Sunday, July 31, 2016

Peggy's Soft Baby Quilt

My new client, Peggy, asked me to quilt this piece for her new great-granddaughter, Lauren. I just have to say, I LOVE quilting for babies. Maybe one day, little Lauren will be a quilter, too!

Peggy wanted custom quilting, but left the design choices to me. I applied a whimsical, swirly vine of feathers to the outer border. For the printed panel in the center, I divided up the space with some parallel-line channeling, and then filled the squares-inside-squares with various fillers - peonies, feathers, and swirls.

All quilting was free-motion, hand-guided on a longarm quilting machine.

I regret that the quilting doesn't show up that well on the bold print of that center panel. That's the tricky part of focal-point prints. There are so many colors in them and the prints are so striking that the quilting often gets obscured. But it shows up nicely on the back side!

Linda's Lamb Quilt

My quilty friend, Linda, brought me this baby quilt for her newest grand baby. Isn't it darling? She asked for a custom treatment, but left the details up to me.

I wanted to keep it relatively simple, since the real feature of this quilt is that adorable panel in the center of the piece. I used some loops in the outer-most border. Some geometrical, dot-to-dot quilting and ribbon candy in the yellow border. Piano keys in the printed large border. Outlined the stars and animals in the printed panel, and various textures in the background - loops, swirls, and stippling. I had fun!

All quilting is free-motion, hand-guided on a longarm quilt machine.

This is how empty my bobbin was after the last stitches. Almost perfectly empty!

Jane's Curvy Paisleys

I recently enjoyed getting to make the acquaintance of a new quilting client, Jane. I tell you what: I've yet to meet a Jane that I don't like!

THIS Jane brought me a lovely tone-on-tone project to quilt for her. It featured some really cool batik prints in various shades of grays and also some really well-executed curved piecing, which can be quite tricky.

Jane looked through my sample books and picked out an all-over paisley motif for this project, and I think it was a great choice. I think it turned out well!

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

A new frontier - Basting!

I was recently approached by a dear quilting client, who asked if I could help her finish a quilt a little differently than in the past. This time she wanted to try and free-motion quilt it herself on her domestic sewing machine.

But when you're quilting on a home sewing machine, you have to baste your "quilt sandwich". In other words, you have to temporarily attach the three layers of the quilt - the quilt top, the batting/insulation, and the backing fabric - until you can get them quilted securely. On my longarm quilting machine, I roll the backing fabric onto a pair of bars and stretch it across my 12-foot frame. Then I just lay the batting and quilt top on top of the backing and start quilting.

But instead of mounting the quilt and moving the machine like I do on my longarm, on a domestic sewing machine (which I used to quilt on before purchasing a longarm) the machine stays still on your table and you move the fabric around. So you have to somehow secure those three layers - quilt top, batting, and backing - so that they'll stay in place as you stitch your way around the quilt.

There are a lot of methods for basting. I tried MANY of them - long hand-stitches with needle and thread, spray basting with a washable adhesive spray, safety-pin basting, plastic T-tags (like the ones they use to attach price tags to clothes at stores), heat-fusible batting - I mean LOTS. They all have advantages and disadvantages.

But the one thing that's pretty consistent is that you have to be able to lay out your entire quilt. I saw a method of rolling onto boards on YouTube once, but by then I had made my decision to move to a longarm setup and didn't ever pursue that idea.

My client Barb didn't really have the space to lay out her whole quilt - and plus, it's really a pain, crawling around on the floor trying to get everything flat and straight. So, this time, she hired me to baste it for her on my longarm.

I rolled it onto the frame, just like I do with all my quilting projects, and then I just put my machine on a really slow, manual stitch mode, and I dragged it across the width of the quilt every 6" from top to bottom. Just like hand-basting, I made really long stitches, and I actually made my thread tension a little off, intentionally. Once Barb gets an area securely quilted, she'll be able to snip a few stitches here and there, and then just pull those basting threads out easily.

This first attempt at basting was an experiment, but I think it turned out well. This would be a good resource for hand-quilters, too. I can think of a lot of useful applications. The only thing I didn't like about this project is that I didn't get to take it to its final, finished glory myself!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mint Condition - for Okotoks Quilt Stroll

I was recently honored to be asked to quilt a piece which will be featured in the upcoming Quilt Stroll in Okotoks, AB.

This is an annual event, in which they close down the old main street of town (Elizabeth/Railway Streets) and drape quilts from all the store fronts and line the streets with classic cars. There's live music and food trucks and general merriment. It's a Sunday afternoon delightfully spent. This year's Quilt Stroll and Show & Shine is set for August 14, 10am-4pm.

This quilt will be a sort-of centerpiece for the quilt stroll. Every year the show organizer, Linda @ Rumpled Quilt Skinsdesigns a quilt to commemorate the event. Then her quilt shop makes kits and challenges everyone to make this quilt to hang at the next year's show. This is the ninth year for Quilt Stroll, and this pattern is called "Mint Condition" - which I think is pretty clever, considering the quilt stroll is in conjunction with a classic car show. This quilt was pieced by Robyn Lessoway. It will be professionally photographed and printed up with the pattern, and my quilting will be on it! I will be published!

All quilting was free-motion, hand-guided on a longarm quilting machine.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Grandmother's Love quilt

This quilt was made for a teenage granddaughter, and I think it will be a home run. Feminine, but not too girly. Whimsical, but not juvenile. Age-appropriate, but also timeless. But most importantly, stitched with love!

My client requested hearts, flowers, and loops, and she wanted it to be loosely quilted, so that it would be cozy. I outlined around the appliqué, to hopefully make it pop up and stand out. Such a lovely gift for a granddaughter!

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