Categories: slow stitch; tips and tutorials



Sunday Rolls On By (I Wonder Where!)

Fete, a handmade and hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017.

Tiny pennants, big stitches

Sunday Coffee

Sunday afternoon already. How did that happen? I’ve stitched a few hours away, hacked back my triffid-like tomato plants, cleared up my sewing space and packed Kim off to see his grandparents for a few days. I’ve fed the cat. I’ve daydreamed and thought about how I can fit some walking in this week. And I’ve thought and thought and thought about this blog! *Sigh*…

I just took my last sip of cappuccino and gave myself a metaphorical kick up the backside: stop thinking, just do it! So, this is where a few hours went:

Fete, a handmade and hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017.

Finishing up a section

I finished hand quilting the left hand side of this section of Fete this morning (not in the photo)  and I plan to quilt up what you can see here this evening while I watch The Handmaid’s Tale (anyone else as engrossed as me?).

By the time I’ve stitched this bit up I reckon I’ll have covered an unimpressive 1/7th of the surface…such a long way to go. It’ll be good to finish a whole section though; it usually motivates me to move onto the next. Roll on this evening, I’m giving my arm a rest for now.

Arm Ache

My arm aches. Actually, that’s an understatement. My arm has been causing me agonising pain at times, but it’s my shoulder that’s at the root of it. I can’t lift my arm out more than 90 degrees to my side or ahead of me, and I can’t raise my usually very flexible arm behind my back at all. Not without howling at any rate. My gp says it’s “frozen”. My physio says no long stretches of quilting. Or sitting at the lap top. Or drawing. *Sigh* (Again!)

I’ve been good, I’ve listened and diligently completed my daily shoulder exercises, and I’ve been rewarded with less pain and much more mobility in a relatively short time. I’ve read of other quilters suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow, which has meant they’ve had to give up quilting for months on end. I’m not going to join the list.

It’s an odd ailment this ‘rotator cuff‘ injury. Quilting, typing, etc, doesn’t hurt at all so you don’t realise you could be making it worse. My physiotherapist told me that the very small movements in activities like quilting mean the shoulder muscles are kept in the same position for long periods of time, which leads to them ‘freezing’ and creating the excruciating pain that comes with the larger movements your shoulder needs get you through the day. Which affects everything else from getting dressed to carrying the groceries!  Personally, I reckon it’s all down to age, meh.

Age Will Not Stop Play

I decided sometime ago that advancing age wouldn’t stop me doing the things I love, like long distance walking. I really believe I have to do these things before something as inevitable as a crumbling skeleton or weakening muscles puts an untimely stop to one of life’s joys.

So, last Thursday I headed off to the north Cornwall coast for a couple of days hiking and a night’s wild camping on the cliffs. I thought I’d share a couple of pictures with you because it’s such a spectacular part of the country and fills me with inspiration every time I stretch my legs there.


Boscastle Harbour © Stephanie Boon, 2017 All rights reserved.

Spectacular cliff walking at Boscastle


Millook, North Cornwall on the South West Coast Path. Interesting geological folds in the cliff face. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful zig zag geology exposed on the cliff face at Millook

Cliff Tracks


Slate track bordered with purple bell heather on the cliffs of north Cornwall. South West Coast Path August 2017 © Stephanie boon, 2017.

Slate tracks bordered with colourful bell heather and gorse

Rocky Valley

Busy tracks around Rocky Valley near Tintagel. © Stephanie Boon, 2017 All Rights Reserve.

Tracks around Rocky Valley near Tintagel, smudged with the orange of monbretia.

I got home on Friday night and was already thinking about the next hike! Sometimes inspiration is everywhere, you can’t get enough of it and want to take it all in at once. But it’s not always like that, sometimes things just percolate for a while, bubbling to the surface every now and again, until a bubble finally bursts into a lightbulb moment.

Inspiration for my other sister’s quilt has been like that. I’ve been collecting nature themed fabrics for it, but I didn’t really have any idea how I’d use them. Until recently. It’s all that drawing in the woods. I noticed something and it’s stuck in my mind. It keeps going round and round and sooner or later I’m going to have to get out some scrap fabric and try out an idea.

But first… yes, first, I must push on with Fete.

Happy Slow Sunday Stitching everyone! I’m linking up with Kathy for the first time in an absolute age.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015


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There’s a Fete going on in Cornwall!

