Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Huge quilts -- my new plan

I love to make huge quilts; while small or medium ones can be appealing, there's no substitute for the impact of a really big expanse of art.  But it's getting harder and harder for me to physically wrestle huge quilts through the sewing machine to get them quilted.  No room for a longarm, and I don't really want to use one anyway. 

So after it nearly killed me last year to quilt two huge pieces for the Nancy Crow invitational show, Color Improvisations, I decided to try a new approach

I made my latest batch of huge quilts in two pieces, finished them, then sewed them together into diptychs.  Finally put the last stitch in yesterday and I am so pleased with how they turned out!

On one I joined the parts with a feather stitch; on the other I made figure-eight tacks every four inches.  I used 5-weight perle cotton for both quilts.  I made the stitches prominent and didn't try too hard to have them perfectly regular, figuring that if you're going to sew things together you might as well flaunt it.

The quilts are both in the vicinity of 75" square; each half was narrow enough to fit comfortably onto 43" backing fabric.  But even those pieces were cumbersome to wrestle around.  Although my system of folding and securing the quilt into a bundle worked beautifully, I think my next huge quilt will be made in four pieces rather than two.


  1. What a creative solution to machine quilting very large quilts! From your photos, I take it that you completely bound and finished the two halves, then stitched them together with the pearle cotton.