Since the inception of my business I have worked on everything from teeny tiny to king size, expertly stitched to first timers, traditional to modern projects. I have been hired to quilt table runners, wall hangings, lap quilts, baby blankets and bed quilts of all sizes. With all this exposure I thought I had pretty much experienced every possible scenario, that is until I received this one.
I met with the owner early this Spring. She briefly shared the history behind the quilt and its intended recipient. We discussed possible stitch patterns and thread colors but no specified directions were noted. I always appreciate hearing the story behind each project because it helps me to get a feel for the quilt.
At first glance I was instantly drawn to the center of the quilt. The focal point was a large yellow sunflower bursting from a three-dimensional denim pot. I couldn’t take my eyes off the flower and its whimsical nature. The coordinating yellow border added a cheerful frame. I fell head-over-heels in love with the quilt and totally overlooked the challenges I would face when quilting it.
Most long-arm quilters will insist that all quilt tops must be free of embellishment. This means no buttons, snaps, zippers, fancy stitching, to name a few. Quilt machines controlled by a computer can not be programmed to avoid these obstacles. My machine is not computerized. I control when and where my machine moves. This allows me the opportunity to tackle items that would be impossible for computerized machines to handle. Three dimensional flowers and flower pots would definitely fall into that category, both of which were included on this quilt.
When I agreed to work with the project I never once thought about the challenges I would encounter. I was so mesmerized by the flower that I completely overlooked them. The reality of the situation didn’t set in until it came time to load the quilt on the rollers. All of a sudden it hit me. How in the world was I going to load a quilt top with varying thicknesses. There was no way it would load evenly. Obviously the sections containing the three-dimensional areas would absorb the impact of the tension, which normally would be spread throughout and across the entire quilt top surface. The remaining fabric would hang loose.
The best I could do was secure the quilt as evenly as possible by pushing the loose fabric beneath the roller. Then as I moved the machine back and forth, stitching the sandwich together, I made certain I paid close attention to how and if the fabric moved. Preventing the development of puckers in either the top or bottom fabrics was absolutely important. By paying close attention to every stitch and every inch my machine covered I was able to successfully complete my task.
Although I would never have thought it possible I was more in love with the quilt when I finished than I was when I received it. The only regrets I had were the inability to embellish the flower, its leaves and the stem. For one thing the customer had asked me not to touch the area and secondly the thickness would have made it impossible to stitch through. Although, the temptation was there every time I got close to them. I kept thinking if only…….
Not being able to venture into those areas was like being teased by a piece of chocolate; something of which I would always fall victim to. My mind kept racing with all the possibilities. Yet it was forbidden fruit. Perhaps next time I could suggest the artist leave out the stuffing and let me run wild with stitching.
This quilt needs very little introduction so without further delay let me present to you the Yellow Potted Flower!
Now that you have had a chance to experience the joy I have had while working on this quilt do you have any comments?
- Quilt Size – 65 1/4 ” x 82 3/4″
- Hours Spent Quilting – 7 hours 54 minutes
- # of Quilting Stitches Applied – 240,889
- Color of Thread Used – Perma Core White
- Quilting Stitches Used – A Variety