Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sandy's Sue Spargo Inspired Quilt

Sandy Name originally brought this quilt top to me not too long after I got my longarm quilting machine in 2011 and it scared me to death.  I was working really hard at learning how to use the ProStitcher on my Handi Quilter Fusion but had not mastered in any way shape or form the art of free motion quilting.  I told her I was not capable of quilting it at that point.  She said she would wait until I was.

Three years later, when Sandy saw the lilac splendor quilt on which I had done quite a bit of free motion work, she brought this back and said I was ready.  I had my doubts. (the Lilac Splendor Quilt didn't have the tiny tight spaces this one did).  Saved by the engagement and forthcoming marriage of my youngest daughter, I procrastinated quilting this for another few months (with Sandy assuring me she wasn't in a hurry for it) and because truthfully, I was just plain scared. Though I had better control over my machine, being almost 4 years now recovered from my 2010 back surgery, I continue to deal with severe arthritis in my neck and muscle spasms across the back of my shoulders which cause my neck to lock up tighter than tight whenever I have to look down for more than just a few minutes at a time.  So I worked just one to three blocks per day.

While I am grateful that I had the chance to do this quilt, partly because Sandy likes it so much and partly just to prove to myself that I could, it may very well be one of a very few freemotion quilts I ever do. The cross hatched borders were done with the help of my Pro Stitcher but all the other quilting is free motion (hand guided) work.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! August 2014, Focus on Beauty 2

After the Missouri Star Quilt Iron Quilter challenge in November/December of 2013, I was invited to participate in a special exhibit sponsored by Quilts, Etc. (International Quilters Association) for the upcoming Quilt! Knit! Stitch! to be held Aug 14-16, 2014 in Portland, OR.  The exhibit was by invitation only and coordinated by Janet-Lee of MQX shows. I understood originally that it was to feature the talents of little known quilters. Imagine how surprised and honored I was to see the entrance sign below:

Here is a view of my quilt displayed between two renowned quilters whose work I am very familiar with and I truly admire:  Kimmy Brunner and Judi Madson.

Here are the closeups of Focus on Beauty 2 which was featured in the exhibit, It is a remake of the Focus on Beauty quilt originally entered in the Missouri Star Iron Quilter Challenge. To see the original story (which may perhaps explain why I felt the need to remake the quilt prior to up close and personal national attention.) See the original post "Focus on Beauty"  December 2013.

The Quilter Magazine

 The last few months have been so busy with my daughter's wedding, hosting my 40th class reunion, family reunion and visits from children and grandchildren that I have seriously let this blog lapse.  Here is an effort to mention just a few noteworthy quilting items and events from the last few months

A Quilt I quilted for Rosanna Patterson called "Pearadise" was pictured in the June/July 2014 issue of a national magazine called "The Quilter" in conjunction with an interview with Loes Van der Heijden of Art and Stitch. I was so honored. Loes gave me the inspiration to quilt it this way during a class I helped coordinate in the spring of 2013 for she and Theo. What an honor!

What an honor to have my quilting featured in a national magazine.  Loes Van der Heijden of Art and Stitch asked if I would allow her to show an image of a quilt I did for Rosanna Patterson for which I used background fills created in the software program.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

1000 piece Apple Core Quilt

Rosanna hand pieced this incredibly time intensive quilt which has 986 pieces of different fabric cores. There are no duplicates in the fabrics used. 3 additional fabrics used for the backing and she will now create a label and binding using another 11 pieces of fabric to complete the challenge to use 1000 different pieces of fabric in one quilt. 

Together we decided a simple stipple edge to edge pattern would be most compatible for the quilt. I spray mounted the quilt with a fabric adhesive to the batting once the backing and batting were loaded to hold it down while basting the edges. I used a taupe colored thread to blend with all the different fabrics.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spinning Pinwheels Quilt

Rosanna's Spinning Pinwheels (pattern by Deb Tucker) quilt presented some real challenges in trying to figure out a design that would enhance the quilt without making it more busy.  The colors of the blocks are so bold and bright but the patterns of the fabric were small and mostly tone on tone. Contrast that to the border fabric that incorporated many of those colors in a big bright floral pattern. The client loves custom modern and traditional custom quilting and this quilt seemed to call out for both.So I vacillated back and forth as I laid out the designs on my computer. I can't even begin to explain the process of deciding on the designs because it changed so often.  So let it suffice to say that  final decisions are often made once the quilt in on the frame and a trial stitching is made to test the busyness of the pattern/thread/fabric combination against the piecing of the quilt.  Then it is a gut call.  So grateful to Rosanna for being wiling to validate and collaborate in a timely manner. I know I must seem a little OCD at times in trying to make it perfect.