Hello lovely, patient friends! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the summer so far, the weather’s been pretty rubbish here, so at the first glimpse of clear sky I grabbed the chance to take some photos of what’s in my hoop at the moment. But more on that in a mo. First off…

Comments Are Working!

I’m sooo glad to tell you that I’ve moved the blog to a new hosting company and finally we have working comments again…we can have a conversation! I have to admit that as well as being really busy with all the walking, I haven’t felt very motivated to post over the last few months, because talking to myself was a little bit dull to say the least (even the blog emails weren’t working)! Hopefully that’ll change now.

Out Of The Hoop

Since I last posted I’ve taken Prosperity out of the hoop. I’ve only got the borders to quilt now (I’ve finished one of them) and I don’t always use a hoop for those, mostly because I’m too lazy to add extra strips of fabric to the sides to hold it in place. Let’s be honest here, who does that anyway?!

Hand quilted patchwork quilt 'Prosperity'. Improv design © Stephanie Boon, 2017

Just the borders to quilt now

One quilt out another one in. And that’s my sister’s 40th birthday quilt ‘Fete’.


The Basting

I thread basted this quilt with herringbone stitch. It’s so lovely to work on because you don’t have to keep removing pins every time you move the hoop along a bit.  And it really doesn’t take that long to baste this way, especially if you work at a table. I did in a couple of hours over 2 evenings and I could have done it in one go if I’d been feeling more industrious!

Hands quilted improv patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017

Fete, basted and being hand quilted…at last!

Who else prefers to thread baste?  I imagine pins are much easier to remove if you’re machine quilting, as you wouldn’t have the trouble of trying to extricate thread from under small machine stitches? I’ve been enjoying snipping the basting threads as I go along, which means I get to see the gorgeous texture developing.

Fete, a hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017

Hand quilting in big stitch style

The Quilting

I had a couple of attempts at a quilting design before I settled on this one. My first idea was to create an all over zig-zag pattern in a random style, rather than geometric and even. I didn’t like it. At all! It seemed to lose the flow and movement of the bunting flags. So I tried again.

This time I stitched about a quarter of an inch from the seams and then another parallel row about another quarter inch apart. I didn’t like that either for two reasons: 1. it still felt geometrical and ‘rigid’ and 2. it left some of the larger flags without enough quilting to hold the layers in place (for my taste).

I went with version number 3. This version comprises ‘random’ echo quilting, various widths from the seams, with the second row various widths from the first. And if the smaller flags look good with just one row, they get just one row! And the larger ones might get 3 or more. I much prefer it because the quilting works with the flow of the bunting, rather than creating a pattern of it’s on own top.

The Thread

Hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017

Hand quilting on the Kaffe Fassett backing fabric

The back looks good too I think. I’m working in ‘big stitch’ with a cotton perle thread in blue. I chose blue because I didn’t want to see the flags too distinctly on the back. This was another decision I made so as not to detract from the pattern of the fabric.

The big, bold Kaffe Fassett design has as much exuberance as the front and the quilt could easily be reversed. The other thing I like about the thread is that a friend gave it to me. Her mum died relatively recently and she had lots of perle cottons in her sewing box that my friend was unlikely to use. It makes me happy to think she’s part of this quilt too.

Walking and Drawing

My desire to be creative seems to be on a bigger roll lately. Maybe having a break from being online so much has had its benefits? Instead of thinking about things I’ve been getting on with it. Perhaps all the long distance walking has helped too. It clears the head and allows you to see the landscape in a different way. I’d all but forgotten how much I love the simple act of looking and  painting too. I always draw, but colour and mark making is an enlivening experience.


Oak trees. Oil pastel on paper. July 2017 © Stephanie Boon, all rights reserved.

Oak trees. Oil pastel on paper

Painting - Beech Trees In The Rain, © Stephanie Boon, 2017. all rights reserved.

Beech trees in the rain.

Painting. Pines Through The Beech Trees. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All rights reserved.

Pines through the beech trees

Painting: Dead Tree at Trelissick (Beech Trees). © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All rights reserved.

Beech trees in fading light

Another old friend gave me a wonderful gift of a set of oil pastels. I’d never used them much before and I’m amazed at the range of marks I can make with them – I wonder where these sticks of gorgeousness have been all my life!

I’m using them to make the series of small woodland drawings/paintings you can see here (they’re just a little bigger than A4). I’m aiming for 10 or so and maybe I’ll even exhibit them some day!

Another Hike

Cliffs and beach at Duck pool. North coast of Cornwall. July 2017. © Stephanie Boon, all rights reserved.

