Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bohemian Bouquet is done!

Bohemian Bouquet is done! (Well appliqued and pieced, at least!) I know that the last two blocks are technically supposed to be a mystery, but since I exhibited this at Barnful of Quilts yesterday and about a thousand people saw it, is seems only fair that everyone who is stitching it right now gets to see it.

This is my “mystery block-of-the-month quilt” that started in January. Each month, I’ve finished and shown a new block. The October block is the one with the blue flower and vine at the center of the top and bottom. The November block has a red flower with a vine; it’s at the middle of the left and right sides.

After I had sewn all the blocks together, I decided to add a small black border to give the designs a little “breathing room.” I think I'm going to bind it in red (right now I just PhotoShopped it in so I could see how it would look). But first, I’m going to hand quilt it using red thread. I am so excited, because it has been waaaaaaay too long since I hand quilted. I think I’m going to quilt around all the applique, and then do an overall grid pattern in the back, maybe 1" apart.

I have decided that although I do machine thread-painting and quilting on my contemporary art quilts, I really love hand quilting on the quilts where I have done a lot of hand work, especially the ones that look old fashioned. Yes, it is going to take a lot longer.

At Barnful of Quilts I had several interesting discussions with people who came into my stall, looked around and asked me, “Who quilts your work?” “I do!” was my answer. “Really? All of them? Even the king-sized ones?” “Yep. And I do them on my home sewing machine... I don’t have a long arm.” I’ve never sent a quilt out (even though I know several marvelous long-arm quilters and love their work) because #1) I’m too cheap. #2) I like to do it myself, and I prefer the look of free-motion motifs. #3) Quilting is the part of the process where the quilt comes alive for me, and I’d hate to miss that wonderful experience. #4) It would feel like cheating to me... like sending my kids to boarding school!

Still, I’m not going to say I’ll NEVER have someone else quilt my quilts. I’ve learned enough to never say never! But for now, I’m very happy to be quilting them myself.

And so, now, I’m off to baste and quilt!


  1. I have been watching the progress and loved each piece you added. The finished quilt is magnificent! I quilt on my home machine as well. I have sent a few out and have been very pleased but I agree that it did feel a little like cheating.

  2. Beautiful! I love hand quilting hand appliqued quilts as well. You might consider contrasting piping just inside the binding. I'm going to try that on the next quilt I finish.

  3. That's a darn beautiful quilt you made there!
    I always loved Baltimore album quilts, but yours is something special because it is a) contemporary and b) made on a black background. I adore black backgrounds because it brings every color to hum and sparkle with intensity.
    And yes, quilting this by hand is the only way it could be done. It would be a shame to do this by machine.

  4. Hi Susan
    Your quilt looks fabulous!

  5. So glad you will hand quilt this! Your hand applique is so lovely, and it will be a very special piece when it is finished.

  6. So glad to know that someone else still actually enjoys the whole process of making a quilt, and understands the joy of adding the third dimension, especially by hand.


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