Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Katherine's Hourglass and Applique

This is a quilt Katherine made for her nieces wedding.  Lucky Niece.

 This quilt is all about the intricate piecing (both hand and machine) and applique.  So, we decided on simple quilt to allow the top to shine.  That star block above is a 3" block.  By not stitching in the star itself, see how the star kind of puffs out?  That was what I wanted to happen.
 And a few hundred 3" hourglass blocks, freehand continious curves.  I loved this quilt so much I now have a 3" hourglass block planned (but no handpieced medallions or applique for mine--plus, it's not going to be bed sized )
The medallion above is hand pieced.  It got special treatment, which shows better on the back
.and the 4 corner applique blocks also got special treatment

I just love love love the texture the quilting gives the hourglass blocks.  This is what convinced me I need to make an hourglass block quilt.  Mind you, usually what happens when I decide I need to piece a quilt BECAUSE I know just how to quilt it--I change my mind and quilt it differently.

The backing is a lovely soft brushed flannel, and a wool batting was used.

Here's a pre-quilting photo for comparison purposes
and a photo of how I auditioned some quilting designs for the medallion--I use a large plexiglass, and you'll note the bright tape around the edge so I NEVER draw off the edge of the plexiglass.  That's the most important step.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016


When my friend Vicki was looking for a modern block of the month, I was quick to suggest Gravity by Jaybird Quilts to her.  I figured it was a win for both of us--she'd get to piece and own the quilt, and I'd get to quilt one.

I think longarm quilters have so much fun with this quilt, because the block pieces are large enough to put a lot of details in, without it being too stiff or overly quilted.  The quilt is approx 100x100 to give you an idea of scale.

The benefit of taking photos is that, when looking back at them later, one might spot the area of quilting that was missed--I missed some echoing in the center hexagon in the red block above.  I will stick that back on the frame to fix that.  The good news is the six sided star shape I wanted to create in the red block is visible.
 I'm so glad Vicki chose a wool batting, it shows the quilting so well, and I think she'll like it as a winter quilt as well.

The colors don't read true on my camera.  

 While each of the 8 blocks were quilted uniquely, all of the center hexagons in the very center blocks got the same treatment., again a unifying element. 

 Luckily for me, there are many finished Gravity quilts to look at on the internet, and so I was able to take some inspiration from those--I looked at quilts done by Tamarack Shack (Kathy), Quilting is my Bliss (Teresa) and Valerie's Threadtales (Valerie) .

I'm sure I saw others as well, but those are the ones I kept going back to look at again.  I didn't want to copy their work, but I sure took inspiration from them. 

 One of the things I really thought about was the background, and what to do there.  I was thinking about getting out the photos to start drawing, to see if I could put a stitched border all around the star when I saw a Gravity quilted by No Rules Quilting (Mary Dylke) and she had stitched a border all the way around.   Yay, it was possible.  And then I added her quilt to my inspiration list too.

When I did start to draw, I wasn't pleased with the 12 pointed star border, so I 'created' blocks by stitching 4 backgound diamonds the same, and thus created a 6 pointed star.  You really don't see it from the front, but from the back, it really shows.

First, here's a shot of the 'created' block and the border stitching from the front,
and the back.    The rays were something I'd seen on Kathy's Quilt (Tamarack Shack) and I really liked them, so incorporated them into my quilting as well.
 The thread was Invisafil Silver-Grey (I'm not sure the real name of that one), and while I generally find Invisafil 100 wt thread just melts into the fabric, it shows wonderfully on the front and back of this quilt.   The backing really is a true black, it just didn't photograph that way. 
I think the tough decision would be which way to face the quilt on the bed--it's quite reversible. 

Thanks Vicki, for letting me play with your Gravity quilt. 

and here's an unquilted photo 

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Surprise Quilt

I belong to a small guild, and one of the ladies is getting married this month.  And, we are quilters, so of course we had to make her a quilt.  We decided to do a "block raffle", using these blocks from Kim Schaefers Flower Festival book.  

The backgrounds were handed out, to be constant, and the instructions were to use bright fabrics.  We each chose a different block.

We were 15 in number last year, so we each made a block, including the bride, and then the blocks were raffled.  We 'fixed' the raffle by excluding the bride's name from the draw.  She so hoped to win, poor dear, never knowing there was no way she'd get those blocks.    We all had so much fun with that, and with making blocks right in front of her at retreat.  (to be fair, she was making one too). 

Here are the blocks on raffle night.  One of the blocks was still in transport :)

The ladybug block was added, and the top pieced by several ladies in the guild, and then it came to me for quilting.
 Some dot to dot quilting in the borders, which my friend thought looked like hedgerows.  Perfect for a garden.

 And the sashings got filled cross hatching, which I thought could look like stepping stones in the grass between flowerbeds.

 The tulip above is the block the bride made, and it did need some additional stitching in the flower, so it was a perfect place to add interlocking hearts.

 I had some fun with the backgrounds too, and used four backgrounds, creating a little Sudoku chart to make sure each background only appeared in each row and column once.

I used a double batting to make sure the flowers had lots of dimension.
 One of the ladies in our guild makes very special labels, so she made a special label for this quilt, unfortunately I didn't get a photo of that.

The quilt was given to the bridge and groom earlier this month.

Best wishes to the bride and groom for a happy lifetime together.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Sydney's quilt

I love this quilt!  the fabrics, how the little squares seem to glow, it's fabulous.  I don't know the name of the pattern.

This quilt makes me realize it's been a long time since I've pieced with batiks, and I think I'll need to play with some soon.

 E's and 3's for this quilt, add a lovely rounded texture to complement the strong lines in the piecing.
 and my photo doesn't do justice to the color of the minkee backing--

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

When Bali Met Sochi

Vicki bought this kit at Along Came Quilting

 And when it came to the quilting, I knew we wanted something flowing, so I sent Vicki a few samples of some designs I'd stitched out on a practice piece based on designs in Christina Cameli's book and Vicki chose this one. 

I stitched on an angle, so that it was clear that the stitching wasn't supposed to be fitting into diamonds perfectly.   And, it more closely followed the color changes that way too, and added to the motion of the quilt.

 I used a gold Magnifico thread. 
 The quilting really stands out and gives the quilt lots of texture when side lit, but isn't overpowering when I'm not trying to light it for photos. 

 A quilt like this that is all angles and bias has so much potential to be wonky--but this quilt was pieced perfectly flat and square.  What a delight to quilt. 
 And a lovely purple batik backing....