Cliffs on the north Cornish coast

I’m heading off to the north coast again tomorrow and I’ll be taking some art materials with me, of course. It’s a short trip, only two nights, but what with the weather and a load of appointments (more about that next time) just squeezing in 2 nights seemed to be better than none (it was meant to be 4). Things won’t be so frantic towards the end of the month and I’m planning another 80 mile stretch, this time on the south coast. When I finish that section, I’ll have walked the entire Cornish coast in one continuous route (that’s 300 miles). That makes me happy.

Come and join me on Instagram (I have 2 different accounts) to see more pictures of walking and hiking in Cornwall and how my quilting is coming along (slowly, haha!).

One last thing before I head off to pack my rucksack, please, if you find any glitches on the site just let me know (in the comments, haha!); I have every confidence I can sort it out with this new host! (And a few oddities are to be expected when you migrate a site from one host to another.)

I’ll see you on the other side of my hike, so until next time have a great end to the week and a fine weekend too.

Best wishes

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015


August Rain, The Scrappy Quilt Entry

The Bloggers Quilt Festival (BQF) is gaining momentum over at Amy’s Creative Side and today at the Studio it’s all about the Scrappy Quilt category. August Rain (below) is a very scrappy quilt I finished earlier this year.

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain', © Stephanie Boon, 2014

Scrappy String Quilt

Yesterday I showed the quilt I entered in the Hand Quilted category. August Rain could just have easily fitted that category too, because August Rain is completely hand quilted. However, I think the main focus of this quilt is the delightful scrappy centre panel, so, logically, I’m entering it into the Scrappy Quilt category!

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain' Big stitch quilting. © Stephanie Boon, 2014,

August Rain detail (being hand quilted)

August Rain: Scrappy Quilt Details

  • String quilt with the centre panel made entirely from scraps
  • Hand quilted with ‘big stitch’ in perle cotton thread
  • 100% cotton (including wadding/batting and thread)
  • Started July 2014, finished February 2015
  • 51″ x 59.5″ (130cm x 151cm)

August Rain. It’s a very evocative name:

“So, there I was sitting on the studio (er kitchen!) floor, shuffling blocks around in the dull, grey light listening to heavy rain falling and ruminating on what to try next when it suddenly hit me: one of the layouts I’d tried before had reminded me of rain, or a child’s drawing of rain anyway.”  (August Rain and a Design Tip! August 2014).

And that was it, the name stuck. And the finished design developed from there.

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

Scrappy strings becoming August Rain, 2014

What is a Scrappy Quilt?

To me August Rain is a ‘true’ scrappy quilt: it’s made of scraps. It’s not a quilt that’s made to look scrappy by simply cutting up fabric in a myriad of different colours. The fabrics in the centre were never intended to go together. There are some scraps from various previous projects, but a large quantity of them were given to me by friends. They’re either scraps from their scrap boxes, or their daughter’s dresses or partners old shirts. There’s even a pair of shorts in there somewhere! A goodly amount of these fabrics have been used before.

Part of making a scrappy quilt, for me, is making do with what I have, using up that blue that looks a bit too green or a bit too purple, or that print that I really don’t like. Part of the creative process, part of the fun, is trying to make them work well together, even if they don’t want to! I think this quilt shows that it can be done quite successfully. One of the ways to do that is to develop a theme: ‘rain’.

I carried the theme into the quilting too and there are some details in the photos below. I really hope you enjoy them!

Scrappy Quilt Gallery

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

The finished quilt aptly photographed on an incredibly rainy day in February!

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

The quilt back has some appliqué flowers drifting from the border

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

Rainy flowers (being quilted, so there’s still basting thread visible and some de-wrinkling to be done at this stage!)

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

Quilting ‘rain circles’ in the border

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

A touch of brightness on a dull winter’s day

I hope you’ve enjoyed this ‘tour’ through the process of making this scrappy quilt. It’s been fun to revisit it and remember the people that contributed their scraps and old clothes so that I could make something new, pretty and warm and give them a new lease of life.

Links to Some Previous Posts About August Rain

Please Vote For August Rain!

If you like this quilt too, I’d love it if you’d head on over to The Blogger’s Quilt festival and vote for it in the Scrappy Quilt  category. There are lots of other lovely entries to ogle and inspire you too.

Scrappy Quilt entry for Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015: Blue string quilt 'August Rain'. © Stephanie Boon, 2014

August Rain. A scrappy quilt basking in the summer sun.

