Thursday, September 12, 2019

September 12...monthly blog installment

Yes, I know a month goes by in the blink of an eye, in blog-times.  Plenty has happened in the last month, just mostly un-noteworthy!

I went to Grand Rapids last month for a week to teach at the AQS show. This is a fabulous show, in a great venue. I cannot say enough about the happy vibe of this city (in the summer anyways). It is right on a river, and has walking paths on both sides, with numerous bridges. It's an outdoor's-person's mecca. I taught 6 sold out classes and all went quite well. It's been an interesting few months getting back into the groove of quilting and teaching. My show in July was a good start, but Grand Rapids really got me feeling the joy again.

I had a decent show there too, with both of my entries earning blue ribbons. The first is one my my wholecloth quilts, "Persistence". It is actually a greenish color, but it looks off in photos.
 This is a 71" wall quilt called "My Secret Garden". I love this quilt, and really need to get the nasty monster I am finishing done so I can work on another that I truly love.
 After I returned from Grand Rapids, I had 4 days before my family went away to a house on Lake Winnepesaukee for Labor Day weekend. Oh, and I should also note, that the kids started school...this is key because quilting progress doesn't happen without it!

This lap quilt belongs to one of my local ladies, and forever friend of my mom's. She's an immaculate piecer, which makes my job easier. Batiks hide everything detail related so the center is just quilted with a freehand edge-to-edge. I put prettier feathers in the lighter setting triangles.

Last week, with it officially September, I started on a box of 3 quilts from a new client. All I really have in my stash of client quilts are custom, so there's no point putting them off!
This Be Happy quilt is identical to one I did a year or so ago. The background fabric is so heavily printed to the point that nothing really would show so it's stippled, just so that the beautiful applique can pop. It has an absolute ton of applique too!
 I love how the maker customized the little jar with her initials...
 When fabrics are heavily printed, texture is the only tool quilters have to get things to show. I paired dense stipple beside the beadboard border and the 1/2" striping of the inner border so that these would show. The thread is just a white 40wt, probably Glide.
Here's the back, only because backings are so pretty to see.
 Kendra sent another smaller quilt top, but this one seemed better fit for an edge to edge. Do I hear a great big "Yea"?? Heavily printed fabrics are pretty, but can mask quilting. 1920's reproductions are some of the hardest to get quilting to show on. This is just a simple and very appropriate design for this quilt. It will make a great lap quilt.
Last up is this lovely 98" bed quilt of stars. I knew with all the ivory fabric that it could be custom quilted and look great. The client agreed. A few things to note...it has a red backing so I knew from the start there would be only air-erasable marking pens. I would not risk having a red bleeder. This means that any marking has to be simple. The quilt has a single Hobbs 80/20 batting, and is quilted with both white and aqua YLI polished poly thread. I now use Wonderfil's 80 wt in the bobbin because Superior Threads no longer wants to stock neutral SuperBobs, and hasn't for many months. It's frustrating changing, and paying more to do it, but you do what you gotta do.
After quilting 2 rows of the stars, when the quilt had lifted off the floor, I discovered this...
Tell me my heart didn't nearly fall out of my chest. I contacted the owner and got her OK to do a manual fix. I wasn't going to remove the quilt from the frame to fix this on my machine and risk pleating the backing. All take-out and repair was done by hand.

Here the blocks are removed.

 You can see how I just take a small running stitch to put it back together. I've done enough handwork to know that this will never fall apart.
The finished repair...When the block was up on the horizontal part of the frame, I did press the seam before quilting. The points are not perfect because a good bit of the seam allowance was fraying. Though her points are generally very good on the quilt, this is not the only location with a tipped points so I didn't fret too much.
 The finished quilt is so pretty. Feathers are a great finish and create so much movement on the quilt.
 The star blocks are 15" blocks, which is a good size. I always have students ask me what size machine should they buy. This is a perfect example of when a smaller longarm would have driven me crazy...With my 24" machine, the 15" blocks were about all I could manage to reach (either because of the ruler base or my short arm syndrome!).
 I'm going to show how the swirly paisley sashing was quilted because I have received numerous comments on facebook about this, on this quilt as well as a few others. It's so simple, but is a more unique design than some that are used. I also quilted it in aqua thread to tie in with the outer border.

The center 5" block of the star was quilted using a stencil. These can be a great tool to use.
 One last peek...
Hopefully I won't take another month before I post again. I just loaded the most gorgeous and crazy-pieced quilt. It'll blow minds!



1 comment:

Frédérique said...

Congratulations for the 2 blue ribbons, your quilts are fabulous. Beautiful quilting, and a great repairing!