Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thanks Donna

Doing edge-to-edge or pantograph quilting is probably the best way to make a profit as a longarm quilter because the work goes faster than custom quilting.  However I'm rarely asked to do that type of quilting, my customers come to me for custom work; it's what I am known for and also what I like to do best.  One of the perks of doing that type of quilting is I get to quilt some really gorgeous quilts.  People bring me their best work, the quilts they want to have quilted specially.


Donna's quilt is a good example of this.  She spent a long time making this quilt and her workmanship is wonderful.  Her applique stitches are so tiny!  Smaller that the sewing machine stitch by far.  This is a pattern called Fantasy Flowers by Pearl Pereira of P3 Designs.



I usually do a minimum of marking but since this is a smallish quilt, I was able to put it on my design wall and chalk in the feathered border so it would be symmetrical.  The chalk I use is just plain old schoolroom chalk - it stays on long enough for me to quilt the stems and then brushes off with a damp cloth.  It's amazing what a difference the lighting makes - this photo was taken with the normal ceiling lights, the rest use photography lights.

Donna's color choices are so pretty - I love the spark of the bright blue, in the swag border especially.


She made a nice wide border and requested lots of feathers - she also mentioned that she likes curved crosshatching.  Hey - so do I!


I really enjoyed quilting this - Thanks Donna!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Merry Christmas quilt

This is Ann's Christmas quilt.  I like that it has an understated Christmas look to it.  Ann's quilts are fun to do - her workmanship is excellent, she likes wool batting and she lets me loose to do lots of quilting.  She used a green flannel for the backing so this is a very warm snuggly quilt.


It's always a challenge to come up with a quilting design for a busy border fabric.  My usual choice is something like a piano key border - just plain straight lines, but I tried something more complicated on this quilt and like the way it turned out.

I've been working on a huge time-consuming quilt since my last post but decided to wait to post pictures until the customer picks up the quilt after Christmas.  It's an amazing quilt, so check back later!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Have a happy Thanksgiving

I have been busy quilting although I haven't posted for a while.  Most recently I finished a black on black quilt which just about did me in.  Much as I love the look of black backgrounds - they are so difficult to see the quilting on and are hard on my aging eyeballs. I couldn't get a decent picture of it.

Margret brought me two wall hangings to quilt -  she had planned to quilt them with her sewing machine but never got around to it.  I really like the look of the colored thread (Glide) on the feathered star quilt. 


Margret is a very experienced piecer so her quilts were precisely made and a pleasure to quilt.

This quilt had lots of blank space for me to play in and I did get a little carried away.  On this quilt I used So Fine so I could do a lot of quilting and have a better chance of hiding any backtracking.


My next quilt is a whopper and should take me through Thanksgiving to complete.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Three seasons of quilts

This first quilt is one I finished several months ago but couldn't post because it was a surprise gift. It has a kind of complicated history: it was made by Susan for Lily and Lily's mother Charlotte had it quilted as a surprise for her. 

There are so many cute Halloween patterns available now  and Susan did a beautiful job making it.

Next up is a Christmas quilt made by Jo, one of the owners of Material Girls Quilt Shoppe in Wichita.  I've quilted lots of Christmas quilts but hadn't seen this one before - it's called The Blessings of Winter by Shabby Fabrics.

In Jo I found a fellow metallic thread fan so quilted this with lots of silver, red and blue metallic thread.  It's frustrating that I can't get the metallic thread to sparkle for the picture!  The trees in the border are all silver metallic.


Jo chose a solid red for the backing which made the quilting really show up.


And finally, this bright summery quilt made by Kelly.  It is brighter than it shows in the photos - I tried to tweak the color with no luck.  So bright that it really glowed on the dark gloomy November days when I quilted it.

This was Kelly's first fused applique project and according to her, her last fused applique project.  All of the many little pieces did not want to stay fused and I found several fish eyeballs on the floor underneath my longarm after I finished quilting. 

It's cold and cloudy in Kansas this morning - a good day to stay inside and quilt.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Curmudgeonly me

Halloween is not my favorite holiday but I have quilted several cute Halloween quilts lately.  This was made by Mary who always has does an excellent job on her applique, this time it is machine applique.  I really like the whimsical pumpkin-houses.

Mary says these bats will have orange crystals for eyes and there are buttons to add now that it is quilted.



I'm one of those curmudgeonly people that turn out the lights and hide on Halloween.  At least, that's what I did last year.  When I do buy Halloween candy I have to buy icky candy so I don't eat it - like Sweet Tarts or Nerds.  Ick.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's a mystery quilt

This is Sharon's quilt; she made it as a Mystery Quilt at a local quilt shop.  When I asked about using colored thread she didn't sound very enthusiastic but I couldn't resist using some pink and green thread in addition to the dark grey I used for the feathers.  (It looks kind of blue in the pictures)  I hope she likes the result!

I love quilts with a black background even though it is hard to see what you're doing when quilting them. All that black really makes the colors pop! I used black batting on this quilt since both top and backing are black and Omni thread.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quilting Zombies


Sheri had me quilt this BOM for her. I like the combination of piecing and applique.

I used straight lines to contrast with the curvy feathers and scroll-y background quilting.

Sheri and I have discovered we share more than quilting as an interest; we both are addicted to the game Plants vs Zombies. A new version of the game has just been released and we spent an embarrassing amount of time talking about it and comparing strategies. Does this make us Quilting Zombies?

Merilyn brought me this little applique wallhanging.  It was a fun one to quilt.


I was worried that anything I quilted in the floral fabric squares would be lost in the busy pattern, so settled on my old favorite: ruled lines. 

Lots of quilting to do but maybe first I'll sneak in a little Zombie time.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jan Z. and her amazing quilt


This is Jan Z. and her amazing quilt.  It is beautifully appliqued and embroidered with so many little details!  She says it is a Piecemakers pattern from  2003 that she has been working on for a long time.

She embroidered around each applique piece with black floss.


My goal in quilting was to stay out of the way of all her work while highlighting it with stitch in the ditch - a LOT of stitch in the ditch.  I used Invisifil and Bottom Line thread for almost the whole thing.  Invisifil is great for stitching around applique; it is so extremely fine and comes in colors, unlike monofilament.


I love the tiny little piglets made out of narrow ribbon.  They are so small they are hard to see in this picture - look for the tiny pink blobs next to the big pigs.

She added details of her own, like the tractors.

It was fun to examine all the little details as I quilted.