"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

August 9, 2016

Proverbs 31 Woman {A Finish}

Last year I was asked about the possibility of making a quilt featuring select phrases from Proverbs 31, specifically the verses often referred to as the Proverbs 31 Woman. 

This got the wheels turning and I pulled out the graph paper and colored pencils. I actually own the EQ7 software, but I haven't figured out how to use it efficiently yet, so I'm sticking with graph paper and pencils for now.

My first design wasn't too bad.
For the center cross portion of the quilt I used the Log Cabin Christian Cross pattern from  Quilt FOX Design as my inspiration. I did a few things differently, so it's not an exact match to the original pattern. 

After creating the first layout design my next task was to decide how I wanted to put the words on the block. I could use any of a plethora of applique techniques, drawn them on with water color pencils or markers, use fabric paint, machine embroidery or hand embroidery. 

I had so many choices that I worked myself into kind of a "quilt paralysis." What I wanted to do was to do it all by hand embroidery, but I knew that would take huge amount of time. Every time I made a decision I'd second guess that decision and end up going back to my thoughts on doing hand embroidery for it all.  All this back and forth indecision only caused me to waste valuable time that I could have been using to stitch words.  After too many months of waffling I FINALLY decided I should just suck it up and get started doing the hand embroidery. I knew I wouldn't be as happy with any other method. 

Thankfully just before starting on the hand embroidery I was inspired to redesign the quilt. I'm so glad I did the redesign I like the more formal symmetrical layout of the blocks.

 To create the phrases and layout of the words for the blocks I used the "PrintShop2 for Mac." 
Each phrase was then printed out on regular 8-1/2" x 11" printer paper. Since I don't have a light box I use my plexiglass extension table with a small light under it to create one. This allows me to place the fabric over the printed sheet and trace the letters onto the fabric. 

I back each block with a piece of lightweight flannel which has been pre-washed.
The main fabric is the Designer Essential Solid in Pearl from Free Spirit Fabrics. 
Since these pieces are so big I baste the layers together to make sure nothing shifts when it's being hooped or while I'm stitching.

My needle couldn't handle the many, many  hours of embroidery work.
I chose to use a combination of satin stitch and stem stitch for all the words.
There are 14 embroidery blocks, with 440 hours of hand embroidery 
time using 22.5 skeins of DMC floss #782. 

 Each of the Embroidery blocks was framed in another Designer Essential Solid from Free Spirit Fabrics this time in Scarlet. Using my flannel design wall I started laying out the 2-1/2" squares. Of course my goal was to have a nice balance of the different colors spread through out what I would call the background of the quilt. I suppose it could also be considered the sashing.

Pieced and ready for borders.
 After all the 2" squares were pieced it was time to add borders. At this point I made the decision to add a third border to the two that I already had planned and cut. I kept the dark chocolate border next to the squares and added a cream border, using the same cream fabric that's the background of the cross. From there I kept the 6" Scarlet border as the final outer border.

Layerd and pinned using PINMORS and straight pins. 

Time to Quilt. My favorite part of the entire process!!

I started with some ruler work along the edges of the cross then moved to FMQ the pebbles behind the cross. I really wasn't thrilled with how the pebbles looked after I completed the first section. I thought it was too busy and possibly a distraction. But, at that point I had stitched so much I was committed to seeing it through. I'm so thankful I did too. Once all four quadrants were finished I found it to be much more appealing, verging on the perfect choice for background quilting that kind of faded away to almost being unnoticed.

More ruler work in the outer border.

Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) Swirls and Paisley in the middle border

 Binding and label finished. Ready for delivery.

 This is a one of a kind quilt for me.

Quilt Details & Stats:

Quilt Name: "Proverbs 31 Woman"
 Finished size: 95.5" x 112.5"

Quilt Pattern: Log Cabin Christian Cross Inspired by QuiltFOX Designs. 
Surrounding Blocks and layout by Little Pink Rose Quilting

 Fabric: Designer Essential Solids by Free Spirit (Pearl & Scarlet)
Batiks Tonga Firestorm by Timeless Treasures
Cream Stonehenge #3934 bySunshine Cottage for Northcott fabrics
Chocolate borders and binding A year to Crow About by Red Rooster Fabrics

Batting: Heirloom Perimum 80% Cotton 20% Poly

Quilting Thread: 50wt. Aurifil Burgundy #1130, Pine #2892, Toast #2930,
Very Dark Brown #1130, Limoni di Monterosso - Verigated #4658,
Light Beige #2310, Shining Green #5017
 Embroidery Floss for Hand Embroidery blocks DMC #782 (22.5 skeins used)

598.5 hours to complete

Quilting: Free Motion Quilted using my Artistic Quilter SD18 Longarm.

Thank you for stopping by and being a part of my quilting journey!

God Bless and Happy Quilting!


  1. I love this quilt! I like the cross, the embroidery, the setting, and the colors. Great job!
    A cross quilt is on my to/do list as my son is a Catholic priest and I'd like to make one for him. This one gets my creative ideas going.

    1. Thank you! So glad to be a help in getting your creative juices going. I'd love to see your quilt when you finish it!


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