Monday, June 26, 2017

Judy's Antiqued quilt

Isn't this a great quilt? The colors, the prints, the values, the texture - it all works together and makes a lovely finished piece! This quarter-square-triangles pattern was called "Antiqued". It was my first job for my a new client named Judy, and it was an honor for me to work on. Judy selected meandering feathers as an edge-to-edge treatment for this piece, and before I knew it, I had worked my way all the way through it. I love it!

My quilting is all free-motion, hand-guided on a longarm quilting machine.

Just a little note about the photo above. As I work my way through every single inch of a quilt, it's not uncommon for me to find little quirks that might have gotten missed by the piecer. Here's a common occurrance: a seam that had let loose. It was only a few inches in about a million inches of seams in this quilt. Easy to miss! I didn't catch it until I was better than half way through the quilting, so at that point, it's too late to feasibly take the quilt off the frame and sew that seam back together on a sewing machine. I just quilted a straight line along the separated seam, and I think it's pretty darn inconspicuous. Amongst all the millions of quilting stitches, no one will notice a few inches of straight stitching. And this way, the quilt is sturdy, strong, and durable. For years of service and love! I wanted to show this pic and bring up this topic, because I often hear quilting friends denigrate themselves or their quilts. We're always our own worst critic, aren't we? But guess, what.... NO QUILT WAS EVER PERFECT! Little quirks are often easy for me to counteract on the longarm frame, as in this case, and no one will be the wiser. In fact, I can't remember if I even shared this with the piecer herself, so Judy, if you're reading, I hope you're okay with this!  :-)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Donna's Gray Flower Garden

In this piece, my client Donna used background fabrics in tones of black, white, and gray and embroidered beautiful flower designs in alternating blocks with bold thread colors. You really have to be up close to appreciate the intricacy of this quilt. It's lovely!

She asked if I could put flowers in some of the blank squares, as silhouettes of the embroidered flowers. I thought it was a great idea! I didn't do it in every block, because some of them had busy prints, which I knew would not allow the quilting to show up. So, I free-hand quilted some flower silhouettes in strategic blocks, and the rest got a peony filler. I hope Donna loves her flower garden!

My quilting is all free-motion, hand-guided on an APQS longarm quilting machine.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Artful Elegance - Finally!

I have been waiting SOOOOOO long to share this quilt, and let's just say waiting is NOT my strong suit.

You guys! My quilting has been PUBLISHED!

 This project came to me veiled in secrecy and anticipation. Linda from Rumpled Quilt Skins, in Okotoks, Alberta, had submitted a quilt pattern to be considered by Better Homes & Gardens "Quilt Sampler" magazine. They periodically feature profiles on various quilt shops in their publication, along with a pattern developed by the store owner.

Linda emailed me and asked if I would be interested in quilting her original design, but it had to be absolutely secret and that it would be a quick turn-around, due to production schedules with the magazine. Her pattern had to go through revisions with the editorial staff before it could even be appliqued. And each time she changed the pattern, she'd send me a new version, for me to work up some sketches on how I thought the quilting might look. She gave input on which ideas she liked or didn't and offered suggestions for designs that I hadn't thought of. Linda is always lovingly challenging me. She encourages me to try new things (aka drags me into new territory, even if sometimes I cling to my old comfort zone while kicking and screaming! Ha!). 

When I finally received the quilt top in my hands, I had less than a week to get it quilted, so that her crew could get it bound and shipped off to Iowa for professional photographing. Pressure! In the end, I think it only took me a few days. Since we had done such intense pre-planning and marking on the quilt top, it basically quilted itself.

Here are some preliminary sketches I did as the pattern was going through the design stages.

Even after doing more pre-planning than my usual, I still had to change course mid-journey. I had intended to leave those areas pictured below unquilted, to give the quilt some 3D pop. But after quilting, I just felt it was too big of an area to be left naked and worried that it would be susceptible to creasing. So I ripped it out and inverted the designs in those areas.

The photo below shows an area that was all Linda's idea. An example of her pushing me to expand my comfort zone. I had just planned to fill around those appliqued areas with a dense filler. But she wanted this echoing feature idea. And I have to admit that she was right. I'm really happy with how it turned out.


Congrats to Linda and crew on this stunning design and great feature article! Pick up your copy of the June-July 2017 issue of Quilt Sampler Magazine (by Better Homes & Gardens) today. Stop by Rumpled Quilt Skins in Okotoks, AB, to see this beautiful piece in person and purchase a pattern to create your own version! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Splendoriffic Spring quilt

Isn't this quilt enchanting? So dainty and fresh. It just FEELS like spring! I'm so pleased that Jane brought it to me for quilting. She wanted a custom quilting job, but not too dense. The more intricate the quilting, the stiffer the quilt will be, and it was important to Jane that the quilt remain supple and soft.

I put simple stippling in the floral outer border. You can't even really see it, on that busy fabric. In the yellow border, I used large ribbon candy. Nothing at all in the blue inner border or in the sashing strips. Then in the blocks, I incorporated orange peel (aka continuous curve) and more stippling. Simple, understated, but I think effective.