Quilting for the Guild

 Today I am sharing some photos of quilts that I quilted for the local quilt guild.  The quilts were not made by me, only quilted by me.  The quilts were made by a long time member, Mary, who had passed away.  I hoped to help make these last few quilts of hers the best that they could be.

The first one pictured I had volunteered to do because I liked all of the wide open white space.  I just knew it could be enhanced with some feathers.  Lots of feathers.

The quilting went pretty quick on this one because I quilt faster when I am drawing all over with thread, and also because I had loaded the quilt on the frame the night before the guild meeting so I had a goal!  I quilted almost all day -no laundry, no cooking,...but I made it in time!

All of the flowers on Mary's quilt were hand-appliqued and I worked up close and personal on this quilt and could not see the stitches!  Beautiful work!

The second quilt I am sharing is actually the first quilt I did.  This large Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt was also made by Mary and the piecing was phenomenal.

And of course, if I can find a way to use feathers....

And it's true, that's a lot of pebbles.

Mary had apparently planned to hand quilt each hexagon and had hand basted each one. Each stitch had to be gently removed.  I removed some and loaded the quilt and then quilted and removed more as I went along.  And anyone that came into my quilting studio while this was going on was cajoled into helping.  My son was home from college on spring break and I put him and his delightful girlfriend to work.

I took an extra couple of days before starting the next quilt because I just loved having that Flower Garden quilt to look at.

I have two more of Mary's quilts to quilt for the guild.  Hoping to get those done in the next week or so.

The Quilting Makes the Quilt

I think this quilt is a good example of how the quilting can really make the quilt.  The piecing of this quilt is very simple but the quilting makes this into a much fancier quilt.

I went on a trip to visit my daughters and brought along a couple of charm packs and my Singer Featherweight.  While in their town I visited the local quilt shop and picked up some brownish-greenish batik fabric that seemed to be the only thing that complimented these random charm squares.  I just sat at the kitchen table and made the most basic quilt top while I was there.

It's all just 4 patch blocks and sashing and then a border.  That's it!  This month I decided to quilt it and I was trying to create the idea of circles.  Can you see the circles emerge from all of that squareness?

My reluctant teenaged son Matt comes to hold my quilts for photographing.
My yorkie babies have to look it over once it's completed.

The quilting is mostly feathers (I love feathers) which I thought would compliment the style of the fabrics.

A Couple of My Own Quilting Projects

I took a break from customer quilts for the end of December and the first couple of weeks of January. I thought I would take some time and try out wool applique.  I spent a lot of time browsing through my Kim Diehl book collection and came up with this small interpretation.

I am a fan of color.

I did the applique by machine because I was experimenting and wanting to see how it would look.  I don't mind machine applique, especially with cotton fabrics, but I am looking forward to doing some wool stitching by hand on a future project.

The quilting I did on the longarm.

I made only one Christmas gift quilt this year and it was for my son Peter.  He is interested in space and tells me random facts about the universe and NASA....so when I saw this beautiful space fabric I put together an Attic Windows quilt for him.  It reminded me of all of the time he spent growing up staring up at the night sky.

I used flannel for the backing and he really liked it.  He took it back with him to his university dorm in early January.

Happy 2016!

Two More Colorful Quilts

Here are my most recent quilting projects. I don't know the name of this first pattern so I call it the Circus quilt just to remember it.

These quilts were made by Marilyn and she sent them home with me to be quilted.   Marilyn knows that I am somewhat of a beginner longarm quilter (less than a year of quilting quilts for others) and has allowed me to practice my skills on her excellently pieced quilt tops. She trusts my judgement and never specifies what she would like quilted on her quilts.  She leaves it completely up to me, which can be a blessing...but also a real challenge.  I spend a lot of time thinking about a quilt before I begin!

In the circus quilt I saw the potential for pattern in the open white spaces.  I did a rough sketch and then just jumped right in.

I'm including a picture of the quilt before quilting.  It shows the basic quilt top before it is transformed with backing, batting, and complimentary quilting.  

I like quilting the quilts with open spaces, but I was convinced during the quilting process that I was putting too much effort into quilting that wouldn't show up.  I'm glad to see that it does indeed show up, although I may have put too much effort into it anyway. Thank goodness I actually like quilting with the longarm.  And I always benefit from more practice.

I don't think I have quilted ANY quilt that I felt great about during the process.  I'm always filled with doubt until I am finished.  Each time the same thoughts go through my head "well, yes, those other quilts turned out ok, but this one, well, it's not good.  Not good at all.  Better just finish it up and move on...."  Every. Single. Time.

This is definitely a custom quilting job but I am trying to improve my quilting with practice, practice and more practice!

The second quilt is the one that I call the Bright Buzz Saw.  I think these quilts are patterns that were in quilting magazines and they have real titles but I never saw the publication myself.

I reeeaaally had no idea how to quilt this one.  It was a mystery.  In the end, I just went with what I know.

