Pinwheels that Pop

See what I mean about Pinwheels that POP?  Lately, I find that I am loving bright colors and solids or near-solids.  The bright colors of the pinwheels on this quilt “pop” against the black background.  I don’t know what pattern this is.  It’s an interesting, and nice, mixture of pinwheels and matching colored half-square triangles put together to contrast against the pinwheels.

In my humble opinion, you can’t do custom quilting on this quilt.  First off, it would kill the playfulness of the quilt.  Secondly, you wouldn’t really see the quilting anyway.  So, an Edge-to-Edge… but what design?  It’s for a 3-year-old who will grow with this quilt.  Shouldn’t put something too babyish on it because she is already growing out of that stage.  I thought and thought and thought and finally settled on something akin to spirals, to symbolize blowing wind, but a little different from anything I’ve done for Mary so far.

Also, one of the reasons I decided on hooked spirals is that it would be easy to hide some animal heads within the spirals.  Well… if the colorful variegated thread will cooperate…

What a fun quilt!  I am sure the little girl who receives this will love it and the maker of the quilt (Mary) for years to come!

Stars and Stripes Forever

Mary has always been an easy one to quilt for, and this quilt was no exception.  Isn’t this an awesome looking quilt?  This is for her grandson.  It may look like the stripes are just strips, but they are pieced.  The stars on the top (where I’m guessing it will rest on a pillow) are appliqued down.  She let her grandson place the stars where he wanted them.  Isn’t that cool?  I don’t know that I would have thought to do that.  But, it gets the receiver of the quilt gift involved and more excited about getting the quilt, I think.

I asked Mary what her grandson likes, trying to get a feel for what to quilt on this quilt and also some surprises I could sneak into it.  She said he’s in to everything, Boy Scouts, drama, karate, etc.  I could have done custom quilting on this quilt, but, really, why?  Looking back, though, I think I probably should have just quilted waves straight across this quilt.  My best ideas always seem to come AFTER I’m done with the quilt.  :\   You know what, though?  That probably wouldn’t have looked the best on the blue part, so having 2 separate designs would have made it custom and not an Edge-to-Edge.  Oh well!  So, this is what I did.  I used a red, white, and blue thread.

And, then I added to it…

Maybe you can see it better from the back…

Bet you didn’t expect the back to be green, did you?  It’s actually kind of cool (for me) to look at the quilting from the back side on this quilt.  What do you think?

Spider Webs for Nikki

If this looks familiar, you’ve probably seen other modern quilts that resemble it, such as the one quilted by Angela Walters.   This was going to be an autumn quilt for Nikki.  Much of the fabric in this quilt is linen, so it has a really nice texture feel.

Nikki had embroidered several spiders on her quilt, so to play that up, I quilted spider webs into the colored strips parts of the blocks and threw a couple of “caught bugs” in there, too.

If you know Nikki, you know she is from Arkansas and a Razorback fan.  Soooo…. why not throw a pig into a web, too?

For the solid color part of the blocks, Nikki wanted the ceiling tile look that Angela Walters and others have quilted into their Spider Web quilts.

I really enjoyed quilting this for Nikki!  The wonky spider web strip blocks made it easy to disguise the mistakes I’d made.  Plus, Nikki was brave (braver than me – I’m always scared for my quilting to show on others’ quilts) and chose a bold thread color choice.  This happened to be from a cone of thread I had won in a class I’d taken with Karen McTavish.  This is one of her designer threads for Fil-Tec; Glide #80125 Honey Gold.  And, it passed from Karen’s hand to my hand into Nikki’s quilt.  Glide has a shimmer to it, which some may or may not notice.  A lot of my customers don’t like the shimmer, so it was nice to use this thread, especially this specific thread from Karen, for a change.

Sports Cards

I haven’t yet given this quilt back to Mary, but you know how I blog in spurts.  I didn’t want to forget about her quilt by the next time I get around to blogging.  The blocks on this quilt are the Card Trick Quilt Blocks, in this case, I’d call them Sports Cards.  😉 You can find the pattern here.

With the bright colors on this quilt, I didn’t see the need for quilting to compete with the vibrant colors. So, I did an Edge-to-Edge on Mary’s quilt.  What to put on there, though?  Mary’s grandson is into sports, all kinds of sports, the reason for the focus fabric.  I knew I was going to put different kinds of balls on this quilt.  But, how should I tie them together? It needed movement to go with moving sports balls, and to also kind of hide them so you’d have to look for them.


Is this next ball an old fashioned soccer ball?  Or, is it a volleyball?  What do you think?

