Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Doll Quilt & Daisy Wall Hanging

A Couple of Random Quilts I Made in the Early Days of My Quilting

Doll Quilt

Now, here is a nice little doll quilt that I made sometime after finishing my second quilt. I made three of these altogether. The first two were given to the little girls that I used to nanny. This one I kept for myself. The ones I gave the girls were much cuter and prettier than this one. I find this one kind of drab, especially that grey border.

This quilt is interesting for me to reflect on here though. Sometime between finishing the second quilt and making this one, I learned two very important things about quilting -- 1. How to do the "rocking" stitch and 2. How to hide the quilting knots. This is the first quilt where my quilting stitches are visible on both the front AND the back. I did not have to add "extra" layer to conceal my knots. I have learned the secret to hiding them! You have to "pop" the knot through the fibers of the top or back layer before you cut the thread off. Thus, hiding it in the between layers of the quilt where no one will see them! Brilliant!
Oh, and I used REAL quilting thread this time! They actually sell it in the store where they sell the other threads and it says "Hand Quilting" right on the label! Imagine that!

Each of these squares are approximately 1 1/2" across. The overall size of this quilt is 18" x 20". If you've seen my first quilt, you will recognize that red fabric with the cats on it from my first quilt! That fabric on the bottom left with the frogs has always been one of my favorites! Oh, and that red polka dotted fabric? It is actually leftovers from when I made myself a clown costume in 8th grade (1984)!

Now, here you can see my quilting stitches. Notice how uneven the size of the stitches are. This is very typical of a beginning quilter. The goal when doing hand quilting is to get your stitches even. Once you have mastered that, you move on to getting the stitches as small as possible. This only comes with practice -- hours upon hours of practice!
For anyone interested, I'm averaging about 4-5 stitches per inch in my quilting here. For comparison, 6 stitches/inch is considered "average" while 8 stitches/inch is "accomplished" and 10 is considered "expert". It goes higher than 10, but let's not worry about that, since I'm still not there yet!

And if you're really into this, here is a sample of some of my more recent quilting from another quilt (circa 2005). See how much more even these stitches are compared to the doll quilt? And they are much smaller. These average 8 stitches/inch. When I think that some quilters can achieve 10 or 12 to the inch, I am just blown away by that!

And, so, not bad, if I do say so myself!   This also goes to show you that if you are interested in starting quilting, please, do yourself a favor.....START SMALL! Doll quilts, potholders, table runners, place mats, that kind of thing. You can learn all the same skills and it is much easier!

Daisy Wall Hanging

I called this one "Everything's Coming Up Dasies". I'm not sure exactly when I started this, but I finished it in 2000. The overall size of this is 26 1/2" x 38". This actually started out as a quilt kit that I purchased at a quilt show. It came with the fabrics seen here on the front and a pattern. I didn't like the flower pattern that it came with, so I just made my own daisy pattern instead. I also changed the design by making some of the petals and leaves three-dimensional.

This ENTIRE quilt is hand sewn. This is also the first quilt that I made using applique. After making this, I found that I really enjoyed all the handwork. As you will see later on in some more recent quilts, I have incorporated applique in many of them.

What really appealed to me about this quilt was the bright and cheery colors used in the design. That is the part that I DID keep the same as the original pattern.

Here you can see some of the quilting I did around each flower. I used black thread to make it stand out more.

Close-up of the applique and quilting.

Here is a three-dimensional flower. I quilted the outline of this flower, as I did all the "flat" flowers.

When I originally made this, I didn't realize the leaves and petals were going to "droop" so much! I've always been meaning to tack these up so they weren't so droopy looking!

Love this color combo on this one!

Just another detail picture.

So, here you can see that the binding was actually pieced using the scraps of fabric left over after doing the flowers. This is one thing that I DID keep the same from the original design.

So, here's how it looks from the back....

I've always been pretty happy with how this one came out!

Although I finished this in 2000, there are others I made around the same time, so keep checking back for more quilt posts.  Thank you for reading!

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