Friday, March 15, 2013

My All W&G Chain-Stitched Quilt

The question was: "Can a quilt be successfully pieced, quilted and joined using a Willcox & Gibbs chain-stitch machine?" I'm here to say that yes, and not only can it be done, it is an absolute delight to use the chain stitcher for this project!!

This was done using an 1885 Willcox & Gibbs to piece
and an 1892 Willcox & Gibbs treadle to quilt and join "quilt-as-you-go" blocks.

This video shows how I pieced these blocks using the W&G hand crank
and how to end a stitch line correctly to had it lock and not unravel in a chain stitcher.

This quilt has been sewn entirely, so far, using the two chain stitchers, except for two test blocks I made using a Singer 201K treadle as a comparison test for durability of this quilt. ALL of the quilting has been done on the W&G treadle using the "quilt-as-you-go" method forming 2X2 joined blocks seen in the top two rows below.
These are the 2X2 blocks that are quilted and will be joined into
12X2 strips as seen in the bottom row of this photo.

After I joined the 2X2 block sets into 12X2 rows, I joined 3 rows to make half of the quilt top, so each half is 12X6 blocks.

Two halves of the queen-size quilt (actually laid out on a king-size bed--yes she's a big 'un)

 At this point, I've sewn together two sets of three 12x2 rows into (basically 2 halves). I am going to partially finish the back of each set while they are still half size and quilt the inner joined locations, as well. After I get the two halves partially finished, I will join the two sets (halves) to complete the main pieced portion of this quilt. It will still need a 3-band border consisting of two single fabric strips with one pieced band in between. I still have a ways to go to finish this very large quilt, but I plan on doing it all on the W&G's, except the binding, which will be done on my Davis vertical-feed walking-foot machine (best binder in the business ;-).
Unfinished back of one half of the top.
This is the unfinished back on one half, showing the backing edges that still need to be sewn closed. I'll iron and sew these back seams using the W&G treadle and the "stitch-in-the-ditch" method on the front side. I love the look of the chain stitch on the back of this quilt.
To be continued as I make progress--wish me luck, but I don't think I'll need it with my trusty W&G's by my side!!


  1. Cool! I just added you to my blog list (I'm now a follower).

  2. Enjoyed watching your video very much. I can't wait to find a Wilcox and Gibbs and a Davis vertical feed. I've added you to my blog list as well. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Standing ovation from me!! Awesome Becky and thank you for documenting. I"ll be able to share your inspiration with all who will listen. Thank you for inspiring me.