Final decisions:  modern elements of the spinning star blocks come together with traditional cross hatching.  I am hoping that with time and experience the designing process becomes easier and faster for me. The actual stitching time was approximately 45 hours.  The design and re-stitching process when something didn't look good took many more.
I considered putting the oval fill behind the dahlia flower but both the client and I decided that it wasn't neccesary and the larger flower brought the perspective of the large floral border into the quilting.

The 17 different spaces needing to be sized individually in each block made the quilting slow and tedious, but the time spent made the finished project worth all the time spent.

The oval fill patterns and the large dahlia flower patterns were created by Nancy Haacke of Wasatch Quilting. The original blocks on point patterns were by Anne Bright and edited in Art and Stitch to be able to stitch a series of three at a time. The Cross hatching patterns are by Sharon Perry. The chevron pattern within the pinwheels is a Pro Stitcher Pattern.  Can you see why this took so long to decide on the design?  
I was so happy to be able to pull of the cross hatching meeting in the corners. The first cross hatched border wasn't difficult to line up because I was starting from a fresh straight line. But the subsequent  borders were difficult because of the fluidity of the fabric and thread. The miscellaneous areas of density in the quilting create different amounts of draw in the fabric. So there was a fair amount of unpicking involved in getting this to match up.  When I would realize it wasn't matching up I would stop the machine. Adjust things, and try to create a New Star Point in the ProStitcher. That doesn't work for this type of crosshatching pattern. So I would have to unpick and start again.

The finished quilt. 
 The client loved it.  I loved it and everyone who has commented on facebook postings has loved it.  So glad to see the whole thing come together in a beautiful way.  Thank you Rosanna for allowing me the time, freedom of creativity and resources to enhance your bold, bright and beautifully pieced quilt top.  And for the collaboration when I get stuck in the design process.  Together I feel we are creating masterpieces!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lilac Splendor Quilt

Such a beautiful quilt to work on. Especially in the middle of the winter.  Great reminder that spring is coming.

I think every custom quilt I work on becomes my favorite.  This is a gorgeous quilt pieced by Rosanna. The pattern was featured in the July/August issue of McCall's Quilting.  Here is a link to the free pdf pattern for a table runner.

View of piecing prior to quilting
What a difference a bit of stitching makes! Applique' block is bursting with energy.

I love the texture the background fill gave to this quilt.  The majority of patterns were by Nancy Haacke of Wasatch Quilting.  The background fill is by Anne Bright and the small corner feathers are by One Song Needle Arts.  The scalloped triangle design is a conglomeration of two designs I altered and combined in Art and Stitch to conform with the scallops and the appliqued blocks and the stop borders were done free motion.  I think the free motion echo quilting adds a lot of movement to the quilt.

Enjoy Lilac Splendor!
Almost full view of Lilac Splendor quilt.

View of back of quilt corner.
Closeup of star blocks

Corner of Lilac Splendor.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So honored! My quilt took third place.

Update:  January 10, 2014  Would you believe this is the first chance I have had to sit down and update this blog.  I am so very excited that I won third place in the Iron Quilter's challenge.  By winning 3rd place I was able to select in order the prizes that I would prefer. Since I would have been happy with any one of the top three prizes, 1 - Babylock sewing machine - $800.00 SRP  2 - Missouri Star Quilter's cash $500.00  and 3 - RJR Fabric package $500.00. I said it didn't matter which one.  The next morning I was informed that I had won the top prize, the $800.00 Babylock Sewing Machine.  I am thrilled.  I now have a blanket stitch to do applique work.  I am excited to learn to use this machine.  My hubby saw the package come before I did and wrapped it up so I could open it on Christmas morning.  So excited.  In addition to winning third place I was encouraged to produce a pattern for this quilt.  So I ordered additional charm packs (pictured with the machine) and am just getting started working on re-producing the quilt to document the directions.  Another wonderful thing that happened was that I was invited to submit this quilt for a special quilting exhibit next fall. Does it get any better than this?  So honored.

I am so excited that I made the final 28 of 459 quilts.  The voting now goes on in this final round until Midnight on Dec 15th.  I know it is a very busy time of year to ask people to take a few minutes out to do you a favor but I would so appreciate anyone willing to take the time to vote again in this final round.  Here is the current link to the finals and my quilt.  I have loved this experience of reading people's comments. They have given a lift to my days like no other.

Click here to vote on "Focus on Beauty" in the final round of voting.