch. Putting the two skills together, I was able to work on some of these:
2012 Sep 6 two hearts done

Over the years, DD and I carried appliquéd hearts to meetings of the Caring Hearts Community Quilters and eventually I had thirty blocks done. But they were only 6” (yes, I was a new quilter and forgot to add seam allowance when cutting the squares) so I needed more blocks – or I needed to enlarge them somehow.

Inspiration came from two sources: a chance overhearing of a comment from someone in our quilting group  on the merits of appliqué and/or scrap quilts; the other from the Dresden wedding quilt made by Jess at A Quilty Habit.

I enlarged my blocks and  made them scrappy!
2013 red block with border

And I worked on the layout until I came up with this:
blocks done and final layout

So, the obvious question is: if I love these blocks and this layout so much; why has the project stalled?  Well, firstly, we moved house! That slowed all projects down for several months! But, more importantly, I know I need to add white sashing between the blocks but I'm not sure how I want to quilt it (using a walking foot; FMQ is out of the question for now). I think I want to echo quilt around the hearts but dragging the whole quilt though my domestic machine (even though I have a 9” harp space) doesn't inspire me so I’m considering QAYG row-by-row (gasp!)

What would you do if you were a novice quilter with little FMQ ability?


  1. That quilt is going to be a beauty!! I am currently doing a QAYG. I received union jack blocks in a swap and I want to make a quilt for my bed, but like you I couldn't see myself getting it quilted in my small machine and I really don't want to send it to a long armer who will do a pantogram all-over pattern. I want the quilting to follow the lines of the flag. So I am quilting each union jack block and putting a narrow sashing between the blocks. I invite you to join me in this fun process... :)

  2. Awesome quilt! It would be difficult to use the walking foot around the hearts if it was all sewn together, but quilt-as-you-go has never appealed to me. Have you thought about hand quilting around the hearts if you don't want to try FMQ? You could still do the walking foot for the rest.

    1. I'm no expert in quilting but I instantly had that same idea! And just like Carol I don't know if you need the sashing. I love this quilt! Can't wait to see it finished.

  3. I absolutely LOVE this quilt. I don't know that I would add the white sashing. I kinda like the blocks as is. As for quilting I would probably just meaner the entire quilt leaving the hearts without quilting on them.

  4. Just give it a go. Take it nice and slow. A little at a time.
    You can do it. Then it will be a special memory for you. Your first

  5. I love it without any added sashing! I would join the blocks as it is, block to block. Then vertical and horizontal rows of straight stitching thru the scrappy squares.....and this would outline quilt the white background square.
    As an option....I do not like QAYG, but you could put together the quilt in 2 halves of 3 rows each. Quilting around each heart would be doable on a domestic this way. When both halves are quilted, then join like a QAYG method and finish off.

  6. This is stunning! Do what you have to do to get it finished; a narrow white sashing strip will give some definition but I don't know about the QAYG....I would roll it up and do the FMQ around each heart. You can do it! Look how far you have come!

  7. That turned out so pretty. I seldom use my GO which is sad. However I did take it to quilting class last night and told the ladies they were welcome to use it if they wanted to.

  8. What did I do when I was a novice quilter with little FMQ ability? Well first I did stitch in the ditch with my walking foot on all the major seams of the quilt top. Then I graduated to making a plaid design on the top again using my quilting foot. Then I discovered that I could do wavy lines with my walking foot. Finally, I dared to put my FMQ foot on my machine and practiced going around large motifs on a practice sandwich and checking out tutorials online. The rest is history. I call myself an advanced beginner now, LOL. You can do it!

  9. These blocks are gorgeous! I love the earlier idea to hand quilt around the hearts too. I could go either way on the sashing... Are you looking for a certain size or is it big enough as is?

  10. Beautiful hearts! I love the rainbow effect in that layout.

    Sorry I'm no help with quilting motifs, it's just not one of skill sets.

  11. I love it just the way it is. I would only add the white sashing if you wanted to make it bigger or if it would be too hard to match up all of the block seams.

  12. I love this quilt! I would not add sashing if it were mine. I would save up and have it quilted for me.LOL
    and then I would say Happy Valentines Day! whatever you do it is gorgeous!


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