Friday, March 31, 2017

Bomber Command quilt

This was an unusual project for me. It had been partially quilted on a domestic sewing machine when it got to me. But Bev decided that it needed something extra in the outer borders. She asked me to give it "my touch", because she wanted it to be a very special quilt. It is for a veteran who volunteers at the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, AB.

Here you can see a rope motif in the yellow border. Serpentine in the blue border. And swirls with hooks in the red border. This project was difficult to carry off, because of the pre-existing quilting. Be sure to scroll down for some notes about how I finagled it!

Here you can see the white batting that came already quilted with the top and the backing fabric. Unfortunately there was only a couple inches of extra backing fabric on each side of the quilt. Since I mount quilts on a longarm quilting frame, I need at least 4" of backing fabric at the top and bottom of the quilt top. So, in this case, I worked around that by adding "leaders". I used 6" strips of scrap fabric and sewed them to the top and bottom edges of the backing fabric. I actually used the long sides of the quilt to mount to my frame, so that's what I'm calling the "top" and "bottom" of this quilt. Click here to read a past blog post with more information about leaders and seaming on backing fabric.

Here you can see that there were only a couple inches of backing fabric. And you can see the purple leader, and it's attached to my quilting frame.

This is the side of the quilt, while on my frame. I use long wooden clamps on the quilt sides to keep it gently spread taut while I'm quilting it. That's why I need an extra 4" of backing fabric on each side of the quilt top. Even more than 4" is great, but I was able to make it work with only a couple inches on this one.

All's well that ends well - and I think this project turned out really great! Thanks for letting me be involved, Bev!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pi-R-Squared Quilt

Bev brought me this whimsical quilt top that, like Bev herself, was fun and carefree. It seems like every time I talk to Bev, she's getting ready to jet-set off to some interesting foreign place, or just returning from some trek to visit faraway family/friends. She's always on the go... I wonder how she gets these quilts pieced!

Up close, this just looks like your average scrappy quilt, but stand back and tilt your head, and you'll see that each block has two "pi" symbols, leaning against each other and facing opposite directions. Fun! I was just sad when I realized that I had pulled this project up in my quilting waitlist... three days AFTER March 14 (3.14) - Pi Day! Oh, well! It was still fun to quilt!

Free-flowing stippling was the order of the day for this piece. No matter how many quilting patterns and motifs I learn, I will NEVER get tired of stippling! It was the very first style of free-motion stitching I ever tried, and it's like an old friend to me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Renee's Double Wedding Ring quilt

I have always loved double wedding ring quilts. It is a very traditional, time-honored quilt pattern. An elemental part of the history of American/Canadian quilt making. However, I've yet to ever get to work on one myself. To make a DWR quilt the traditional way - piecing - requires curved seams and lots of fussing, and I just never got around to taking it on.

This wonderfully modern DWR quilt was achieved by applique. Lots and LOTS of applique! Still pretty fussy, but perhaps in a more straight-forward way. Renee would have to give us her opinion on that! No matter what, I think it turned out beautifully!

I incorporated a few simple quilting designs in this piece, but nothing that got too crazy. If it had been a more traditional design/color scheme, I might have been tempted to drench the background spaces in feathers. But I wanted to steer clear of any traditional motifs and keep this one strictly modern.

The shaping of all those intertwining circles (aka "double wedding rings") are the striking component of this quilt. The quilting just needed to honor that.

Swirls and free-hand serpentine in the outer borders. Piano keys in the periwinkle inner borders. Ribbon candy in the wedding rings. Swirls and hooks in the background. And light ruler work alternating with orange peal in the corner stone blocks.

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Renee's Strip Quilt

This quilt came from Renee in Washington. This is a really fun strip quilt. Have you seen the videos/tutorials about these? I watched this one, called the 40-minute quilt, several years ago and had a great time using up some old flower sacks. It would also be a great method for jelly rolls (pre-cut bundles of 2.5" strips of fabric).

Renee asked for an edge-to-edge quilting design, so I applied my "peony" pattern, which gave this piece some great texture and moved fluidly throughout all those straight seams.

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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Trish's Lovely Star Quilt

I love quilting for my friend, Trish. She brings me such crisp, sleek, fresh-feeling quilt tops. And she gives me a rough guideline - like, for this one, she wanted a custom treatment, but left the rest up to me.

And Trish isn't afraid of some dense-ish quilting. I always ask my clients what purpose they have in mind for their quilts and if they have a preference about how dense the quilting is. The more quilting I put on something - the more detail, the more thread, the tighter the quilting - the stiffer it can get. If you want your quilt to be supple and soft and cuddly, you want the quilting to be less dense. But sometimes the most spectacular effects are achieved with more detail, more intricate designs.

For this quilt, I decided on some deep waves in the white borders. Some free-hand serpentine in the green-and-red borders. Some alternating serpentine in the black-and-white sashing strips. These were a little experiment for me - I was messing around with how I processed through those sashing strips. I left every other space in the black polka-dot strip unquilted. You can't really see it well in the photos, and I wish it showed up even more in real life. It sorta looks like a basket-weave effect. Orange peel in the 9-patch blocks. Swirls in the 8-point stars/flowers.

Another lovely quilt that I was honored to help Trish with!

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

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lynda's Strip Quilt

This quilt from Lynda was made as a gift for her daughter, who loves modern aesthetics. It is definitely a modern-style pattern for the quilt top, so we agreed that the quilting needed to be contemporary style, as well. No flowers or feathers. Nothing traditional or cutesy.

The pattern was called, "Gelato", and the fabric is from a series called, "Batik Shimmers".

The pieced strips got an overlapping swirls motif. Then the space of solid purple got some wavy lines and channeling effects, as well as serpentine. Overall, I tried to keep the quilting simple and clean.

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Marilyn's Puppy Dog quilt

My new client, Marilyn, made this quilt as a gift for her great-grandchild. She bought the adorable fabric at a quilt show in Eureka, Montana. Since it was made for a child, we agreed that the best treatment for quilting was a simple edge-to-edge design. I quilted bouncing balls with the occasional dog bone thrown in here and there. And with lofty poly-down batting inside, this quilt will be cuddly and durable for Marilyn's great-grandchild, as well as any future four-legged friends who want to share!

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