My ‘Dare-to-Wear-Black’ Quilt

Some of you may remember this quilt was started more than a year ago, intended as a  gift for a very special couple, my husband’s big brother and his wife, whom we love and respect enormously and my children adore,  for their anniversary in June.

…finished at long last…

    Then I got involved in the BOM quilt and this got put away. The pattern for the quilt is ‘The Big Apple’ from the Fons and Porters’ Love of Quilting mag July-August 2012 issue. I used fabric from my stash for the piecing, the cambric backing was bought in the local market. The apple core  borders ( two deep) have been quilted with inspiration from Thread Head. I also studied the apple quilting tutorial by Lori Kennedy at the Inbox Jaunt. I had a problem keeping the tension balanced and my movement smooth!

Echo quilting on the centre cores

Each core took me upwards of half an hour to quilt, so I echo quilted the apple cores in the centre! The white portion (added to make up the quilt length when I ran out of fabric) was more unforgiving as mistakes glared at you from a bright background.

I used a cardboard template to draw the apples


Leaves and spirals were added free hand as fillers. There are some half eaten apples and others rotten to the core!

  I quilted it in light grey, but then ran out of thread. So came up the orange bands…

In retrospect, I think the orange quilting really made the quilt special!

  …which made this my dare-to-wear-black quilt! In a much-aired Indian television commercial for an anti-dandruff shampoo, one famous Boolywood actor dares another to wear black, and thus prove he has no dandruff! As a beginner free motion quilter, I felt something like the actor who was dared to take up the challenge… 

i had appliqued a few apple cores on the white portion to add an element of interest to the proceedings!

At the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed!

Learning to enjoy Free motion quilting!

For the binding I used shirting fabric, which kind of tied up everything together, I thought. For a change, the entire binding was attached and sewn down by machine.

Worthy gift for a special couple, would you say?


A close up of the binding done entirely by machine.

Learnings from this quilt: 1. I got to practise curved piecing. 2. I tried to echo quilt in free motion with very ugly results. I need more practice here. 3. While quilting the apples, at several places, I have tension issues in my quilting, specifically too high tension at the back. I think it is because I was pulling at the fabric. However, at the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed! A set speed also gave much neater results. 4. I regretted not pulling up the bobbin thread when starting off the quilting, for example after a thread breakage. When I didn’t do that, the stray thread ends got caught up in knots and caused uneven stitches. 5. FMQ is fun and I think I am going to love it! So, I leave you to look at these pics while I decide which of my UFOs I am going to tackle next!                  May all those apples keep the doctors away from their lives … and yours too!

So, what’s cooking? Apples!

My laptop is back at the service centre and it is really difficult to do a full blogpost on the iPad!
I decided to share a couple of photographs of a quilt I have started quilting today. I got the pattern The Big Apple from the ‘Love of Quilting’ magazine August 2012 issue. It is also available online on the Fons & Porter website.
I wanted a larger quilt, so decided to make it into a 10 x 11 grid which will measure up to a comfortable 89″x 99″. I used fabric from my stash, and that measured up to only 80 apple cores! So I had to add a plain white solid to build up the length.
Here it is all basted and ready for quilting.

I thought a lot about the quilting I wanted to do in it as I do want to practice free motion quilting! After a lot of browsing, I zeroed in on this amazingly beautiful quilting by Joanne of Joanne.threadhead.blogspot
I know my quilting is nowhere half as pretty, but practice is the only way it will get better!


Former banker that I am, I could not but calculate that it will take me more than 70 hours of quilting to finish this at the rate of 3 cores in 2 hours! Add to that 440″ of bias binding, fabric yet to be bought! I think I will end up doing the binding by hand …
If I don’t put it away, I have my work cut out for the next two months at three hours per day!

What have you all been up to? Other than Block Two of the Round the Year quilt, that is?