I've had the pleasure of quilting some Judy Niemeyer quilts this year. I showed an Feathered Star a couple months ago - a nice sized wall-hanging. I have also quilted two of the Amazon star patterns too. These are 104" square BEHEMOTH quilts. They are paper-pieced. The ladies that did the two in this post took workshops at the Threads Galore Quilt Shop in Rangely, ME. I see the owner Carol each year at quilt shows, and she no longer quilt for clients, so these were referred my way.
These two quilts are very different. They are both made mostly from batik, but the color schemes are different. The client's end-use and budgets were vastly different as well, so you can see how a quilt with much more quilting looks. The actual color placement certainly affects the overall look of the quilt.
This first Amazon Star was made for the client's bed. It's not a show quilt, and if I remember right, it is her first paper-piecing project. She told me it was hard to select fabrics, and she'd intended it to be more blue. In the end, it has a lot of purple, so I downplayed the purple by using blue thread. The white triangles on this pattern are very large - somewhere around 16-18" long. They require a good bit of quilting, and convey a lot of the design detailing because they are light in color (ie., the quilting really shows here!). This quilt has one layer of Hobbs 80/20 batting. It has two Glide threads - dark blue and ivory.
I subdivided the triangles to have a scallop with feathers, an area with a large-ish fill (like a large version of McTavishing...McTavishing would be too dense on this particular quilt, given the client's budget and the fact she only wants it for a bed). There are 136 (I think) spikes around the outermost border. On this quilt, I chose a wavy, ripple-like type quilting for the white and a straightline echo for the colored spike. This is easily stitched in a continuous manner.
There are still areas with an overall filler used, like these large triangles, but the fillers are more complicated than the first quilt I showed. The curved cross-hatching on diagonal took a while, but looks great. I love feathers, too, because they are rather quick to quilt, but they look wonderful. Even with the feathering in the large triangles, I double-line outlined the points to make them show off.
I think the outer border is my favorite though. These free-hand waving feathers look incredible. They quilt fast, but each one is a start and stop. The purple points have additional straight lines to tighten the quilting and exaggerate the point. I spent about 8 hours on the tan background of this border and 3 hours alone on the purple points!
These designs are mentally challenging to quilt. The quilt is huge, and requires a LOT of thread changes. Pieces are so large that it is difficult to get much of the design on the 24" bed of my machine. Also, I can't just ditch the entire quilt, and then go back and stitch out the patterns because of the size of the sections. I quilt this as I go along, changing thread a TON of times. That is true for both versions of the quilt.
Hope you enjoy seeing these. Now that this one is done, my Summer will officially start. I have a smocked dress to work on, and many smaller/simpler quilts. With my kids home, a quilt like this would have taken me 2 months!