I have truly been blessed to attend numerous classes at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. If it were not for the continued employment of my husband the opportunities would never have occurred. Today’s story is about another one of my excursions.
Last summer I participated in the Judy Coates Perez, Paint and Print Palooza. I had a wonderful time learning how to dye, print and silk screen fabric.
Watching the applications go from start to finish was entertaining.
I even designed and cut out my own foam stamp.
I created a minimum of 12 new blocks of fabric. These are two of my favorites.
Rather than point out all of the quilt’s wonderful features I’m going to share them with you through photos. Enjoy!
Eight of my favorite blocks. Click on any photo to watch a slide show of the gallery.
Last but not least, here is the finished art quilt.
I am so pleased with the final version of my art piece. My finished art quilt measures 64 x 47”. Hidden inside this family of blocks are oodles of special features. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the many details.
Ms. G., my longest running customer, was at it again! Just when I think she is finished making quilts for her family and friends she creates yet another one. Her quilts are always so imaginative, so creative.
The specimen she presented recently was made for a young man with many interests. As you will see from the photos he enjoys zombies, Minecraft, the Greenbay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, among other things. She even added a tie and a hand-made block created by the young man.
Ms. G and I put a lot of thought into the thread colors and stitch patterns. Our plan was to choose colors that would blend well with the fabrics and stitch patterns that would accentuate her artistic design. I think we met both of our goals. The quilt measures 72″x 57″. Take a look.
Well, what do you think?
I’m very happy that you were able to stop by to see Ms. G’s latest masterpiece. Thank you Ms. G. for allowing me to work with another one of your projects.
I am so excited to share today’s quilt. It was made by Karen M. You may remember her? She is the lady that made the beautiful, surprise quilt for her granddaughter.
Not long after taking her quilt home Karen surprised me with an email. In her note she asked if I had time before Christmas to work with two more quilts. Now, mind you, this was right before the start of December. I was blown away by her request. She already had a binding to add to the surprise quilt so how could she possibly have time to make two more.
I thought about her inquiry for a while. My schedule was already crammed full of commitments yet it is really hard for me to turn someone down. How could I possibly say anything but YES! Besides Karen was such a nice lady and so easy to work with. Without much hesitation I fired back my response. Of course I would love to work on two more quilts!
The first quilt was an adorable Puppy Quilt lovingly made for one of her grandsons. As is always the case, I sit down with my customers to discuss their expectations and to brainstorm about the possibilities. Together we make decisions on how to proceed.
Karen really likes to have input in how her projects will be quilted. She carefully and thoughtfully considers all of my suggestions. After drawing numerous examples of possible directions to approach this project we finally settled on this design.
In the outer green border I stitched a single row of connecting circles. We chose circles to breakup the prevalent linear appearance.
Inside the large white squares I first outlined it with a single row of stitching then echoed around the puppies to make them pop.
To continue the quilt’s puppy theme I stitched paw prints in a variety of sizes and shapes in the green and gold blocks. The bottom right corner of the quilt was saved for adding the little boy’s name and a small paw print.
All of the stitching was done using two different thread colors. Using more than one color as well as not connecting the blocks together with continuous stitching meant the quilting took longer than normal to complete. All of these features combine together to make what I feel is an adorable quilt.
Now that I have shared the details of this project isn’t it just the cutest thing! I bet this little boy was absolutely thrilled to receive his brand new blanket made by his Grandma. I can just see him snuggling underneath all warm and cozy grinning from ear to ear.
Well, that’s the story behind Karen’s second quilt. We have one more to go so stay tuned!
Thank you for sharing your time with me today! I look forward to our next visit!
Deb G. has a talent for combining tee-shirts and fabric to make memory quilts for her family. This quilt was obviously made for a baseball fan. The more quilts Deb makes the more her talents are refined. This quilt is a wonderful display of what she can do with a pile of cherished memories.
For this quilt Deb selected a variety of thread colors. Chosen were red, white and gray. Several stitch patterns were used to compliment Deb’s artistry. Within the photos you will see straight lines, wavy lines as well as bubbles or circles. This is how Deb’s quilt looked when the quilting was finished.
Thank you Deb for your continued patronage! Your quilts are truly amazing!
Deb G, the queen of tee-shirt quilts, was at it again. Deb and I have been working together for several years. With the exception of one or two items, the subject of most of her quilts is tee-shirts. For her family, she is the go-to-person. She takes her family’s treasured shirts and turns them into works of art.
Late last fall she delivered a quilt top that was earmarked as a baby quilt. Now when I think of baby quilts I think of pastel colored fabrics stitched together using a pattern. This quilt top did not in any way fit my stereotype. Rather than using store bought fabrics and a pattern Deb used tee-shirts and her own imagination to assemble the pieces.The quilt that resulted from her efforts would have more meaning to the receiving family than any other option she could have used.
