Since that first post, 22 months, ago I've big stitched lots of my quilts. Most of the Trip Around The World series has been finished, just one left. This fact on its own shows how good this method of quilting is - my UFOs are almost non existant. I've even finished big bed quilts, the ones you procrastinate over for the longest or send them out to a long arm quilter!
|If you look carefully you can see the Big Stitching on all of these quilts.|
I am completely convinced that this is the way to get your quilts finished.
I love stitching.
|Here's some recent stitching on indigo dyeing|
The first quilts were sparsely stitched and I used the seams as my guidelines, usually staying just a little beyond the underturned seam allowance - less fabric to sew through. The Trip Around The World quilts lend themselves to lovely long diagonals or chevrons. The quilt backs are beautiful wholecloths.
|This is the centre of this quilt where the chevron design from both sides meets.|
The trick is to keep your needle lined up with the stitches as you make them. Not all of my stitches are the same, but most of them are. In fact someone - a non quilter - just presumed the stitching had been done on a machine!! Also if I am quilting across the whole width of the quilt I will cut the thread the length to go from one side to the other. Then I pull it through the centre of the quilt line and leave half of it dangling and quilt from the centre to the edge and then go back to the centre and out to the other edge. This way the beginning and end of the threads are in the outside edge of the wadding.
I use my own hand dyed threads which match the quilts. I love the way this creates an extra element of surprise; a little pop of white thread from where I'd tied a knot when dyeing, a stretch of yellow running over brown fabrics, a sudden green thread where the dyes mixed.
Choosing beautiful thread will enhance your quilt. Having different colours, or shades of the same one, allows the thread to appear and disappear against certain prints or solids. It creates small details and interesting elements which you will notice much later when you're using the quilt and sitting under it, and studying the geometric shapes and the fabrics and the quilting.
So take one of your UFOs and try big stitch quilting on it. Take the plunge into the unknown, you don't know what might be out there.....