If you’ve entered a quilt in the festival let us know in the comments below so that we can head over and give you some support too.  Finally, many thanks to Amy and everyone that’s made such a lovely event possible, I feel really privileged to be able to join in the fun.

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2015 - badge


See my other quilt entered in to the Hand Quilted category in yesterday’s post.

Don’t forget to vote for August Rain in the Scrappy Quilt  category.  Thanks guys!

Enjoy the festival.

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Hand Quilting and Sore Fingers

Can these really be the last two bricks of hand quilting left on Norfolk Bricks? A couple of hours slow stitching this afternoon and it will be done, wooooooohoo! I can hardly believe it! I took Dina’s words of advice in a recent comment: “carrot and stick”!  I refuse to let myself do anything else until this is finished up!  Thank you Dina – I never thought it would work, but apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks 😉 (Even one that gets bored easily.)

Hand quilting Norfolk Bricks © Stephanie Boon, 2015

2 more to go!

I’m so excited to have finally got this far that I’ve already dug out my binding fabric…but I promise not to cut it until the quilting is completely done!

Getting ready to bind a hand quilted lap quilt © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Binding fabric – Lou Lou Thi, Anna Maria Horner

Hand Quilting Woes!

All this hand quilting this has taken it’s toll on my poor finger tips; I think I’m beginning to lose feeling in them now!

Sore fingers from hand quilting © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Sore fingers!

These are the fingers of my left hand, which I use on the back of the quilt for catching the needle as it comes through the fabric. I posted a photo on Instagram the other day and someone mentioned those sticky thimble things.  I’ve never tried them (or even seen them in my local shops), but I’ve read somewhere that they ‘shed’ everywhere.  Instead I resorted to wearing a worn out leather thimble, which is soft enough for me to feel the needle coming through and afford a bit of protection (too late obviously!). But this solution can have the annoying problem of sewing the thimble into the back of the quilt…hmmm, yes!  What’s your solution to this prickly problem?

To the Rescue!

I do have the perfect answer to sore fingers on the top of the quilt  though – as well as finding a thimble that works for you: surgical forceps! These things were surely meant for hand quilting, not fiddling about inside someone’s body with?! Pictured above and below, you can see the incredible vice like grip these things have (yes, enough to break the odd needle).  Sometimes the pesky needle gets stuck with a few stitches on it and no amount of trying to get it through the layers with even a leather thimbled finger will work, but these babies make light work of it. I highly recommend them! I got mine from Sally at Coast and Country Crafts and Quilts some years ago and wouldn’t be without them.  Have you tried them?

Hand quilting - pulling the needle through with pliers © Stephanie Boon 2015,

Help for your top fingers!

I hope you’re enjoying some hand quilting today too, or at least some slow stitching?  I’m linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching and hope to see you there.  Enjoy the rest of the day!

Happy hand quilting!

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Who needs a deadline?

Slowly but surely this quilt is heading towards a finish…but if I don’t crack on soon I’ll be showing it to you every Work in Progress Wednesday well into the next decade!

Norfolk Bricks lap quilt - texture. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Hand quilted texture

It was fascinating reading your comments about deadlines after my last post on Slow Sunday Stitching and it seemed unsurprising that most of us don’t function that way when it comes to needle and thread.  We do seem to be in a bit of a minority though!

“A deadline is the best way to get things done.”

says Diane Harris, Sewing on the Deadline: The Blessing and the Curse (Quilty Pleasures)

Really?!  Not for me it isn’t!  A deadline for stitching a quilt is like torture – it takes all the pleasure out of it.  So how generalised was this quote that I came across then? A bit more investigation (via the Google oracle) reveals that machine quilters do indeed have deadlines (and seem to like them), poor things! They’re frantically quilting to meet exhibition deadlines, magazine deadlines, birthday, Christmas, graduation, baby arrival deadlines…you name it, they’ve got a deadline for it!  I only found one article about a hand quilter trying to meet a deadline for an exhibition, and not surprisingly, she got callouses!!!

“I quilted at lunch time, I quilted in the evening. My fingers were sore–I kept quilting.”

