After 19 months and hundreds of hours of work, the Engineer's Wife Sampler quilt is complete. I started calling it that way back at the beginning because my husband is not a farmer! You can see I went my own way from the start with this quilt, but I loved working from Julie Hirt's book.
This post is a little long, so feel free to just look at the pictures!
January 26, 2014: I blogged that I might make a few blocks from this book for a table runner. Then my friend Sharon mentioned that she had started piecing this quilt. Knowing that there was someone nearby to commiserate with was somehow comforting. And challenging!
February 17, 2014: Day 1. As I pieced these blocks from my modern scrap bin, I made quite a mess! I pieced the blocks in numerical order, and wrote the date I completed each block in the book.
February 21, 2014: In four days, I had pieced 24 blocks and cut out the next 24.
March 8, 2014: Made 12 blocks on retreat.
Summer 2014: lots of blocks pieced when I needed a break from the wedding ring.
January 28, 2015: 20 more blocks. And I learned the term Maverick blocks.
February 2, 2015: 111 blocks complete! (Yes, I kept the stack in numerical order.)
March 2015: My original layout plan was to use alternate gray and white hourglass blocks. I made 8 of them and decided I really didn't want to make 100 more.
|(crummy iphone photo)|
June 26, 2015: Layout plan B. The gradation in the background was inspired by a class with Vanessa Christenson. I had seen other samplers set like this (half on point, half straight) without the gradation. It's interesting to see how the colors pop differently on the various shades of gray.
July 18, 2015: Top complete.
September 4, 2015: Hand basting using Sharon Schamber's technique.
September 5-23, 2015: Hand and machine quilting. I started at the top, center. I would hand quilt a few blocks, then machine quilt them. After a few rows, I discovered that the best method for me was to machine quilt in the ditch around each block, then fill in the block with machine quilting (all in white thread, different design for each block). Then I hand quilted 1/4" around the blocks. Then I went back to the machine to quilt the background.
Hand quilting was done in a hoop on the dining room table with variegated #5 perle cotton and a no. 3 embroidery needle. I really enjoyed this process, but soon discovered that 100% cotton batting is not ideal for needling through, especially with thick thread and a big needle. (Apparently, wool batting is quite nice for hand quilting.)
I used a different color thread to hand quilt each background color. One stitch at a time.
Machine quilting was done on my trusty Bernina 153 on the kitchen table. The background was quilted with thread that matched the fabric color. Fortunately, I found a chart online that matched Aurifil colors with Kona colors. This photo commemorates the completion of quilting.
September 24, 2015: The binding matches the background colors - white on top, black on the bottom, sides pieced to match. (will add photo when I get the quilt back)
Since I only used 100 blocks on the front, the remaining 11 went on the back. Ten are pieced into a strip through the middle. (That area was fun to hand quilt through. Not!)
September 25, 2015: The last block became the label. Since it is so large, I "quilted" some lines and a heart so it wouldn't flap around. The stitches only go through to the batting and don't show on the front.
I am really proud of this quilt. You can see it (with Sharon's and Donna's) at the Ninigret Quilters show this weekend in Westerly, RI. It has also been accepted for exhibition at A Quilters Gathering in Manchester, NH, in early November.
85" X 85"
Pieced & Quilted by Tina Craig
Started February 17, 2014
Completed September 25, 2015
Block Patterns: Farmer's Wife Sampler by Julie Aaron Hird
Kona solids: white, silver, medium gray, coal, black
Aurifil 50 wt thread: 2024, 2600, 2605, 5004, 2692
DMC #5 pearl cotton: 4200, 4124, 4077, 4050, 4025