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Big Stitch quilting

I’m in love!


There are books and tutorials on Big Stitch quilting and I’ve read several over the years. The biggest questions are probably the following:

What size/type of needle to use?
Most of what I’ve read suggests a chenille or embroidery needle. I have both but decided to try the embroidery needle first. I’m using a size 4. It’s a little longer than the size 22 chenille needle which I think is helpful.

What thread?
Again, most of the reading I did suggests size 8 or 12 perle cotton (size 12 is thinner) one or two places also mentioned crochet cotton and since I’ve used a lot of crochet cotton in size 10 to tie quilts, I thought I’d try that. KnitPicks has crochet cotton in lots of colors and I decided to try theirs in a gray … Love the thread, love the color!!

Hoop or no hoop?
I brought my 14 inch hoop to FL but in the end I decided to try it without the hoop. I just felt that I would be moving the hoop too frequently. Tonya had a great blog post several years ago about quilting without a hoop and I looked that up before starting.

Right now I’m just quilting on either side of the seam but I’m going to have to put a line of quilting in the middle of these rows too – I’m trying to echo the piecing to emphasize the diagonal lines/diamond shape.


My choices for marking are to use a Hera – creates a crease but doesn’t “mark” the quilt, painters tape, or a marking pen. People are using frixon pens the marks iron away but I’m a little nervous about that. I’ve used the blue pens without a problem in the past but wouldn’t be able to see that line in the darker fabric.

I’ll let you know what I decide when I get to that point.

Any other questions?!


A respectable showing

Jackie and Rebecca tied at 2 hours and 8 minutes for their tumbler race last month in Maine. Brenda was a little behind but she had to wait for the iron because we only had two pressing stations ….

So today, I tried my hand at the tumbler race
144 tumblers set 12×12

My time was 2 hours and 11 minutes but of course, I didn’t have any distractions either so I probably did better than I would have if I was doing it at the same time they did. Also, like Rebecca, I don’t trim my sides even so we had a little advantage over Jackie who does.

Here’s the proof – the light isn’t good so I’ll take a better photo tomorrow. I also have extra tumblers so I think I might add an extra row. As pieced this is about 54×72 which is a good size but no need to waste the tumblers and an extra 6 inches would be nice.


I did use a few seconds to snap a photo in progress. The blocks are all webbed together.


When I was starting to press I noticed a couple of mistakes so I had to cut some of my rows apart. I think it actually helped my time because I found it awkward to try and press the whole web and I think it was easier to sew together in sections too.


Hat #1

Hard to get a good photo when my hat head is in GA but Rae’s first hat is done.


It’s a free pattern on Ravelry.


Where did 2014 go?

Can you believe there are less than 7 weeks before the end of the year?! Time will fly by with the holidays and I have with 3 trips planned in that time too. I haven’t been making big to do lists but there are a number of things that I want to get done before the end of the year.

Quilting the two quilts I pin basted today are on that list.


I’m finally going to try the Big Stitch Quilting I’ve been talking about for a couple years and will start quilting tonight.

I also got my tumblers ready for sewing tomorrow afternoon. When I was in Maine, Rebecca, Jackie, and Brenda had a couple tumbler quilt races and I was determined to see how I measured up to their time. I cut these last month in GA and we’ll see how it goes!


I’m not laying out all the tumblers, just separating those from the same fabric so they don’t fall right together and laying out the first two tumblers in the rows. From there, placement just be random – we’ll see how that works for me.


Cast on

I intended to bind tonight but Rae needs new hats and the yarn arrived today. After winding this ball by hand (the swift and ball winder are in GA), I cast on the first hat.

Pattern – Impunity
Yarn – Knit Picks Stroll – fingering weight



On my Design Wall

I’m finally joining in with VickiW’s Drunkard’s Path sew along. I cut 3 quilts in GA and of course I’m sewing the smallest first – I’ll finish this top this week along with some binding.



My dilemma

I knew that I would not finish in the 3h 30m timeframe if I walked the race based on my training times … realizing that I would be about 10 minutes late if I had a good walk, competitive Mary decided to jog just enough to finish the race in time to be eligible for a medal … And I did! It was hard and I hadn’t done any jogging during my training except for my last two 3 mile training walks but I got my medal.



Race Day



A quick visit

We’re enjoying a quick visit from Chris




I needed a photo of myself and had Keith snap one for me … when we were done, he snapped one of me with Chesty –  too bad I can’t have Chesty in all my photos … it takes the focus off me!MJ with Chesty

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