Monday, December 5, 2016

Be Still My Heart, I Have a New Lap Quilt

Another finish today! Apparently I'm in the mode. This little quilt somehow snuck it's way into the lineup and just demanded to be. I've long been a fan of Victoria Gertenbach's thread work, but knew I didn't have her artistic flare {go back further on her blog to see even more beautifully done hand work}. So then, when I saw Svetlana's simple, yet lovely quilt, it somehow became 'the quilt'.
Be Still, my new lap quilt
You know about these. The quilts that somehow light a fire of determination where you really didn't know there was enough intensity to even light a match in the first place? Yep. Off I went on my quest to find the perfect pepper cotton fabric. I love how supple the fabric is and how it shines in proper lighting. Also, I was already imagining a cheater way of making the quilt. How about a subtle print that would preclude me from having to mark for stitching lines? If this quilt was going to bully it's way into the lineup, then it certainly didn't need to monopolize all my precious quilting time for the next forever.*wink
Such lovely texture
With pepper cotton fabric apparently on its way out, Just found out it's still available onlineI was very limited in color selection, but found myself delighted with the soft seafoam green I found. The backing fabric was a much tougher selection as I didn't want anything to detract from the simplicity of the entire [wholecloth} quilt look. I finally settled on a charcoal fabric with lines of indiscriminate black text. I actually love that the words are indecipherable.
Love, love, love looking at this quilt
Not having to mark my fabric made the hand quilting go very quickly. I ended up using nine different balls of #8 and #12 Perle Cotton thread, some variegated and others plain. The biggest struggle with the entire quilt was the fact that I was having to worry about the consistency of how the stitching was showing up on the backside of the quilt {the green side}, which in fact would eventually become the front side of the quilt. At least in my eyes!

Ooh, how annoying to realize that my normal pattern of stitching is more of a longish stitch {or two or three} and then a very small, little nod to the idea of a stitch. I think it's the long needle I use for the thicker Perle Cotton that makes my rocking motion a lot random that way. More taking out of stitching than I'd like to admit too, but it didn't really interfere with my excitement at seeing this quilt take shape. {And really, lets stop pretending that my stitching will ever be anything close to flawless or that I'd even want it that way if I could somehow convince my fingers to cooperate....}
A closer look at the print fabric backing
I also took extra time trying to find the 'perfect' binding fabric for this quilt. I knew I didn't want a red or other bright colored fabric, but did spend lots of time in my cream and then eventually, the yellow/gold fabric tote playing with possibilities. After a mostly disappointing search in most all of my fabric totes, I finally decided to look in the purple/lavender tote. Imagine my surprise when the fabric that jumped out at me was a brownish purple plaid? It had all the elements I was looking for, including a bit of lightness to subtly break up the long line of color on the outside of the quilt.

Indeed, I almost went for a cream binding initially, but just couldn't make myself be convinced the quilt looked the better for it! This mellow, toned down plaid somehow brings the entire quilt together in a way that I love and adore. It makes it unmistakably my quilt, which is quite a feat in such a simple, basic quilt! I mean seriously, how many components are there to quibble over? I remain amazed at how much every single quilt has to teach if we try to pay proper attention to what's it's trying to tell us.
Working on border blocks for two different quilts
My family pretty much thinks I went a little bonkers. 'Mom, it's so plain?' And it didn't help that I kept calling it my 'boring' quilt while chuckling like well, I actually was having real mental slippage. I'm sure at least a few of you understand how much fun I was having...

Saturday was more normal in terms of attitude towards my quilting--I had the gift of a very long day of piecing work, of which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was marvelous to play with the fabric and all the lovely colors, just chain stitching away and not having to think anything through. These will end up being the borders on two similar but different projects. I don't know why I'm working in pairs these days, but whatever works, right?


  1. some may think it is boring but it is unique - I too can not take consistent stitches especially with perle cotton, some long some short, until i finally say forget about it - just quilt!

  2. Totally get it -- marvelous choice/find for the binding, too. Enjoy your new quilt!!!

  3. Your "boring" quilt has yummy, yummy texture. Family members just don't always get it :0)

  4. your full cloth quilt looks smashing, certainly a lot of love went into all that hand quilting perle thread works so well for that, you must be thrilled with it.
    Blocks look interesting too and colourful, happy stitching.

  5. Sometimes plain and simple is the best, and this is a perfect example! Your stitches look mighty fine to me. I have the same difficulty quilting with perle cotton and the larger needles, in fact the larger needles really make my hands sore in a rather short time. I've also noticed that I can't achieve even stitch size with them, and rocking stitch more than once is really difficult. So cheers to you for this super finish!

  6. I like the texture of the wholecloth quilt but like the quilt in the hoop even more. Greetings

  7. Marvelous! I love the simplicity and softness of this little quilt. It looks so invitingly warm. Yum! Funny, I rarely use solid colors (or even peppered cottons) but this is really calling to me. I do love the early wool wholecloth quilts. Hmm.. you have once again inspired me to start something new. Yikes!

  8. Wow! Fantastic and exclusively YOURS!

  9. It's very zen like in its simplicity :) I had fabric like that when I was quilting a nine patch for my son. The white fabric had a zig zag pattern in it and I followed that in many a block...made life easier, that's for sure.

  10. It's so elegant! Lovely quilt, and I'll bet it will become one of your favorites. You make me want to do the same. I had a class with Pepper Cory in Houston last month. She said her "Peppered Cottons" are alive and well. The full line--with new colors each season--can be found online at

  11. I love these quilts where the thread is the main story. And at some point, you'll be happy to have done the work on your quilting stitch, too. Great finish! A quilter's quilt, no doubt. :D

  12. What a gorgeous, subtle quilt. It looks quite cozy! And the burgundy binding is just enough color without being too much. Good for you for following your heart with this one!

    I need to check out those peppered cottons!

  13. Congratulations on finishing such a beautiful quilt! I love the beautiful fabrics you chose as the background to your stitches. My stitches are longer on top, I've just accepted it , i like the hand stitched look. I think you're right that it's the longer needle, You've got me wondering if theres shorter needles that would take perle8.

  14. The boring quilt is far from boring. It's all about textures. Those peppered cottons just add to the softness and warmth. Great job!

  15. That sure looks like a very comfy quilt.

  16. I love this quilt and it's story. The binding is perfect and makes it perfectly yours. I love how your style is always evident in your quilts. What a wonderful finish!

  17. Perfect! This is such an interesting thing to do. I had never even thought about a wholecloth quilt but now...!
    I get that tiny stitch thing too, though I hadn't thought about it being the bigger needle. But this is a hand-made quilt, so hey, it doesn't need every stitch to be identical.


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