No machines allowed….

Today we are looking at the “Hand-Made” category at the International Quilt Festival….again…a category that I would NEVER be able to enter. But I can enjoy the quilts anyway!!

Zena Thorpe entered this fun quilt……

“A Spark of Joy”

The applique is immaculate but LOOK at the hand stippling……

Zena said it gave her a spark of joy every time she picked it up to work on it!!

This quilt from Aiko Yokoyama is a feast of fascinating details……

“A Place Dear to My Heart”

Just look at these embroidery accents….

….and the roof on this house is perfect!!

The quilt “Clematis — Hope” from Taeka Kozuka……

“Clematis — Hope”

….has wonderful applique, but to me, the star of the show is the quilting in the background…..

This quilt by Aiko Saito and a plethora of her quilting friends…..

“Something Lily”

She apparently worked with a group from a quilting class and, from the quality displayed, I assume that it was an “Advanced Class!!

Kyoko Someya made “Temptation of the Breeze”…..

….is another quilt that brought a smile, and the quilting made that smile even broader….

The Blue-ribbon winner was from Isako Wada…..

“In the Square Where the Refreshing Breeze Is Blowing”

The piecing is mind-boggling, but the border treatment adds so much to the quilt…..

And speaking of

…..come back tomorrow for “MICRO-piecing”. Some of these quilts are insane!!!

Springtime Irises

Last week I posted about a quilt that I made for my friend’s son. This week I wanted to show a quilt that my friend made for Michael and me.

First, the backstory……

My husband is a Professor in Genetics and has spent his career studying natural populations of Irises in the swamps of Louisiana. They have beautiful flowers…..

Sandy knew of our love of these plants and she designed a gorgeous applique quilt based on them. At the time, she was highly interested in Celtic Knot applique and she did an amazing job of putting the two together……

Her applique was perfect….

….the Celtic knots added a level of interest to the quilt……

And, the background quilting helped the flowers to really shine…..

It is a favorite quilt and graces our walls every spring!!

Thank you Sandy for such a sweet memory!!

Hand quilting tip…..

No, you have not strayed onto some unknown page….. you are still at “Frances Quilts”!!

Today’s tip comes from my friend Denise who is an amazing hand quilter!!!

She quilts on a floor frame and I was interested to see rows and rows of pins stuck from the top to the back of the quilt…….

When I asked her what the heck was going on, she informed me that she used pins to mark the lines she was about to quilt!!

As she quilts a line, she removes the pin….

She said that she enjoys this process because she doesn’t have to use a pen or pencil to mark her lines and NEVER has to worry if the markings will come out.


Her simple solution allows this…..

… become this…..

Many thanks to Denise for this great idea!!

Lots of Handwork….

You should know by now that, if I am posting about a LOT of handwork, it is someone else’s quilt!!

I have mentioned before that my Mom LOVED doing things with her hands. She seldom sat at night without a needle in her hand……….and stuck in the padded armrest….but that is another story!!

One of her favorite crafts was embroidery and she KNEW how to do it.

I thought she was crazy when she started this quilt…..

There are 50 blocks with each state and its bird and flower……

Look at all of these French Knots…..

And of course, her beloved Texas…..

Now the AMAZING thing here is that not only did she make this quilt, but she also went on to make TWO more of them!!!

I love that I have this quilt and when I look at it, I can see her bent over her needle and smiling!!

Kantha Cloth Update

Several weeks back, I posted about my idea for a trip project and left with this piece to work on…..

As fate would have it, we ended up being super busy and I had VERY little time available to work on it, although I did manage to add a few stitches…..

I found it fun and relaxing to work on BUT I am not happy with the shredding that is occurring along the edges of the fabrics…..

I hadn’t wanted to fuse the fabrics down completely because I am afraid that it will make it too stiff and hard to get the needle through, but I think that will be the only way to stop the threads from pulling out.

Most likely I will not finish this piece but will certainly try again soon!!!

Have you ever done this technique? How did you solve this problem????