Finally, I put a hockey puck and two sticks in this quilt, because I’ve heard that we have a new hockey rink coming to this area sometime soon.  I wonder if he will find this in his quilt…

I think he’s going to love this vibrant quilt that his grandmother made especially for him.  Don’t you?

Sunflowers for Kristin

Kristin considers herself a beginning quilt-maker, but I think she did a fabulous job with this sunflower quilt.  If it looks crooked, trust me, it’s not her.  My design wall leans against the wall, about a foot away at the bottom, making it dip and bow so pictures of quilts that I hang on there look distorted.  Her quilt came to me as straight as could be, quite an accomplishment for a beginning quilter!

Since this quilt would be used daily on her own bed, I did an allover, Edge to Edge (E2E) quilting design.  To go with the sunflower blocks, I stitched sunflowers and leafy vines all over it.

And, for an added surprise, I ….

I wonder if she found those yet.  😉

I’ve never seen a sunflower quilt like this before.  I really like the green Irish Chains connecting the sunflower blocks.  It makes it look like the sunflowers are peaking through a chain link fence.  Pretty cool!

Lucky Stars

True Nature

In the process of starting this blog post yesterday, my computer was running sooooo slowly that I decided to move some pictures off of it and onto another drive to free up some room on this computer.  Maybe then it would run faster. Well, it did run faster, but not by that much.  Turns out it was the modem and router making it run slow.  OR… I won’t go there.

Anyhow, when I came back to this post to add pictures, I started to download a picture for Joan’s quilt, only to realize that they were gone!  Kapoof!  Nowhere to be found.  So, my apologies.  I scrounged up what I’d sent to Joan in an email and one on my phone of a strategy I’d used, but that’s it for today.  I had so much I wanted to share with you.  🙁

First, let’s start with the quilt pattern, the fabric and where you can buy the kit, etc.: It is designed by McKenna Ryan and is called True Nature.  Here is where you can find True Nature by McKenna Ryan.  It shows the whole quilt put together and each of the individual blocks.  Unfortunately, the site will not let me copy and paste their pictures into this post as they are copyrighted.

This first picture shows the upper left block.  Joan used wool batting on this quilt, and you can really see the quilting with this batting.  Wool batting is used on many show quilts because, not only does it show off the quilting, but it also doesn’t hold wrinkles or folds like other battings do.  In fact, many quilters will use 2 layers of batting for show quilts; either a cotton or poly blend with wool on top.

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE wool batting!  In fact, I used it along with a poly blend on a quilt that won first place in a national show.  It’s been a long time, though, since I’ve played with it, though, and I had to remember HOW to play with it.  You have to decide what you want to show off and accent and what you want to recede into the background.  The moose and the tree background block is a good example.  The tree background with the bluish color at the bottom is one piece of fabric designed by McKenna Ryan.  Other colors of blue were appliqued on top to accent the water and create the moose’ shadow.  When I first started outlining the trees, I didn’t want too much stitching.  I wanted the trees to have depth. But, by not stitching down a lot of the trees, the result was poofs in places where it looked “off” and lost the depth of the many trees. So, I added a lot more stitching around the trees.

Same thing with the water spray foam at the bottom of the waterfalls.  I purposely left the foam parts as one long piece.  I was afraid if I’d stitched it down where each applique piece ended, it would look like a cloud more than the foam of water spray.  Also, when stitching the bears, I thought about where the body parts would stick out and where they would be indented, and that is where I stitched.

Finally, this is the picture I’d had on my phone.  I learned a lesson from Joan’s giraffe quilt and bought 100 colored pencils.  Pencils, because you can erase the marks, and colored because from now on out, I will be trying to match the color of the pencil to the fabric behind where I will be stitching through the paper.  Sometimes I’ll draw a design out on paper and stitch through it instead of marking on a customer’s quilt.  When I stitch through paper, though, sometimes the pencil will leave a mark on the fabric where I stitched.  So, I’m trying something new.  Besides, who doesn’t NEED 100 colored pencils?

For the bottom border, I had traced some of the other fish and was auditioning where to place them and how many fish to add to the school of fish already appliqued onto the quilt.  I decided 2 more would be enough.  Otherwise, it would have looked like a giant fish was attacking the bear standing next to the tree on the side border.  It needed to kind of fall off and blend a little better.


My apologies for not having the pictures to share with you regarding Joan’s quilt.  There was so much that I learned and wanted to share with you.  I know those pictures will turn up somewhere on that other drive.  I just have to figure out where I put them.  Well, I HOPE they will be there and I will find them.  :\