Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Forgotten post

I'm not sure how this beauty missed being posted but better late than never. These are great applique and pieced blocks in bold, modern fabrics. The solid yellow background gave me a nice place to put some quilting that could show because the blocks themselves don't have that much room.
I know that this quilt is double batted with wool and cotton 80/20, and I think that the thread used on the background is a gold 40wt poly. I outlined the piecing and applique too, most likely in a clear thread. Somehow, the pertinent details escape me after 2+ months time.
 I'll leave the photos to do the work. Beautiful fussy-cutting on this block.
 Who doesn't love a nice pointy star in purple?!...

 Feathers frame the setting triangles and help to frame the quilt.

I love to sneak in a traditional element like the feathered wreath on what would be a very traditional quilt, if not for the bold, modern fabrics. It's just the playful juxtaposition I appreciate.
The backing is a solid-ish fabric and shows all the quilting so well.
 No shortage of texture here!
Go and enjoy yourselves a little February snowstorm Misery loves company, ya know!

PS...I'm not in Florida this year. Sigh...

Sunday, February 09, 2020

January's Escape

Somehow, it is already February. My last post was in December. It's feels like its been ages since December. Life has not been kind. My trouble-maker kid managed to get himself suspended the week just before Christmas break and then again as soon as school started in January. I thought I was going to bang my head on a brick wall. Oh wait, I think I did. You think oh, it's no big deal having a teen home when you work from home, but trust me...not nearly enough work got done! Lucky for me (if you want to call it lucky), I had my next show quilt just loaded on the longarm when the sh&t hit the fan, so it was only my quilt that took forever and had to suffer the delays of life. After 2 weeks of working on it, it's off and we are trying to settle back in to a schedule that is "normal".

The first 3 quilts shown all came to me from the same client. They were on the machine about 2 weeks, so you can imagine I was ready to get them off and get paid! I love doing multiple client quilts but more often several are sent at once, but completed over the course of several months. Not this case. This is a Kim McLean Flower Garden (or something like that - honestly, they all look the same to me anyway). It has LOTS of turned edge applique. 
 The quilt is double batted and stitched with mostly Superior's Magnaquilter (100wt ) thread. It is very fine and sinks into the background nicely. It allows you to backtrack several times without it showing.
 The appliques on this quilt are huge - way too big to leave as is. So...most all of them needed finish quilting on top of them. I think I used 10 different colors of 40wt thread to do this.
 The border is a bit fun with these meandering feathers that wind around the circles. It actually is a mostly continuous motif.
 Quilt Number 2 was a fun edge to edge. Boy, do I like E2Es sometimes. I don't get that many of them but many quilts really are lousy candidates for custom quilting. This one is a classic perfect quilt for an E2E.
Last quilt is another Dream Big flower panel. I have done lots of these in the last 12-18 months, but this is my first in the green colorway! It is double-batted and stitched in 4 colors of Glide-like thread (shiny 40wt). Its a good top to play with fun feather and fill patterns from my books.
 Just look at that awesome texture!
 Here's my first February finish. It will be heading home to NJ tomorrow. I think you will be able to see it at the Vermont Quilt show in June. It is also double-batted, a common trend amongst show quilters or custom quilts.
 Her applique is fused using Sue Nichols' method, and then blanket stitched around very cleanly. Because the centers of the appliques are cut free of the fusible, they tend to poof better than if not cutaway. Unfortunately I still encountered needle gumming issues with the fusible so I limited the quilting on the appliques to only SID. It still looks really nice.
The center combines some graceful and symmetrical feathers with a little crosshatching and lots of pebbles. This is done in a gold 40wt thread. All of the quilting is in this same thread.
 I created a circular set of frames around the outer blocks to create a secondary pattern. There really is not much extra space on this quilt for doing much. The applique is really the star.
Sometimes the morning light comes in just so to illuminate the quilt beautifully.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Holiday Quilts

Contrary to the post title, these are not Christmassy quilts, but rather ones given as gifts. In early November, in classic-late form, I decided that my boys needed new bed quilts. Since my daughter has been sewing, she has made herself 2 that fit her bed, on top of the one I made her 10 years ago. My boys have not had new quilts made in over 10 years. I can date it because I did not quilt either of them, and I have been long arming slightly over 10 years. 

The main goal was that they were easy enough that I would actually finish them, and suitable for an E2E quilting. There wasn't time for custom, besides I wanted a fleecy or minky backing which really doesn't need overquilting.