Joy Rusonis, The Challenge (Celebrate Hand Quilting)

Hmm, why then do I have the uncharacteristic urge to give myself some tangible finish-line goals for this particular quilt? It feels like Norfolk Bricks has been hanging around for a while now; although that’s probably just because of the hiatus when Kim was in hospital. I’ve been working on it regularly over the last few evenings and have been wondering how long it might take to complete it.  I decided to try and estimate, so I counted up all the un-quilted blocks in the central panel earlier this evening and it totals 41.  I almost freaked – that sounds like such a huge number!  But if I could manage to quilt an average of 3 bricks a day, that would mean I could have it quilted in just 2 weeks. 2 weeks! All of a sudden that doesn’t sound so impossible.  In fact I’d say it’s given me the motivation I need to get it properly moving again.

Norfolk Bricks lap quilt, work in progress (do deadline!), © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Norfolk Bricks

Don’t be mistaken though: I have no intention of making this a definitive deadline! I suggest it’s more a ‘realistic opportunity’: something that could happen if I don’t get too side tracked along the way! And if I do? Well that’s the exciting part of the journey, isn’t it!

 A few articles on quilting to a deadline, if you are so inclined!

Linking up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social and with Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday, where there’s also a giveaway to join in this week.

Happy deadlines!

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Slow summer stitching

Sometimes a break from a piece of work is a good thing, because you come back to it with more clarity.  That’s how I felt about my Norfolk Bricks lap quilt.

Patchwork quilt top hanging over a cupboard door. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Before I began the quilting.

I’ve had a long break from it while Kim was in hospital and now I’m raring to go again.  I felt a bit confused about how to quilt the bricks in the main panel: I stitched in the ditch around each brick and then started outline quilting some of the fabric patterns inside them, then, randomly, some geometric lines on some of the other bricks.  Umm, no, that wasn’t going to work!

Looking at it again recently I could see how undecided I was and got out my unpicker yesterday. Gone are the bricks that outline fabric motifs and in their place will be concentric lines that outline the rectangular shapes instead.  Much better, don’t you think?!

quilting in the garden © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Slow summer stitching in the garden

It feels good to be picking up this quilt again after such a long time; another step on the road to getting back on track.  I’ll be working away quietly this afternoon while Kim goes out with his dad. The weather’s not looking so good so I’ll retreat inside and maybe find a film on Netflix to keep me company.  What film would you recommend? I really have no idea what might be good for quilting – except no foreign language films, because I can’t read and quilt at the same time!

I’m linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching and looking forward to finding out what fellow slow stitchers have been up to, coming over?

Have a peaceful Sunday, slow stitchers, and see you next week 🙂

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And relax! (How to hand quilt a 9-patch border)

Easter Sunday, quiet and peaceful. It’s just Kim, myself, the cats and the chickens – and Kim’s spent most of the day asleep! It’s been a blessing and has meant that I’ve been able to get on with quite a bit of hand quilting this afternoon. Losing myself in the sound of the thread coming through the layers, with the warmth of the quilt on my lap and Wuthering Heights (the black and white 1939 version!) on the laptop in the background reminds me of the quiet, lazy Sundays of childhood (a black and white film on the tv in the afternoon and nothing else to do but watch it!).

 Lily the cat sitting on a quilt in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Gratuitous cat photo! Helping Lily? No!

I’ve been sat at my desk stitching with the heavenly scent of narcissi wafting in from the sitting room. And Lily has been ‘helping’.

Norfolk Bricks, lap quilt. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Hand stitched nine-patch border on my Norfolk Bricks lap quilt

Time has gone quickly and I’m very happy with my progress.  I’ve almost finished quilting the nine patch squares in three  borders of the quilt and the texture is just what I hoped for.

How to quilt the borders

It’s very easy to achieve this look.  First of all quilt the squares in the ditch. Next mark out the square quilting lines in pencil (which you can see in the photographs) with a quarter inch ruler placed along the seam.

Rather than quilting each square individually, it’s much quicker and easier to work in rows: starting on the righthand side (if you’re right handed) stitch one row along the entire length of the border bridging the gap between squares by carrying the thread between the layers at the end of one pencil line (which is the corner of a square) and the beginning of the next (the next corner of a square) (see below).

Hand Quilting, © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Bridging the gap between squares

Complete all the horizontal rows in this way.

Next you stitch the vertical rows using the same method.  As these are much shorter rows of only three squares you can go up the side of one set of squares and back down the other without having to cut and bury your threads, remembering to bridge the gap between squares as shown above..

Hand Quilting © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Direction of stitching for the short rows

It’s much quicker this way because you’re not having to turn your work all the time.  You’ll soon become aware of how many stitches you need to take to cross a side of a square too (about 6 in my case on this quilt) which will help you line up the stitches in the corner of each square too.

