Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Off and running

At last the banner is together and I am beginning to quilt it.

The plan was to reverse applique the center cross, but in the end, it was easier to applique it on top. I cut away the yellow fabric in back to minimize the shadowing, but it still shows.

Looking through my scrap fabric for a large enough piece to use as backing, I found a piece of light purple gingham one of my church friends had given me earlier this year. There was just enough including a strip for hanging sleeves.

I used pins to baste this because I am using a hoop for quilting. I got enough dog hair laying it out on the carpet that I didn't need to get more by crawling around on top.

Today is a rainy day so the picture is  bit dark. I pieced one-inch solids for the upper and lower borders and I think I will go with white for the binding. I am still deciding on a bible verse that I will embroider over the lower group of arms.

When I was at my quilt group on Friday, my friend gave me a spool of Mettler quilting cotton.

It is a bit heavier than the Coats and Clarks I usually use and much stronger than using embroidery cotton.

I am doing a back-stitch around the hands and I think that will be just enough.

I picked up a little container of "thread heaven" at the Tokyo Dome shops. I don't like starting and stopping when working, so tend to use a rather long piece of thread. So far, this seems to be working well to avoid fraying and knotting.

There will be a few large areas of background between the arms. I wonder if I need to actually quilt those spaces. I really don't want to put quilting in the area around the cross. If I do, maybe echo quilting would work. The batting I used was from the end of my thinsulate roll ... 60 weight.
I would have preferred to use thinner (like 40 weight) but taking the day to go into town hoping to find some ... nah, I gotta get goin'.

Nothing is engraved in stone so any suggestions are certainly welcome.


  1. Love the one inch blocks top and bottom. Glad you got some Thread Heaven. I like it. Looks like you're well on your way.

  2. Fast and perfect! The 'flimsy' is looking good. I like the turned under seam allowance on the cross, it gives it a framed look.
    If you echo quilt the areas around the cross and between the arms, your quilt will have a lot of structure and the arms will appear almost real.
    Backstitch in black is just perfect, and I am glad you have got a good thread and thread conditioner.

  3. It turned out so beautiful Julie. I like the idea of echo quilting around the cross...or perhaps lines representing rays, like the sun? After all, the cross is the shining light for all those hands. :) blessings, marlene

  4. I really like the outlining on the hands, that will look great when it's done. If the banner is unlikely to get washed often, I don't think that you will need to do much extra quilting in the background areas. Not having worked with thinsulate before, I don't know how easy it is to pull apart. And I do like the little solids along the top and bottom.

  5. What a quick job you have made of this - your needle must just fly right along. I'm still waiting for my quilt tops to come back from being machine basted so I can start the hand quilting.

  6. I love the backstitch on the hands, gives it just the right look for a bit of relief to the design while outlining the area.


  7. WONDERFUL as usual!! The black backstitching on the hands - the gingham backing and sleeves - the cross appliqued on top - the little one-inch squares on the ends for borders - along with a white binding - all working together to make a "Julie Original" - ;))

    As far as quilting goes - I like the idea of echo quilting around the cross. And I agree with StitchinByTheLake-marlene - maybe the background could use some "sun rays" - ;))

  8. I love how everything came together on this top. The patchwork border is the icing on the cake! I too thought of "sun rays" behind the cross, but I know whatever you decide will look wonderful!

  9. I also like the 3D effect of the cross, and the seams are even so it really works. There is a lot of movement in the circle/globe held in the hands, I love it. I'm sure you will select the right quilting techniques, don't overdo it I'd say. Thread Heaven is good, I use natural beeswax from the hardware shop, much cheaper!!

  10. Your banner is looking really beautiful. You always do such lovely work.

  11. I love going through my scraps and finding something that works! Your project is amazing!

  12. I think it's beautiful. I'm impressed with how well you can come up with an idea and run with it. :) I can't wait to see it once it's finished!