The quilting for baby H’s Pink Blossom quilt is going to be two posts. I quilted this a lot. I even ripped out some handstitches I’d done and quilted in its place. The reason I quilted so much – and concentrated it in certain areas – is because I was concerned that my hand stitching wouldn’t hold. If I had just kept the quilt for myself I wouldn’t mind; if something broke I could fix it. However, since I was giving it away – and as a baby quilt, no less – I wanted to make sure everything would stay put. Baby quilts get a lot of wear and tear and washing and I didn’t want to worry about the quilt falling apart.
I started from the center and worked outward. The dogwood blossom had been appliquéd on using fusing and a blanket stitch. I quilted freehand in the center of the blossom using coordinating pink thread. I went around the inside edges of the “petals.” Then I sewed curves from the inside corner of each petal, first concave and then convex. (Or vice versa?) It’s not perfect because I did it freehand, but I don’t think anyone will mind. Then I quilted around the outside edge of the shape, still in pink.
A section of my blanket stitch had broken, so I fixed that by hand.
Later, I realized more of my blanket stitching wouldn’t hold. I took out almost a whole petal’s worth. The rest seemed fine, so I debated simply restitching it by hand, but out of concern that the rest of the blanket stitch might break at some future point I ripped it all out and did a zigzag stitch in blue, which is what I’d used originally for the blanket stitch.
The fabric I’d used for the base of the dogwood blossom appliqué is very light and I think it stretched when I was doing the appliqué. I hadn’t squared it up, I don’t think, before I added the next border – and as you’ll recall, I’d struggled with the mitred corners, which may have been the bigger issue. Regardless, the center wasn’t flat. When I started to later the quilt I did my best to get it as flat as possible and I pinned the excess under the mitred border. To hold it in place, I zigzagged along that whole edge in pink thread. It helped a lot, but it’s still not perfect. It should be visible above.
For the mitred border I did freehand curved lines in cream thread. I have to say, I love this fabric, which I don’t use very much.
The next border was the one with the jewels embroidered in satin stitch. This is the only hand stitching that I didn’t end up quilting over, because I didn’t know how to do it in a way that will still look good. So I expect the embroidery thread on the jewels to come out at some point. I’m going to visit my brother and his family around Christmas and when I do I’ll see how the quilt is faring and tell them I’ll fix whatever breaks in the future.
In the blocks around the jewels I stitched straight lines in all the teal HSTs with matching thread. Then I stitched straight lines in the yellow HSTs next to the jewels, in yellow thread, just to hold everything in place. In the above pictures, I hadn’t done the quilting in the yellow triangles.
In the next border I did cream wavy lines again. This fabric is from the same collection as the other border.
Next is the last border I put on using the Handstitched class instructions, with the English paper pieced storm at sea blocks. I started with the borders themselves. In one I used a saucer to trace curves along the top and bottom and then two sets of curves that meet up in the center. That was too much marking, so in the other polka dot sections I quilted wavy lines, all in yellow thread.
In the corner pieces, the storm at sea blocks, I used yellow thread to sew approximately quarter inch lines around the seams. At the edges I marked some of them to go into the next border. It looks like this:
Later I got nervous that this wasn’t enough quilting, that my hand piecing stitches might break and the rough edges come loose. (You can see them in the above picture – visible stitches!) To prevent that, I went back to these blocks and stitched, not in the ditch, but in the seam allowances, using matching thread for each color so it would blend in. I don’t seem to have taken pictures of that.