Over the River

I think Judy Mc. was happy to have this quilt finished.  She’d done a lot of embroidery on this quilt, and those of you who do embroidery, you know it takes a long time to finish.

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If it looks familiar, I’ve quilted one of these before, for Elaine.  I changed things up a bit, though, to make this unique for Judy.

For Judy’s quilt, I quilted the borders to look similar to Christmas trees.  I love how it looks!

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Snowflakes went into the pieced blocks.

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To be honest, there usually isn’t much to add to embroidered quilts, because the embroidery speaks for itself, and I don’t want to detract from that.  So, I basically just added texture to the embroidered rows.

Here’s the top row.

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Judy said I could quilt it however I wanted; the only thing she wanted for sure was her son’s names on the quilt.  So, I added them to the “music page” row.  I have to warn you, though, that this row will change pretty soon.  When I took the quilt back to Judy, she said she wished she had asked for her son’s grandmothers’ names to be added.  And, you know what, it seems only fitting, because the song says “to grandmother’s house” they go.  So, I offered to add their names to this row as well.  We’ll just lose some of the “filler quilting” below the words and add their grandmothers’ names there.  Stay tuned! When I get that done, I will add some new pictures for this row of the quilt.

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And, for the bottom row…

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I have to say, I’m loving these embroidered quilts!  They are different from the run of the mill quilts and already come with a story all their own… fun and easy to figure out what quilting to add to them.

You can find this pattern at Crabapple Hill’s website or on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Sue’s Birthday Gift

Sue has been working on a birthday gift for her brother for a very long time.  If you have ever done embroidery, you know how long it takes.  Personally, I have recently re-discovered (my mother embroidered, and I also did a bit of it as a child when I was in Girl Scouts) embroidery, and I LOVE it! Embroidery is something to keep my hands busy when I am travelling or in the evening when I feel like I need to be doing something.

Here is a full shot of the quilt.  The  pattern for this is called Vintage Tin by Crabapple Hill Studio.  You can buy that pattern here.

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There are so many little things you can add to embroidery with quilting.  For me, I’m delighted when a customer brings me an embroidered quilt and wants me to add special details to it.  So, this is what I did.  First off, I added gears to each corner.  The flying geese were simply outlined with another triangle in between.

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For the top row of oil cans, etc. I made it look like a wooden wall and wooden shelf in a garage or work area.  I added more oil cans and put more interlocking gears in the block under it to the right.

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In the 3rd row down, I basically outlined everything, but added grass and gravel to the driveway.

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And, in the bottom row, I basically outlined once again, adding some texture to the already awesome picture.

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Sue told me her brother loved it.  I can’t see how he wouldn’t.  She did a fantastic job and spent a lot of time on this.

 

Raggedy Ann and Andy

Barbara and the ladies at her church have been hard at work making quilts.  If I understand it correctly, they either raffle or auction them off to make money for their church.  What is really cute about this quilt is that, although it is a Raggedy Ann and Andy quilt, there are hand made dolls to go with it.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of them to share with you so you could see how cute the quilt looks with them.  However, I do have pictures of the quilt.

Here’s a full shot.  Simple, but imagine it with a Raggedy Ann and a Raggedy Andy sitting on it.

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And, here is what I added to the blocks.  There are plenty of things I could have done with this, but I really wanted it to be playful and I was hoping the ladies at Barbara’s church would be okay with it.  Do you think it’s okay and “fits” the quilt?

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I have another picture of the third row of blocks, but I cannot get it to upload here, so I guess I will just have to show you the back. Maybe you can get an idea from this.  Just imagine it reversed.

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If you are interested in this quilt, you will have to be real nice to the ladies at Queen of the Holy Rosary Wea Catholic Church in Bucyrus, Kansas.  Maybe you can get in on the fun!  😉

A Day Late and a Dollar Short… aka Merry Christmas!

Please forgive me.  The Christmas season is always crazy busy for me, and this December we had the added bonus of our daughter graduating from college as a doctor of Chinese Medicine.  Currently I am quilting one of my own quilts (on my holiday vacation) and I will fill you in on more details of my personal life then.  For now, let me share Diane’s holiday quilt that I quilted for her in December.

It is a BIG quilt, so this picture doesn’t give a good shot of the full length.

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Here’s a few more shots of close-ups.  Diane did a great job of piecing, embroidering and applique on the entire quilt. I enjoyed quilting it, and it sure helped me get in the mood for Christmas this year – just what I needed to get me out of the doldrums.

For the most part, I quilted holly and swirls throughout the quilt, but I added “branches” to the trees, which you cannot see in any of these pictures.  Diane chose a variegated red and green thread for the borders and trees and a cream color for the background.

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What do you think?  Would this put you in the mood for Christmas?

