Saturday, December 31, 2016

Boy, Oh Boy! A Baby quilt!

Here's one that came to me from a client all the way in Massachusetts!

I wish you could touch and hold this quilt in real life. It's a beautiful piece, but to me the real gem of it is its weight. This quilt top and backing are made of lightweight denim. It will make a perfect gift for a baby boy. Rugged and durable, but cuddly and comfy. There are pinstripes in some of the fabrics, which remind me of train engineers or old dairy farmers. I had a pair of Key brand bibs with that same pinstripe when I was in high school. Isn't it fun to imagine what this little boy will grow up to be?!

This is actually the first denim quilt I've ever worked with. I was a little worried about how well my machine would sew through it. The points of this pinwheel pattern made for some really bulky places - where there were several layers of denim to sew through. I raised my hopping foot a little, so it could clear those thick points, and my machine had no trouble whatsoever punching through the fabric. Yay!

I decided to use a quilting motif that had a lot of freedom of movement, because I wanted to make sure I could tack down those bulky points really well. These swirly whirlies allowed me to move throughout the quilt top with flexibility to make sure I covered all the territory I needed to.

This is the last quilt I completed in 2016. That makes 105 quilts for me this year, and 166 since getting my longarm quilting machine in August 2015. Here's hoping 2017 is as much quilting fun for me as was 2016. Happy new year, everyone!

 Here's one of those bulky seams, before being quilting through.

Wendy's Diamonds quilt

This was the second of two quilts brought to me from my new client, Wendy. She's such a sweetheart! The first time she came to my studio, she was just along for a ride with her friend Carol, another of my clients. My two toddlers, Hoxie and Cordelia, took to Wendy immediately, and she played with them the whole while, letting me concentrate on Carol and her quilt order.

So I was super pleased when Wendy contacted me to have me work on a couple quilts of her own. This piece was made for her brother as a gift. Wendy chose an edge-to-edge leafy sort of quilting motif, and with lots of variation in value and color, I worried about thread choice. What color was going to blend with all those different fabrics? So, I chose NO color. This was clear, monofilament top thread, and it offered some subtle texture, without detracting from all that gloriously meticulous piecing.

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

Friday, December 30, 2016

3-D Pyramid quilt

This project was brought to me, along with another quilt (check back tomorrow for that post!), that had to be kept under wraps until the recipient had received it. I've been so excited to post this, because it's such a striking quilt! The stripeyness of the fabric and the arrangement in triangles make this quilt look like it's 3-dimensional. So neat! The pattern is called "Pretty Pyramids", designed by Willow Brook Quilts. This quilt was a joy to work with - it laid perfectly flat and straight. And it photographed nicely on the snow, too!

My client decided to go with an edge-to-edge quilting motif, so I used mono-filament (clear) thread, because these colors are SO bold - no matter what thread I used, it wouldn't blend with ALL the fabrics as I traveled throughout the quilt.

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Clear thread is difficult to photograph!

Okay, this one was a challenge. My quilting-friend, Bev, brought me this quilt, which is to be a Christmas gift for her niece, who loves cats. Bev created a funky and fun layout for the quilt top, using some really vibrant fabrics, featuring felines. The color variations in this quilt were SO bold, that I really didn't know WHAT color of thread to use. And with no color that would "blend", I didn't want whatever color I chose to compete with the focal-point fabrics and distract from them. So I chose mono-filament thread, which is clear.

The challenge then became keeping track of where I had quilted and where I hadn't. I truly couldn't tell, while on the fly. I ended up having to run my left hand along the quilt top, essentially covering up the areas that had been quilted, so that I didn't have to stop every other second to re-evaluate which real estate still needed filling. Thankfully, I didn't sew over my hand.

But, in the end, I'm confident that I made my way systematically through the piece, and that Bev's niece is gonna be warm and cozy in it!

Picturing the finished piece was a whole other challenge! Good luck seeing the quilting in these photos! Ha!

You see what I mean? Try seeing the quilting in there!

With a flannel backing, this little lap quilt is gonna be so cozy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Brenda's Christmas gift

I had fun sailing right through this large quilt. Brenda chose a peony motif as an edge-to-edge treatment for this Christmas gift for her son and daughter-in-law. I really love the dusty turquoise color throughout the piece. And with "fireside"/minky backing, it is REALLY heavy. I mean, HEAVY. As I write, we're experiencing a cold snap here in Alberta right now. It's a shame her kids will have to wait until Christmas before they can start using this generous gift. I bet they will love it!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Picky Grandson's quilt

This quilt came from a non-quilting facebook friend and former co-worker of my husband's. The unlikeliest of connections! Jeff emailed me and said his grandma had made a quilt top for him, and he wanted me to quilt it. He brought his grandma along for the drop-off, and it was lovely to meet her, too. Apparently she's sewn quilts for all of her grandchildren, and Jeff made sure he didn't miss out. He bugged her until she completed this wolf-themed quilt, and when she filled out her order form, she said it was for her "picky grandson". Ha!!!

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

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jane's Silent Auction quilt

This was a recent donation-quilt from my good friend, Jane. She pieced the top, and hired me to quilt it and affix the binding to the front. She will finished the back of the binding by hand and then consign it to a fundraising auction, which will go to benefit the orphanage in the small town where Jane and her husband spend their winters in Mexico.

I have so many generous clients who donate their time and goods to worthwhile events - whether it be silent auctions, Victoria quilts, hospital fundraisers, or more. These generous quilters inspired me to create a special pricing category for donation projects - 1¢ per square inch + $2 per bobbin, for medium density stippling. Click here for more details.

Good job on this beautiful and inspiring quilt, Jane! It'll be sure to catch lots of eyes and bring money to a worthy cause!

A note from Jane: Did you know that WestJet transports donation items at no charge, as long as it’s all set up in advance?  You just phone or Facebook WestJet in advance and have a note added to your reservation code, and they check it through to your destination at no charge.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sarah's Scrappy Chevrons

I love when my friend, Sarah, brings me projects to quilt for her. When she told me about this one, one Sunday at church, she said, "well, it sort of has a chevron design to it, but quite large. I think we're gonna need your feathers in there." I love that she describes a "need" for something of mine. It makes me feel, well.... needed. Other than wiping toddler noses (and other places), I don't really have much to offer to the world these days that fills any crucial "need". Even if Sarah was only flattering me, it's nice to feel relevant!

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