Feathers and swirls were on my list of things I wanted to master...so I use them a lot.

Hope you enjoy these samples of my work!

Bohemian Quilt

Last week my daughter was getting ready for a big move.  She was due to leave Friday and the weekend before I decided I should make her a simple quilt in the bright bohemian colors that she loves.  I had 5 days to do it.  Did I make it?  Why yes, I did.

The key was to make it with big squares that would be fast to put together.  I also thought big squares would let some of the bold fabric patterns show nicely.

I decided to add a little bit of machine embroidery too.  I actually used some snowflake designs that I had.  I just used bright colors.

I decided to quilt the quilt in a random style.  I just practiced several different quilting styles that I like doing.  No straight lines; no time for that, ruler work would have gone much too slow!

While trying to take pictures of the quilt (on the morning of the move, while my daughter was putting the last of her things in her car), my little dog Albert was extremely nosy and wanted to inspect every arrangement of the quilt.

It was hard to get a clear picture because he kept moving the porch swing!

But I told he needed to cut that out because I was in a hurry.  So he did.  He was sorry.

Finished!  Just in time!

Colorful Quilt!

My most recent quilt that I quilted for Marilyn is this bright and beautiful quilt by designer Kay Sorenson.

So cheerful!

Marilyn did an excellent job of sewing together the quilt top.  Matching all of those seams could not have been easy.

I wanted to quilt it in a way that would not compete with the design.  I wanted to enhance the strips coming together at the points.

I tested some mono-poly thread for this quilt, but didn't really like it so instead I went with Superior's So Fine.  I did not change colors, I just chose a thread that went with the speckles in the fabric all across the quilt.

I love the way it turned out.

Boy Quilts

I finished a couple of bright and bold quilts for kids.  The quilt tops were designed and made by Marsha for her grandsons.  She chose Minky for the back for extra softness.

It's amazing how these lightweight quilt tops become these cozy and substantial blankets after sandwiching the top, batting, and velvety backing together with some custom quilting!

The animal print fabric was a challenge to quilt because I wanted to preserve the animal faces featured throughout the fabric.

The bright ocean quilt was the same pattern as the animal print quilt with BOLD colors that were actually kind of hard to photograph.

I went for a feeling of water with the quilting.

Both turned out great and hopefully Marsha's grandson's will love them.

Mid February Already

It's been a couple of weeks since the beginning of February and the sewing machines have been kept busy.  My latest project is another scrappy half square triangle quilt made primarily with the Collections for a Cause collection by Howard Marcus for Moda.  I never seem to grow weary of scrappy HST quilts.

I made this quilt smaller;  it's throw sized instead of bed sized because I wanted it for cozying up with in the living room by the fire.  I used flannel for the back and it's been just right.

For the all-over quilting I used Superior's Omni thread in Creek Bed as I practiced my swirls and pebbles.  I am pleased with the results.

Quilted in time for Christmas

I recently finished quilting a large John Deere themed quilt on the longarm for a customer. I just love how it turned out.

I was given permission from Sharon the quilt maker to choose whatever I wanted to quilt on this piece.  I knew I wanted to do a custom quilting job that would accent each block and the border separately.  I could have done an edge-to-edge simplified quilting job, but I wouldn't have had the opportunity to practice different quilting motifs if I had done it that way.

This quilt also offered the challenge of finding quilting themes that were more suited for a guy, rather than the feathers and hearts and flowers that I have been perfecting on other quilts.  I ended up doing some stipling, some curves and a lot of pebbling, and I imagined building rock walls while quilting.

The quilt back.

I was so happy to get this large project done fairly quickly and the quilter was thrilled with the job!  It will be a Christmas gift for her son.

Christmas is Coming

At last, the tree is up in the dining room.  I hope you're all enjoying your holiday season.

Kids will be coming home from college soon, decorating will hopefully be finished, cooking and baking will commence, and I have three quilts to finish before Christmas.  Busy times!

Cozy Afternoon Quilting

I am working on a couple of Christmas quilts.  This adorable gift box pattern is free and available st Red Rooster Quilts.

This cold and snowy November is the perfect weather for it.  Playing my favorite holiday music on my Christmas Pandora station, some cozy lighting, and the snow falling outside of my window is keeping me right on track.

The November Quilt is Finished

I am happy to share that my November quilt is finished and only 10 days after my goal of November 1st.  I wanted the warm colors on our bed before winter set in.

I had this quilt and the colors swimming around in my head for a few months and in fact, when we moved our rooms around in September and repainted and carpeted the new master bedroom, I chose a wall color and carpet color based on this quilt that wasn't even started yet!

I wasn't really going to knock myself out with the piecing on this one; I just wanted a simple, old fashioned quilt in cozy colors and something to practice my quilting on.

I've put feathers on everything for the past couple of weeks.  I love feathers.

The goats gave me a perplexed look while I photographed the quilt on their fence this afternoon.

On to the Christmas stitching!


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