Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Biggs

"The Biggs" is being laboriously hand quilted. It might well be the last quilt I ever stitch so intensely but at about 80% done the end is almost in sight!

I have shared Benjamin Biggs quilting pics on Instagram but nothing on the blog since this post in Feb 2016 when I finished the quilt top. It waited awhile in the quilting queue - with some Quilters Dream cotton batting and reels of YLI natural hand quilting thread on hand. Meanwhile some quilting design research...
A lot of the blocks in this quilt are quite irregular/quirky so I want to keep that feel in the quilting approach - nothing too symmetrical across the top.  
I planned to scatter a variety of antique-inspired motifs in among the blocks where there was a little open space. 
The motifs were drawn on to the top, before sandwiching, with a wash out pencil (General's Sketch and Wash graphite). The design is almost rubbed out by the time it is quilted so not much is left for washing anyway!


Winter weather, lots of 'Tour de France' recordings to stitch by, and a quilt in the hoop ...sigh.

Once all the motifs and applique pieces were outline stitched, it was time to commit to an intense background fill...and no going back once started! The outer ring of 16 blocks are echo quilted, and the centre block will be too. I love the look of echo quilting but it is hard going at times - all the turning and turning of the hoop. Nice not to have to mark but there's a lot of focus needed to get relatively even stitches and relatively even row spacing. 



The inner ring of 8 blocks are grid quilted (3/8"grid) - marked with the Hera marker, block by block - I love this process.



Just an aside : I've been thinking about adding trapunto - stuffing the quilted motifs with yarn from the back. It would give them more definition but am not sure it would be right for this quilt. The antique original on Sentimental Stitches blog photos does not seem to have stuffing, and I love the soft, wrinkly textured look. I'd really like to do this lovely pattern justice. Might the trapunto make it stiffer ? look too formal ? or maybe just look downright bizarre seeing as the motifs are all different and unevenly scattered on the quilt?! Sounds like I've made up my mind...but will see when the whole is quilted and bound. The fun thing about hand trapunto is I'm guessing you can add it any time... even years down the track! 

The border quilting is parallel lines 3/8" apart - Hera marked again, about a yard at a time, and the easiest quilting on this quilt!



When I started this post it was to be titled "The Biggs and some baskets" but have scrubbed "the baskets"  as the post has got too long! 
Back soon to share something else I've been working on 😊

46 comments:

  1. Hilda your quilting is incredibly beautiful!! I love the grid quilting, I love the echo quilting, I think the whimsical motifs are marvellous. I'm glad you are enjoying your border qulting. I can't wait to see more of your baskets!

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  2. Oh My Goodness!! Breathtakingly beautiful!!!

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  3. WOW! simply beautiful. Truly a labor of love. This is definitely going to be a cherished family heirloom.

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  4. My heart is soaring to see this beautiful quilt. So inspiring - I am going to get my neglected appliqué out and continue. Thank you.

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  5. Truly spectacular quilting! I love everything about this quilt!

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  6. Fabulous and the quilting is spectacular!

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  7. This is a gorgeous quilt--and your quilting is beautiful hugs, Julierose

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  8. I wondered how you were doing and just followed you on Instagram so I can keep up - I didn't realize you were on that

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  9. Beautiful Hilda. I love your quilting choices.

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  10. Your hand stitching is exquisite. It's a masterpiece!

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  11. Your quilting is so impressive! You are a master at this art. I drool at every picture and dream that one day I will grow up to be just like you. Congratulations on getting this far and happy stitching for the home stretch. I wouldn't add trapunto because my grandma never did. But that's just me. lol.
    ;^)

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  12. I'm working on quilting my CW Bride quilt by hand so I know the work you have in this quilting. Stunning! Thanks for sharing your references for quilt designs. This is the area that I struggle with most. What and where to hand quilt. Thank you for sharing your wonderful quilts!

