The quilt measures 64" x 71"


There was a Surprise Drawing tonight and Tarry Faries of McLean, VA won a Hol-ee Roller ball for her dog.  Pinky says to have fun with it.  Pinky's has a giggle ball inside it and the waffle texture of the Hol-ee Roller allows her to pick it up and fling it about!
Surprise Drawing #6

Carol Ellsworth wrote: "I collected all the blocks and thoroughly enjoyed seeing them and touching them! We have members who are truly artists!"

Carolyn Finlayson, who assembled the quilt top, wrote: "In terms of piecing the quilt together. First you remove the stabilizer. I did not wash the blocks, I gently removed it. Some of the blocks had so many small pieces so I did not want to wash them. Depending on how the block is made, sometimes there is a lot of fabric that has to be trimmed from the back so they will not be too bulky. You also have to square each block, and repair any stitches that come lose when you trim them. As this quilt had a center motif, I had to take care to trim the blocks so they would fit together. You definitely measure two or three times before you cut!!!

"Each time I have pieced the top, I have trimmed the squares and then put them on my design wall. I spend a few days moving them around for placement. The squares are all so unique and each one needs to stand out as much as possible. Originally we had planned for some type of brick or stone fabric to go around each block for sashing. I quickly realized that was not going to work, so I auditioned all types of fabrics attempting to find something that would look good with all of the blocks. I finally decided to emulate a walking path around the park and town square, and finish it with the black border. The real magic happens when the quilter makes it come alive."

I asked Sharon DeBoer, who finished the quilt with her mother, Lavonne's help, if she would write something about how the quilt is finished. When I first heard her refer to "tying off the threads" in one of the Bee emails, I had no clue what she was talking about. I thought you might be interested to learn about how the quilt is finished once it is quilted. Being new to the world of quilting, a lot of this information was astonishing to me. I don't know what I thought, but I never realized how much work making a quilt from start to finish entails.

Sharon DeBoer wrote: "As part of the team that created the 2013 Airedales Around Town quilt, my job was to "finish" the quilt. Prior to starting the machine sewing that stitches the top, batting, and backing into one finished piece, a decision has to be made about how to start and stop the stitching during the quilting process. Each time you start sewing, the threads need to be tied off so they don't unravel. How should this be done? It is easiest to use the sewing machine to tie off those threads, either by stitching forward and back over top of the thread, or by starting the sewing with a very tiny stitch that is very difficult to pull out, and then stopping in the same manor.

"However, for high quality quilts, and especially for quilts that will be judged in competitions, the preferred method is to start and stop your stitching so that no one can see where you've started and stopped. When the quilter and I looked at all the detail that would be required in the quilting, we quickly decided that this was a quilt that demanded the thread start-and-stops be hidden from view.

"The first photo shows the Frame Shop block right after the quilting was finished, but before the threads were tied off. Look at the mass of threads lying on the surface of the quilt. It is really easy to underestimate the amount of quilting on the surface until you see how many times the quilter has to start and stop the stitching in order to complete the process! 

Block with threads
"Now the finish work begins. In most cases, the quilter has pulled the bobbin thread up to the surface of the quilt when she started the stitching. Those two threads are delicately straightened out, hand tied together using a square knot, and threaded through the eye of a hand sewing needle. Making sure the point of the needle is right at the hole where the machine stitching started, the needle is pushed down through the surface, moved up and down through the batting inside the quilt, and then pushed up through the fabric about a needle's distance from that first hole. By giving a gentle but quick tug on the needle, the square knot "pops" (you can actually hear it pop!) down through the hole, and is buried under the surface of the quilt. Because the needle was used to weave the threads through the batting, they'll also spend the rest of their life hidden inside the quilt.

"Now look at the finished block, front and back. The threads are hidden, and what you see is the texture created by the stitching. When you focus on the stitching itself, you don't see any differences in the stitch length where the quilter stopped and changed locations or changed thread colors. The goal was achieved!

Finished Front
Finished Back

"My mother and I worked together to tie off all the threads on the quilt. We estimate that it took us about 50 - 55 hours, start to finish."

Worth the effort, don't you think? YES!!

Binding the quilt and a view at the back
Photographer Stephen Jamieson

Can you imagine how long it took to tie off all those threads?!

*Remember Incentive #6 ends on August 28th 
at 8 PM EDT.*

If you donate during this time, you may have an opportunity to win either the Airedale Counted Cross Stitch Kit or the Embroidered "Tuck Butt Scoot" Bag! You are also eligible to win the main quilt and/or one of the bonus quilts.

And don't forget, there is also an incentive for the person whose donation puts the thermometer at $5,000 or over.


  1. What a huge amount of work! This quilt is so gorgeous!

  2. Wow, there is so much that goes into the assembly and quilting of such a beautiful quilt.

  3. it's amazing all that a quilt bee does! wow! I love these blog's very interesting to learn all about the quilt.. and the prizes are an extra bonus!