Hearts and Flowers Stitched with Love

Jane brought me this to me at our last guild meeting.  Her sister had embroidered the blocks and it was (is) her sister’s first quilt.  We could have done a lot of different quilting on this quilt, but I think perhaps Jane didn’t want to overwhelm her sister with too much fluff (smart thinking!), so we kept it simple.

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You can see that Jane’s sister embroidered cross-stitched hearts along with Lazy Daisy flowers in the blocks.  We figured cross-hatch quilting would pick up the cross-stitching and some fun flowers would pick up the embroidered flowers.  So, Jane opted for quilted flowers in the background of the blocks and cross-hatching in the sashing (strips of different fabric in the areas between the blocks) that also extend out into the borders. She is planning on cutting a curved border – you can see the markings for that in this close-up.  I also repeated the cross-hatching in the center of the embroidered hearts.  Simple, but fun!

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While I was working on this quilt, I made sure I had everything lined up so the quilt would be “square” (actually, a rectangle, but for quilter’s wanting straight edges along all borders… “square”) by using a laser square.  You can see how as I rolled the quilt on the quilt frame, I used the laser square to make sure the quilt is rolled how I would want it to end up square, with the rows and columns all straight.  I used the seams as my guide.  It seams were a little off, I would gently nudge them into straight lines with my fingers.

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If you haven’t borrowed (forever borrowed) the laser square from the toolbox in your garage, put it on your wish list, because I have found it to come in handy for a lot of quilting strategies.

May’s Book Reviews… 5 of them… in June

I can’t seem to keep up with all the new quilting books that have been coming out.  Lots of great ones to peruse!  Since my business is longarm quilting, I will start with a book on machine quilting called…

Feathers That Fly by Lee Cleland

 

Martingale - Feathers That Fly (Print version + eBook bundle)

This is a GREAT book for a beginning machine quilter!  Lee gives you 14 projects from which to choose that will have you making a quilt top and then quilting feathers all over as you follow along with her detailed pictures and instructions.  She starts with a basic design and explains it in layman’s terms (think of hearts when you stitch feathers).

Martingale - Feathers That Fly (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - Feathers That Fly (Print version + eBook bundle)

Her designs go from simple to complex.  You can’t imagine my surprise when I found the Intertwining Double Feather Repeat Design – as a professional quilter, I have not yet done this so I did not know how to quilt it.   It looks much like the picture below, with the curved “cables” intertwining with the feathers (don’t want to scare you off!).  It’s pretty cool!

Martingale - Feathers That Fly (Print version + eBook bundle)

 

Book #2

 

Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan

Martingale - Patchwork Loves Embroidery (Print version + eBook bundle)

I think embroidery is coming back into vogue, and this book provides the cutest whimsical patterns by Australian designer Gail Pan.  I have found the most amazing embroiderers to be from Australia, Japan, and Europe.  We need someone from the USA now to take the lead!  😉  There are 15 patchwork and hand-embroidery projects, all of them small enough to take with you for hand-work.  I found all of the projects could be made as nice gifts for others (or yourself!).  In this book, Gail shows you the basic stitches that are used in her patterns.  Check out these projects and see for yourself if you’d like to take up hand embroidery.

Martingale - Patchwork Loves Embroidery (Print version + eBook bundle)

See how you could easily take a checkerboard quilt and add embroidery to make it something extra special?Martingale - Patchwork Loves Embroidery (Print version + eBook bundle)

Look at the adorable bird in this redwork bag!

Martingale - Patchwork Loves Embroidery (Print version + eBook bundle)

This is a little folder for your embroidery supplies.Martingale - Patchwork Loves Embroidery (Print version + eBook bundle)

 

Book #3

Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More – Skill-Building Techniques for 60-Degree Patchwork by Kelly Ashton

Martingale - Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More (Print version + eBook bund

Funny, Kelly was just visiting our guild meeting this morning  with this book! She has got to be a math genius, because she has provided about 80 designs in this book  and has done all the calculations and measurements for us. Now we can just cut out our fabric and start stitching.  No more measuring and cutting wrong, re-measuring and cutting right we hope, and then stitching.  There are 9 pages of templates.  If you’d rather have thick, commercial templates, she gives suggestions for which ones to purchase.  This is a great reference tool that will help you for years to come.

 

One of four Patchwork Cutting Guide pages…

 

Martingale - Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More (Print version + eBook bund  Martingale - Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More (Print version + eBook bundMartingale - Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More (Print version + eBook bund

In this section (above and below) she breaks it into chunks of information with visuals so you can see for yourself how the shapes in the blocks break into smaller chunks.  For example, she shows you a tumbling block within a 6-sided star.  Part of this section shows how to values make up and show off the different shapes for a stunning quilt.  If you look at the table topper below, the Y-Seams might intimidate you, but Kelly shows you how to do them, step-by-step.