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  13. Wow! Sooooo many stitches! But, OH SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  14. Oh my goodness! Just peeped through your blog and quilts. Your quilts are spectacular. I love the applique and the amount of hand quilting. Each of your quilts has its own story. Thank you so much for allowing me to see your beautiful works of art. I love big stitch and am hand quilting a quilt for a friend. Her sister cross stitched the blocks but passed before she finished. Her daughter finished the blocks and they have been in a bag for years. I felt that machine quilting would have taken away from the cross stitches. You have given me that last push to finish it. Thanks for inspiration..Debbie

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  15. Your quilt is gorgeous! You do wonderful work. I'm so impressed. Hugs,

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  16. This is so beautiful, Hilda! The dense fills are really doing your applique justice. It's going to be amazing!

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  17. As always, lovely work! Another masterpiece.

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  18. Absolutely spectacular, Hilda! Every time I come to look at the pictures on your blog, I practically drool LOL :) BTW, I hear you about the constant turning of the hoop when doing echo quilting.

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  19. Absolutely gorgeous!! When you're done, you will be glad you quilted it so densely. I have this pattern in my project folder to tackle someday-you're quilt is making it very tempting to move it to the top of the pile!!!

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  20. What a fabulous quilt you have made Hilda. Its just gorgeous. Do you prewash your reds? I am making Under the Cherry Tree ( slowly) and it is a red & green quilt also. I am concerned about prewashing my fabrics, which I dont normally do!

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  21. I am always in awe of your artistic talent and this is another great beauty! Your quilting is truly lovely and amazing! - Just Gorgeous!!!

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  22. I am also inspired by your beautiful quilts and the hand quilting. Having you share your journey is so good. Thank you

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  23. Your quilting is beautiful and the quilt is already amazing!

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  24. Stunning, as usual. Thank you for the pictorial treat!

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  25. Perfect (as always...) in everything! Love the scattered motifs, the echo quilting filling it up (respect for that) and the grid for the borders. Trapunto is nice, but really would not add to this quilt, as it is already great and breathtaking as it is right now. You are such an inspiration, Hilda!

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  26. just beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration. I have to continue mine. I have also put it away for a while.

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  27. You are amazing! Love seeing the quilt close up--wonderful!

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  28. Hilda, your quilt and quilting are stunning. You make such beautiful quilts that will become the heirlooms of tomorrow.

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  29. Thank you for the terrific pics and description of your decisions on how to hand quilt your masterpiece. Inspirational !

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  30. Swoon...Thank you Hilda for this gorgeous post showing in detail your beautiful hand quilting for Benjamin Biggs. I just love the sprinkling of motifs you have used throughout the blocks, this is a stunning heirloom. Thanks for the quilting inspiration just what I need as I contemplate whether to hand quilt my latest finish.

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  31. its just beautiful! really lovely

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  32. Fantastic work Hilda! Re the trapunto..... once you start you can't stop so you need to be really really sure! Anyway I think the quilt is gorgeous as it is.

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  33. Oh Hilda, this is breathtaking! So much beautiful quilting. I adore it. I am looking forward to seeing what the "baskets" brings. Enjoy your quilting by the fire.

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  34. you are doing a beautiful job at creating this wonderful quilt masterpiece.

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  35. Absolutely gorgeous!
    Thank you for sharing these close up and super inspiring photos of your quilting!

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  36. Love your thought processes Hilda. It is already a stunning quilt. I am in awe.

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  37. Every time I think that I'm crazy for loving hand quilting, I read one of your glorious posts and I'm amazed all over again! It's nice to be part of a shrinking community of hand stitchers.

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  38. That quilt is just stunning and a wonderful keepsake quilt. You should be very proud!

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  39. Hilda! Wow! You are doing that quilt justice! It's going to be a beauty when it's complete. I didn't love mine enough to put a lot time into the quilting.

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  40. Your quilting is amazing and the quilt is a masterpiece. you can be so proud after such a delicate work.Congratulations already

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  41. stunning quilting. The echo quilting is spectacular.

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  42. You do such pretty, pretty hand quilting. A joy to view.

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  43. Beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing the binding technique. I have never tried it but I will do so on my current hexagon quilt once it is finished.
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