Here are the 2 patterns I came up with. They use many of the same fabrics, but the second also used lots of my scraps. These are my EQ renditions. 

My 17 yr old has a queen sized bed, so it did not call for microscopic piecing. When I shopped for the fabric, I did not envision the orange/red taking over the quilt as much as it did, but that is life. I should have used more greenish greens rather than the yellowy green.
 It's quilted in a black thread, and has black fleece I bought back last winter for a whopping $1 a yard! My hope was that the black Omni thread would taint the quilt darker.
 His walls are a nice peacock blue, which does match one of the blue stripes in the quilt. In hindsight, I should have used more blue shades I think.
The other quilt is only for a twin bed, thankfully! I have done this pattern previously. It is a tad finicky because it requires partial seams for each block, but these blocks piece quickly. The gray matches his curtains, and the pale blue is the color of the walls.
 Initially I really wanted to use that 6-sided star pantograph, but the thread broke early in on my first pass, and I realized how hard the straight lines were to do well when they show as much as they do on the solid fabric. I quickly ripped it out and switched to the curves. This Orange Peel pattern quilts up fast and looks good. The back is a lush silver minky.
Both quilts were bound on the machine. It's far from my forte, but considerably faster than doing it by hand. With black binding fabric, all the wobbles barely show anyway.
 Here's the back...
 And, another happy customer.
And one last E2E from December (same pattern as the first quilt shown). This is a top my mom made for somebody. It also has a soft fleece backing which shows off the pattern nicely.
I just finished a gorgeous Sue Garman Ruffled Roses that I will share next post. I'm about to start my own personal show quilt, so I may not have pics of a client quilt for a few weeks. Have a great end to 2019-

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Late Fall CatchUp

Time flies, so they say, whey you are busy doing other things. Or when other things manage to consume your usual overflowing energy. I was looking back over some photos and realized that I have several quilts not blogged about.

This is called The Blue Collection by Maggie Walker. I have quilted at least 2 of these previously, and this one was just as pretty, and just as beautifully made.
It takes what feels like that proverbial lifetime to outline quilt all of the appliques and frames/borders, then the the fun quilting can begin. If you are thinking that the appliques look extra poofy, it is because this is double batted with Hobbs 80/20 and wool. It is a great combination for the applique quilts or for any show quilt.
 The background quilting is not the star of the quilt, but I still want it to look attractive. It needs to be dense so that the appliques pop.
There is also detail quilting added to most of the vases, as they are large appliques -- too large to just leave unquilted. It would not wear well with time to not quilt on them. Plus, it provides a place to further define the shape or style of the vase.

Here's a cute wallhanging. It's bright and colorful, and somewhat modern. For some reason, the modern quilts just paralyze my natural creative tendencies. It sat on my machine for several days. I almost removed it because I just couldn't agree with my head on what to do.
 Then I went into the studio, and just said "Go with your first instinct". It is rarely all that wrong. And this is what I did. Mostly I just wanted some texture. Lots of texture.
 The quilting on the feathers is done in a bold black thread. It unifies all of the feathers together.
 Here is a peek at the backside.
 My last quilt to share is the final one sent to me by Erin. Remember a purple Nearly Insane from 1-2 months ago?...this is her handiwork. She does beautiful piecing. This one I saved for last because I knew it had that massive blank space in the center. That takes both courage and planning...LOL!
 It turned out beautifully with a combination of crosshatching, feathers and linework.
 The one thing I will say is that I quilted this (the white parts) with an Omni thread. I chose this because it is rather traditional, and this thread more resembles a cotton than most I use. NEVER again, though!! It drove me nuts with lint and linty clumps. It works fine for an edge to edge, but this level of custom took nearly a dozen bobbins.

 It's hard to tell but this is a log cabin quilt, with a medallion center.
 Quilts like this that quilt down the diagonal really take a LOT of hours. There is a TON of rolling the quilt back and forth and stop and start. Beginners likely don't realize how much time that can consume.
 The swirly fill was chosen because these red fabrics were fairly printed AND because the seams were all pressed out, not leaving a ditch. Had the piecing have pressed to the side, I'd have done a template based line pattern there instead.
 Oh, so pretty...Hopefully I can see this one bound and laying pretty on a bed.

 And one last backside for the road...
See you next time I have pretties to share.