Big Stitch Quilting- It's a (Beautiful) Thing


Big stitch quilting on my quilt of the moment...

 

Big stitch quilting is a thing!  I'm a little slow to catch on.  And I don't mean just because it's been a trend for a couple of years now.  (And it has...)  I mean because it has it's roots in ancient Kantha Quilting and Japanese Boro quilting :)

 

Kantha quilting done on layers of silk sari patches.

 

Japanese Boro stitching highlighting layers of Japanese fabric patches.

 

My big stitching experiment is on my quilt du jour- 'Seed Packets' by Kaffe Fassett from his new 'Bold Blooms' book.  Yummy, no?

 

'Seed Packets' by Kaffe Fassett from his new 'Bold Blooms' book.

 

Here is the center portion of my 'Seed Packet's quilt.  One incantation anyways!!  I went through many versions before I was pleased, and added 2 borders of smaller flowers like the original.

 

Decided to big stitch this bad girl.  Big stitching is a lot like traditional hand quilting- stitches are loaded on the needle, you bury the knots, and a hoop is used.
Except big stitching is like hand quilting on steroids- the needle is bigger, thread is thicker, and the stitches are longer.  I'm loving the subtle color that the perle cotton adds to the patches so far!

Here I've used a #5 embroidery sharpe needle and #8 perle cotton.

Unlike the parallel lines of the kantha and boro examples shown above, I'm just stitching in the ditch around the patches. Then I plan to add some detail in each of the large flower patches.  
I'm digging the spontaneity of the stitching.  I decided that I would not pull out any uneven stitches.  Of course they get more even with practice.  But the wonky scale of the stitches gives the quilt a kind of naive quality that is stress free and refreshing.  I'm hooked!
 

 

Stitching in the ditch between flower patches with red perle cotton.

 

You can bet I'll post a picture of the finished quilt. Shouldn't be too long- this goes fast!! Big stitch quilting is a (beautiful) thing!

Anyone else doing big stitch quilting?  I'd love to hear from you!

julie@latodera.com

 

Originally published 4/15/17