Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Answering some questions

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the lovely comments on my tree quilt! Included in the comments were a few questions that I would love to answer.

Ann asked if it is for a specific show and where it will be seen. Yes, it is for a show called "Line Dance" that my fiber art group, High Fiber Diet, is having at the Umpqua Art Center in Roseburg, Oregon. It will be there April 17 - June 5. I am the chair of the show and I think it will be good and has an interesting premise. Each piece will have a horizontally oriented lime green line running through it—an element that will loosely unite all the work. And, again, to Ann. No, nowhere near Maine, though we are looking for other venues for the show. Do you know of a gallery in Maine that would be open to a fiber art show? I'd love to send them a CD!

Barbara asked if the design of my quilt is original and if it is hand-quilted. Yes, the design is original. I made a smaller piece using my own tree design about a year ago. You can see it here. I wanted to try it at a larger size and different techniques. No, it is not hand-quilted. The quilting is done on my sewing machine. It is what is called "free motion" quilting. The feeddogs are not engaged and the quilt is moved, by hand, under the needle—kind of like drawing if you held a pen still and moved the paper instead.

Penny asked about the bamboo hanging apparatus. This is a hanging method I developed several years ago and I really like it for certain kinds of quilts. It really appeals to me for quilts with natural themes, and I used it for a lot of the pieces I did for High Fiber Diet shows at the Japanese Garden. A lot of the HFD members liked it and adopted my method, too. It has become kind of a HFD signature finish.

I buy bamboo or wooden poles for this. I have found these at garden centers, craft stores, Pier One, Cost Plus, craft stores and even Ikea. I cut the pole a little wider than the quilt, then drill holes about 3 inches in from each end. The hole goes all the way through the bamboo. Be careful to drill them evenly! Using heavy thread, I stitch through the binding or edge of the quilt, leaving a long tail of thread, go up through a bead, then the bamboo, then another bead, then turn around and go back through the bamboo, the bottom bead and back through the quilt edge. If you can manage to do this all a couple of times, the connection is sturdier. Finally, end the thread back where you started and tie it to the tail you left and trim it so it doesn't show on the front. Everything should be snugged up as tight as possible. It looks sloppy if you can see the thread between elements. For large quilts, or flimsy pieces I have made a little pocket on the back of the top edge and inserted a small dowel to hold the edge nice and straight. For small quilts and very firm feeling quilts this isn't necessary. This piece, because of the large amount of quilting is quite firm, so it doesn't have the additional dowel in it.

Added: Linda asked another question. What size is it? Answer: 23" x 29"


  1. It must be kind of troublesome to get the thread through bead, bamboo, bead, and back. Do you use a needle or wire loop or something like this?

  2. I love your hanging method. I'll be giving it a try one of these days.

  3. Thanks, Terry ... I love it! And in viewing the even-closer-up image of the quilting in this post, I can see what really makes your quilting "pop" ... it's your brave use of a dark, contrasting thread. Gorgeous!

  4. Love the bamboo hanging method.
    How do you hang the bamboo pole on the wall?

  5. I love this quilt and the quilting is fantastic!

  6. thanks for this, I've never exhibited my work and am always wanting to see "behind the scenes" of how people approach the technical side of getting quilts up on the wall

  7. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Terry--Thanks so much for explaining the hanging apparatus, and for the close-up shot. Great method!