Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Scrappy 9-patch

I took this with my phone. I forgot I even had a camera on my phone as I hardly ever use it. The phone, that is! Its a wannabe smart phone (ie mostly dumb) but actually has the same pixels as my old now defunct camera. No zoom, of course, nor flash or any other features. But it does an OK job.

Anyway, I wanted to show you the last quilt I finished. This was from a 9-patch block exchange I participated in last year with eight other women at the Point Bonita quilt retreat. I cherry picked for the most "old-timey" looking blocks, and decided on the double 9-patch which is one of my favorite blocks. I auditioned several fabrics - including three different toiles - for the background, and settled on the tan toile.

At this point I feel I must make the following note:
I have only recently become acquainted with a number of quilt blogs, including inspired by antique quilts , which is a remarkable blog and hugely inspiring in itself. Lo and behold, down in the archives the author posts her red double nine-patch, set in red and white toile. Very similar to my quilt. Kathy, if you see this, I want you to know I did not steal your idea. But I do give you credit for coming up with the idea before I did.

Moving on, my preferred method of quilting is to start by pin basting, then machine quilt in the ditch between the blocks to lock the whole thing down. Then I hand quilt in the open areas, and wherever else it will show and look pretty. This makes it go way faster, the process is much less tedious, and the result is, it has the look and feel of a totally hand quilted quilt.

I rarely send my tops out to a long-arm quilter, but sometimes will machine quilt the entire quilt myself. I use a Bernina 150 with a walking foot. I rarely do any free motion quilting on my machine as I have never really gotten the hang of it, and the process is very stressful to me. I much prefer the relaxation of hand quilting.

 Sometimes I quilt in my big hoop...

sometimes I quilt in a pvc frame...

...and sometimes I quilt off the frame, or partially off like here, like when I get close to the edge. If this looks strange its because my quilting hand is holding the camera!

OK, so totally off the subject, another discovery I made this morning is that Lonestar Quilting is having a 30% off sale, so you might want to get over there and check it out. The have a slew of reproduction fabrics - I myself ended up buying more than a few cuts... I may post on that later.

Have a wonderful day!


  1. using toile and making nine patches is not my idea! LOL don't worry I would never think that. just look at how many antique quilts have been made like this!
    your quilt is beautiful and I Love the idea of mixing machine and hand quilting.
    do you ever just quilt with a hoop in your lap?
    I used to have a floor frame like that but never could get comfortable using it. Kathie

  2. I used to quilt with a hoop in my lap, in fact that was the first method I learned! Later I switched to the PVC frame, which I find more versatile. I got my floor hoop a couple years ago at our silent auction for $10, I was the only one who bid on it! I love it because I can keep it set up all the time, and put in a few stitches whenever I have a few minutes. I've managed to rig it up in front of my chair so the hoop is pretty much in my lap. Plus I am fairly tall with long enough arms to get around the thing. Meanwhile Kathie, I'd like to thank you for the many tips I've gotten off your blog. I am now cutting 1 1/2 and 2 1/2" strips from every fabric I pull out, and working on organizing my projects so I get more done. Wish me luck!