Norfolk Bricks quilt close up - © Stephanie Boon, 2015

In detail

And that’s it! I hope you’ll have a go and let me know how you get on, and of course if you have another method leave a comment below – I love trying out new techniques!


I also managed to finish up some Ocean Waves blocks during the week, which has made a big difference to my feelings of accomplishment with this quilt top.  I’ve taken a few photographs so if all goes well hope to show you how I”m getting on during the week.

Today though I’m linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching and hope to see what you’ve been up to too.  Although Kim my have other ideas for this evening… we’re about to watch Interstellar together, should be fun!

Until next time, Happy Easter and even happier stitching!

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Quilters are awesome!

Quilting space. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

My quilting space today

Sometimes making a decision isn’t easy, even when it feels like it really should be! But since my last post I’ve made the momentous decision (tongue in cheek, obviously!) of how to go ahead quilting my Norfolk Bricks lap quilt – and it’s all thanks to your help. Your informed and helpful comments, here and on social media, were just the confidence booster I needed, thank you! Having online quilty friends is just the best.

The decision?  Well the dilemma was whether to bind the quilt before I completely finish the hand quilting so that I can photograph it for the pattern I’m trying to write (bearing in mind that the quilting might take a few more weeks yet).  I’ve finished all the ‘in the ditch’ stitching, so the layers are pretty stable, but I’ve never put the binding on a quilt before I finished it before so wasn’t sure how advisable it would be. But it seems that plenty of you out there have done just that! And all things considered it doesn’t seem like it will be too bad a thing to do.

Quilting a lap quilt 'Norfolk Bricks' © Stephanie Boon, 2015

No hoop border

However, I decided I would complete all the quilting in the borders first, which means outlining each square, just to be on the safe side. It’s coming along pretty quickly so far, much to my amazement. Until I looked at the size of my big stitches and realised they’re actually huge stitches and it’s no wonder I’m steaming ahead, haha!  I don’t think stitching the squares before binding will make the edges any more stable than they already are, but I hope it might be a bit neater this way. Time will tell…

How are things with you this Work in Progress Wednesday, what have you been up to this week? If you’re stuck and need a helping hand or have a query, I can heartily recommend asking away in the comments below –  there are some awesome and very generous quilters about the place and I’m sure they can set you right (I’ll do my best too)!

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and Work in Progress Wednesday. Looking forward to catching up with good friends this week.

Happy stitching!

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Ditching Norfolk Bricks

quilt after quilting itd

Norfolk Bricks

A quiet Sunday. Kim in bed late into the day, sleeping heavily. A cat curled up on the table in front of me. Everything seemed to be sleepy today. My plan, such as it was, was to finish the in-the-ditch quilting of Norfolk Bricks. I was anxious about getting the hand quilting to a stage so that I could photograph the quilt for the pattern I’m writing: slow stitching isn’t quick!!!

After a comment Kaja left on a previous post about this dilemma, it occurred to me that I could quilt in the ditch, put the binding on, photograph what I need to and then continue quilting the bricks afterwards. The quilt would be perfectly serviceable with just the seams quilted of course, but I really like a more textured surface than this will give.

Norfolk Bricks lap quilt - detail of big stitch quilting in the ditch - © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Big stitch quilting in the ditch

Today I finished the ditches though, so I’m celebrating!  I’m really pleased with the way my rocking stitch is coming along too, it’s getting much more even, on the back as well as the front.  Still got a way to go before I’d call it proficient though.

Norfolk Bricks lap quilt - detail  - © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Centre nine-patch detail, includes some outline quilting

As well as the in the ditch quilting, I’ve outline quilted the nine-patch blocks in the centre of the quilt and I love the effect of the lighter coloured thread on the dark fabric. It’s a variegated cotton perle thread that moves from orange to a light yellow and subtly picks up the colours in the fabrics.

In the ditch quilting in the border

Nine patch border detail

I plan to quilt the borders with outline quilting too, but I wonder if you think it would be ok to do that after the binding is on – or is it likely to distort the fabric in some way? Have any of you lovely quilters continued quilting after you’ve stitched the binding on, what was your experience?

Norfolk Bricks lap quilt - © Stephanie Boon,

Norfolk Bricks ditched!

Let me know what you think, because I think I’m in love with this quilt so far and don’t want to mess it up!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend and will see you soon!  Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Happy stitching 🙂

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