The theme of this quilt was baseball. As you will see from the photos below she inserted her own flair by making a few blocks inspired by her creative imagination. Look closely and you will find the two blocks I am referring to. On one of them she made her own baseball out of white fabric then added hand stitching mimicking that found on a traditional baseball. The other block sports a baseball glove and a baseball bat. To add even more flair Deb used fabric printed to look like grass for the sashing between the shirts. This was one well-though out quilt.
Typically Deb chooses one color of thread and one stitch pattern for me to use when quilting her projects. For this one she got very creative. Instead of one color of thread we used four and instead of one stitch pattern we used two.
Here’s how Deb’s baby quilt looked when it was finished.
So what do you think? Does it look as spectacular as I described? Doesn’t Deb deserve a round of applause for a job well done!
Thanks readers for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate your visit. I know your free time is valuable and most likely in high demand. If you have a few more minutes to spare, how about sharing your thoughts on this quilt. Perhaps you would even like to make an inquiry about having your special project longarm quilted by me. Whatever the case, leave a comment.
Deb G, one of my faithfully regular customers, presented me with yet another tee-shirt quilt. Deb takes great joy in accumulating, organizing and stitching together quilts for her close relatives. Hannah’s quilt was her latest masterpiece. Watching and listening to Deb as she detailed the history behind the quilt it was obvious she had invested not only her time but also a great deal of emotion.
Plans Were Made –
As we examined not only the quilt top but also the backing we discussed possible stitch patterns and thread colors. Since Deb is one of my “regulars” she has been exposed to a large variety of stitches. Her familiarity made it easier for her to visualize and select options she thought would work nicely.
Keeping in mind Hannah’s sports background along with the circular pattern on the black border, Deb chose bubbles as her stitch of choice for the border and sashing. She let me choose the design for the balance of the quilt. Her only other stipulation was that I avoid quilting over the lettering on each of the tee-shirts. Chosen for thread color was Omni # 3024 Medium Grey.
A Bit of Stiffness –
Following the wishes outlined by Deb I set to work quilting her project. When Deb delivered the quilt I noticed she had used a stabilizer behind each of the tee-shirts. I assumed that since she had not taken the time to remove it I was to leave it in place. The Stabilizer with it’s paper-like texture made a crinkly sound when manipulated.
Although a single sheet of paper seems insignificant when it comes to added thickness, multiple sheets, coupled with paper’s inherent stiffness definitely had an impact on the quilt’s proper installation. The added thickness made the top roll somewhat unevenly but I was able to work around it and compensate.
The Outcome –
When the quilting was done and Deb’s project was removed from my machine I was quite satisfied with the outcome. There were, however, two things I wasn’t to sure of. The first was the crinkly sound made by the stabilizer and the second was the lack of quilting on the majority of the tee-shirts. The absence of stitching left some of the areas slightly droopy or puffy. Although I was concerned about these two factors the true judge would be Deb.
Another Satisfied Customer –
I knew Deb’s plans were to bind the quilt and give it to Hannah for Christmas so as soon as I was finished I let Deb know that she was welcome to come by and pick it up.
Deb was more then happy with the outcome. She was very pleased with the patterns she had chosen as well as the thread color. The slightly baggie tee shirts as well as the noisy stabilizer didn’t seem to faze her.
I’m Wondering? –
Now that’s she has most likely given the quilt to Hannah I’m wondering if Deb is still as happy with its outcome. If I think of it I will have to ask her the next time we get together.
Here It Is! –
Here’s a pictorial account of Hannah’s quilt as seen through the eye of my camera lens.
Deb G’s Quilt for Hannah
Quilt Size = 69″ wide x 70 1/4″ Long
# of hours spent quilting = 10 hours and 24 minutes
Followers of my blog may be familiar with the project I call The Blue House. The Blue House (also known as Simple Times Crib Quilt) was a quilt top I had decided to cut apart and reassemble. From that one quilt top I created numerous projects of various sizes and shapes. I call this one SPLIT PERSONALTY.
As you can see from the photo below the center panel of the project was created by connecting leftover fragments of the original quilt with other scraps, slicing them apart and sewing them back together. After stitching together the center panel I surrounded it with two borders then set it aside to wait for quilting.
For several months now it’s been waiting in my UFQ (unfinished quilt) stack. Even though I have my very own long arm quilt machine I hire out my services to other people. The quilts belonging to those people always take priority over my own. I recently finished the last of my stockpiled customer quilts. This milestone opened up the possibility to work on something of my own. This quilt was the next one in line.
After waiting patiently for many months I was so excited to finally be able to add its finishing touches. I used a variety of patterns to practice my skills. Some of the areas turned out really well and some not so much. But overall I’d have to say I’m satisfied with the outcome. All I have left to do now is add a binding and some sort of attachment to aide in hanging it up. Here’s how it turned out.
Name = Split Personality
Dimensions = 61 1/2″ x 34 1/4″
Time Spent Quilting = 2 hours 24 minutes
# of Stitches Applied = 57,364
Thread Used: Perma Core Black
Stitch Patterns = geometric, wavy lines, loops, hills and valleys, and swirls
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?