Friday, July 5, 2013

More on the Cherry Blossom border and lavender bottles

It was a busy day today so I didn't have much time for quilting but I did get a little more done on the border of my quilt Cherry Blossom.

The first step was to echo around the leafy vine. I decided that one echo was sufficient. I used Superior's The Bottom Line on the top and in the bobbin. I really like this thread because it is light weight, blends well and just seems to melt into the quilt leaving lovely texture.

Once the echo quilting was completed I started to stipple. I didn't get much done but I thought I would get at least one corner done so that you could get a sense of how it will look. I really like how it makes the feathers stand out!

Tomorrow is another busy day so I don't know if I will have time to get any quilting done and now that I'm seeing the results I am so eager to keep going so I can see what evolves! I've still not decided how I will quilt the nine patch blocks in the centre but just like the border, it will come to me! And I have to figure out what to do with the setting triangles too!

The lavender in the garden is ready for harvesting.

I cut a bunch of stems - they are so fragrant!

I stripped all the leaves so all I was left with was the heads and clean stems.

While I worked on prepping the stems I had an audience....Teetoo the Cat from two doors down.

My Mom makes lavender bottles with her lavender s so I decided that I would give them a go. She makes a cage with the stems and ties it off with ribbon but I saw a tutorial on lavender bottles on YouTube. Ribbon is woven over and under the stems to create a basket. Once the flowers are completely wrapped the stems are tied off and a loop is made for hanging the bottle.

The over and under wrapping seems easy enough but I kept messing up. Oh well, it still looks pretty and better yet it smells divine!

It is a purple kind of day so I'll leave you with two shots from the garden! The insects are just crazy for these purple bells!

Until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. the thread you chose was perfect. It all looks lovely. It makes me want to machine quilt another and another just to get better!
    I enjoy seeing the garden photos and the adorable cats.

  2. Karen, your quilting is amazing, a couple of questions, at what stage do you remove the pins just after sewing the spine? and do you always start at the border?
    As you know, I have been practicing my quilting and got an "open toe foot" for my machine and found that it is much better to work with it, it lets me wee where I'm going and what am doing.
    Thank you for sharing and giving us so many tips, I have lavender in my garden so will be making lavender bottles too,

    1. Hi Grace and thanks for the kind works. I can assure you that my quilting did not look like that when I started!

      As far as removing the pins goes, once I`ve quilted the spine I remove the pins that are right next to the spine but I do leave some pins in the border. It is 8`wide which means the spine is close to the 4`mark. I generally leave some pins half way between the spine and the pink inner border and between the spine and the outside edge of the quilt. I remove them when I get close to them when quilting And I agree that an open toe free motion foot is much easier to work with than a closed toe foot!

      As far as where I start I always quilt all of the major seams vertical and horizontal. I use my free motion foot to do this. I was skeptical about using that foot in this way until I tried it. The quilt and all of the seams are perfect with the free motion foot which is not always the case with the walking foot as it tends to push the fabric ahead of the foot and that doesn`t happen with the free motion foot. The next step is to stabilized the border as was the case with Cherry Blossom. I stitched in the ditch on both sides of the thin pink border. At that point all of the blocks inside the border are stabilized and nothing will shift however I do leave the pins in my quilt. So this means I can now quilt the border and bind the quilt. Once that is done I go back and quilt the blocks inside the border. You can read about my method here: The reason I do it this way is that I want to get rid of the excess fabric and batting to reduce the bulk. It makes quilting the centre so much easier. As long as I've stabilized all of the major seams this method will work. When I stitch in the ditch I use invisible thread (e.g. Superior`s Monopoloy) OR a very fine thread such as Superior's The Bottom Line and I use a colour that will blend with the quilt.

  3. Cherry Blossom is really 'blossoming' now Karen - your beautiful quilting is bringing it to life!

    I have never heard of or seen lavender bottles before - what a clever idea. Bet they smell amazing xx