Martingale - Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More (Print version + eBook bund

 

 

Book #4

Beyond Neutral – Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements by John Adams

Martingale - Beyond Neutral (Print version + eBook bundle)

In this book, John (obviously from the title) uses colors from nature to create quilts, but he goes one step further and takes objects from nature to use as the shapes in his quilts.  The book is broken up into sections that incorporate wind, water, earth, leaf, sky, grass, lava, coral, and stone as they apply to nature.  As I looked through this book, I felt comforted by the serene backdrops and the soothing feel of being surrounded by nature and wrapped with love in one of these quilts.

Martingale - Beyond Neutral (Print version + eBook bundle)

When I look at the quilt below, I can see the sandy beach and the waves of water.  If you turn the quilt the other way, the sandy beach can become a sunset.  Do you see it?

Martingale - Beyond Neutral (Print version + eBook bundle)

This reminded me of birds on a cloudy day.

Martingale - Beyond Neutral (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Beyond Neutral (Print version + eBook bundle)

John used some interesting colors for his background fabrics, moving beyond neutral-colored background fabrics that we have come to expect in traditional quilts.

Book #5

English Paper Piecing II by Vicki Bellino

Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)

This is a  follow-up to her best-selling book English Paper Piecing and includes 11 projects, from a tote bag, table runners, sewing machine cover,  and quilts.   One thing I noticed about this book is that it seemed to move beyond traditional paper piecing and incorporated the same techniques for applique; sort of like paper piecing with a twist. 

Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)

Here’s the tote bag.  I’d love to have a Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt, but to be honest, the thought of paper piecing that many small  hexagons together scares the bejeezus out of me.  I think I can  manage to have a taste of Grandma’s Flower Garden with a tote bag, though.

Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)

Many thanks to Martingale and their photographer Brent Kane for providing these books and the wonderful pictures!  You can find out more about any of the above books and can order them from the Martingale website here.  Happy shopping!  😉

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for June’s book reviews sometime in this life time.  Just kidding!

Four Books for your Perusing Pleasure

Once again, I have a few books to review for Martingale (8 to be exact), so I will post about a few of them tonight and then follow up later with the others.  First off, since my blog is mostly about machine quilting, I’d like to tell you a bit about “You Can Quilt It!  Stunning Free Motion Quilting Designs Made Easy by Deborah M. Poole.   She quilts for Kim Diehl.  I hate to admit this, but I kind of figure I know a lot about quilting already, so I wasn’t sure what I’d learn from this book… but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Martingale - You Can Quilt It! (Print version + eBook bundle)

Here’s a look at the table of contents so you can get an idea of what to find in this book.

Martingale - You Can Quilt It! (Print version + eBook bundle)

Not only does she tell you what you will need as far as essential tools, but she also tells her secrets for using those tools to achieve perfect looking quilting.   In the “Feathers” section of the book, she gives you many different kinds of feathers to quilt, more than I’ve seen in any other quilting book.  This book is not just for longarm quilters, but also for domestic machine quilters as well.  It will have a prominent place in my library.

Another quilting book that I think is worth your time if you are a quilter is 501 Quilting Motifs from the editors of Quiltmaker Magazine.

Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)   Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)

As you can see, the book has a variety of motifs from which to choose, and shows you different ways to adapt and use then and to transfer them onto your quilt top.  I love the different motifs for children’s quilts and some of the fun styles this book shares.

Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle) Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)

To keep with the “stitching” theme of this post, let’s take a look at My Enchanted Garden: Applique Quilts in Cotton and Wool by Gretchen Gibbons.

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Don’t you just love the colors on the cover?  Wait ’til you see the inside!  There are lots of different projects in this book, each as colorful as the cover.  The author combines wool and cotton in her applique and shows you how to embellish with embroidery (directions for embroidery stitches are included), beads, etc.  Clear cut directions are given for the applique.  I think you will find lots of eye candy to drool over in this book.

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Here are a couple of the close ups of the blocks on the above quilt, with embroidery, beads, and buttons added.

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)    Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Yummy, yummy!  Even if I never make any of these projects, I will enjoy looking at them forever!

Finally, let’s take a look at 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks, Volume 2 by Katy Jones.

Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)

This is a great book for beginning or intermediate quilt makers or those who want to expand their horizons a bit.  Katy takes traditional and contemporary quilt blocks and throws a couple of news ones in there and combines them with fun and funky fabrics for a fresh look.

Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)

Techniques and strategies for making each of the blocks are given in easy-to-understand format.

I hope somewhere in these 4 books, you found one you’d like to look into further.  You can order these books from the Martingale website  or from Amazon.com.  Many thanks to Martingale Publishers and  their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing these books for me to review and the many pictures for you to enjoy!