Those of you following my blog know that I have been working on a replica of a block from an old family quilt. I finished the block during the summer.
Recently I sat down with the walking foot on my sewing machine and attempted to replicated the curved quilting on heirloom quilt from our family. The heirloom quilt has semi-circular stitching, spaced 1/2 inch apart. The quilt design on the pieced block looks like series of rounded hills similar to a child's drawing. I hypothesize that the quilter used a bowl or a plate to mark the starting half circle for the quilting.
I looked around my house and decided to use a salad plate. I traced the margin of the plate with tailor's chalk. I found that the quilting lines only worked if I marked no more than half a circle. Using 3/4 of a circle just didn't work. I used the maker's mark on the bottom of the plate to determine where to stop and start marking the semi-circle. I used the plate's mark to draw an invisible line with my eye, bisecting the plate. That worked very well.
My quilting lines are 1/4 inch apart. In this single block, those close lines of stitching really do replicate the look and the tactile feel of the original twin size quilt.
I found I did well quilting the first 2-3 rows and then my semi-circles started to disintegrate into more of an oval. I really enjoyed the rhythm of stitching these semi-circles. Done by hand, I think the quilting would be very calming.
Here's a close-up of my forebear's quilting.
My block is a pillow cover. This has been a fascinating project. I'm so glad I decided to do it!