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Truly Hand-made Quilts

Updated on August 3, 2017

For the love of the old fashioned quilts!

Over the years I've dabbled in most types of art-forms from watercolor painting to pottery to silver-smithing. I'm the kind who has a project on the go for all occasions. While watching TV downstairs I'm just finishing a knitted sweater, upstairs in my work room beside the audio books shelf a crochet throw is only half done. But I find that none of my handy-work seems to be as versatile as quilting. You see, while traveling, you can hand-piece quilt patches by the dozens with only a spool of thread, a couple of needles, a thimble and a small pair of snips as equipment. The whole shah-bang fits into a small tote bag that even on a crowded train is not bulky and won't skewer anyone like my knitting needles could and have done. On my last two hour train trips to my daughters I started to hand-piece crazy quilt 8X8 patches for a queen size quilt that I'm naming symphony in blue. If the pieces are cut and pinned onto the background base the hand sewing goes really easy and fast. Once the squares are sewn you can then work on the embroidery along each seam. I like to only use one type of embroidery stitch per seam, per square.That makes for a nice variety on each quilt.

1)These blocks will be a full sized quilt, still needs embroidery (customer wants no beading)
1)These blocks will be a full sized quilt, still needs embroidery (customer wants no beading)
2)Still needs beading and embellishments
2)Still needs beading and embellishments
3)Almost finished, small evening clutch purse
3)Almost finished, small evening clutch purse

Let's get down to making an old-fashioned truly hand made quilt. To do that we need to determine what type of quilt we want to build. There are just so many patterns and methods.

Some quilters design and make their quilts the easy flowy way... Using their imagination to bring out free-form movement from pieces of flat fabric and sometimes let the texture of the fabric do most of the talking. Example: crazy quilting in three of the above pictures.

1) ... the blue crazy quilt is hand pieced from a big slew of fabrics that the customer collected from different occasions and phases in her life.

2) ... the crazy quilted close up in green is a table cover that the customer has asked to incorporate embroidered and crochet embellishments and ivory colored seed beads.

3) ... is an evening bag in a monochromatic black where all the individual chunks of fabrics have interesting texture. (that is by far my favorite way of crazy quilting)

4)This pattern is most commonly called Lone star design
4)This pattern is most commonly called Lone star design
5) Just look at how perfectly the points match up
5) Just look at how perfectly the points match up

Then there are the quilts that need to be accurate in their design, their cutting and their sewing...exact to the fraction of a millimeter to bring out their beauty.

You could call it an exact science.

Every piece has to fit in just so, one way, one position only. (sounds like a jigsaw puzzle doesn't it)

When making this type of quilt there is no room for playful disregard of the rules. Accuracy rules. Example:  Lone Star.

There is an exhibition in the planning every year at the end of May in Toronto, Ontario that only accepts 'One-of-a-kind-truly-hand-made-articles'. All items submitted have to be made using pre-machine methodology.

Quilts are always one of the heavier attended categories. Every year some of the top names in quilt-making are in attendance.

Some of the most amazing and breath taking quilts are always displayed at this show. I should correct this statement because I'm coming across as a biased to quilts person here... Everything is always exquisite at these shows from wood working, to weaving, to painting and naturally quilting etc.

some pictures compliments of 


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