Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor(ious) Weekend

Labor Day Weekend was a whole weekend of real "labor" for me, as I vowed to start and finish quilting Picket Fence (pattern by Elsie Campbell from the book String Quilts), a huge quilt that I first blogged about in this post, in November 2011. Gosh, that was shy of six years ago! For a long time, I've been meaning to finish this quilt. And the end is in sight.

This is what quilting a 98" X 112" quilt looks like. It's the largest quilt I've ever quilted, and it took about 14-1/2 hours to quilt. I timed myself, calculating that each pass - from one side of the quilt to the opposite side - took about 55 minutes. So, 16 passes. Spreading out the quilting over three days was better for my still-touchy (carpal tunnel syndrome) wrist.

The quilting pattern is simple, and in fact is the same design I saw a long time ago on a Picket Fence quilt hanging in a vendor booth at an AQS show in Des Moines. All the quilting is parallel with the piecing of each block. No need to do any design fancier than that when the piecing is so busy that the quilting hardly shows.

It's the texture that shows. 

Batting is Quilter's Dream Request Loft Cotton. Threads are: Aurifil 50-weight in color 2615 silver gray in the bobbin, and in the lightest piecing; and in the medium and darker piecing the thread is Superior King Tut variegated 40-weight.

I even made 12-plus yards of binding.

But binding will wait until later in the week. That's because Tuesday evening I'm the guest speaker for Quilting Guild of The Villages (QGOTV), and will be giving my Domestic Machine Quilting program followed by a trunk show of 14 quilts.

I'm pretty excited about giving my program because there may be a large audience. Like a couple hundred quilters? QGOTV is having a contest: the chapter that has the most members in attendance will win a tray of baked goods delivered to one of their weekly meetings. So with 20 chapters, and more than 1,100 members in total, the turnout could be good sized. I definitely need to be "on" when I give this program!

Then, on Wednesday I'm teaching domestic machine quilting to 20 QGOTV members, and that's an all-day (six hour) workshop.

Another reason I can't be in a hurry to finish Picket Fence is because once the binding is sewn to the quilt, it will take hours to hand-sew down. Oh, but the finish! Finally, after more than five years, we'll sleep under a quilt that's large enough to completely cover our king-sized bed.

Pictures of the finished product coming soon! Linda


  1. oh wow. You really made awesome progress this weekend! And what a fun weekend ahead! Have fun presenting and teaching!

  2. Wow! Aren't you the quilting wizz! Love that binding!

  3. Magnificent! Good luck tonight!

  4. Wonderful finish- I like the texture added with the quilting. And it is HUGE! Good luck with your presentation-hope there is a big turnout.

  5. The picture of you sitting with your big quilt is quite grand.... I would send it to my kids if it was me. A nugget of you and your interests!

  6. OMG, and I was complaining about quilting a 60X68" quilt last night on my machine with much less intense quilting. There would be no way I would tackle a quilt your size so I admire your talent especially after recovering from carpal tunnel. I can't wait to see the finished quilt. Good luck with your presentations, wish I lived by you so I could attend one. I hope you're not going to be affected by Irma.

  7. My comment disappeared as I was typing so I apologize if there end up being two comments. Yeah for you getting that quilt done. It's amazing. I can't imagine quilting such a large quilt on a domestic machine but if anyone can do it is you. Nice to know there a couple of blocks in there somewhere made by me during the MCMBee. So happy to have met you through the bee. Wishing you stay safe and dry during the approaching storm. Hope it misses Florida and the east coast all together.

  8. That is a great picture of your in the midst of your huge, beautiful quilt. It is still on my "one day" list which keeps getting longer and longer. lol
    Good luck on your presentation today and I hope you have the biggest crowd ever! I know they will be fortunate to hear you speak and see your trunk show. Wish I were there to see it. Stay safe from the upcoming storm.

  9. Wow! What a fantastic scrap quilt! Kudos for quilting that yourself! Can't wait to see it finished! Have fun teaching! And be safe with that storms approaching!

  10. I need to figure out how to get a configuration of tables like yours in my sewing room. I have a heck of a time, just sewing on binding on even a twin size quilt. I'd never attempt to quilt one. You continue to amaze me with your skill and courage(gumption) to tackle the BIG ONES! Kudos!!!

  11. Yippee~such great photos of an artist at work. I remember contributing to that quilt (right?) so it's fun to see it take shape under your skilled quilting hands. Good luck on the QGOTV presentation--you will be a star!!

  12. Mammoth effort! Hope the wrist is ok. And good luck with your talk and class too.

    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for your comment which I am unable to privately reply to because you are a "no-reply commenter." This quilt has been a mammoth effort, and I'm realizing now that sewing binding to it will also be "mammoth!" :-) My wrist is much better, thank you, and I'm happy to say that today I returned to Ukulele Players Club and managed to play most of the songs, and didn't have wrist pain. Yay! Perhaps the worst is over. My Tuesday evening presentation went extremely well with 172 quilters in attendance. The next day's class was great, and everyone offered positive feedback, which I very much appreciated. It was ALL good! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  13. It really looks great and I can't wait to see it finished.



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