Red & White with Love

Mary made this beautiful red and white sampler quilt and is planning on giving it to someone very special.  I’m not sure when she’s giving it to him, so I’m not saying who right now.  It may look like there is pink in there, but there’s not.  The outside triangles are just a red and white blender fabric; very much red with some white contrast.  And, the plain blocks in the middle are very much white with some red contrast.

You can tell how large this quilt is by how it hangs on the design wall.

Mary wanted simple and traditional quilting on this, to include piano key borders and some feathers that don’t look too “girly.”  In the following pictures you can see the blender fabrics a little better, so you’ll see more clearly the distinct red and white.

I didn’t get too creative with the quilting, but I couldn’t resist adding some spools of thread.

And, at this point, I am stuck and cannot show you any more pictures here. Once again, my website is having a break-down with loading pictures.  My computer is running very slowly today, or maybe it’s the internet on my computer that is running slowly – I think the fact that it’s running slowly is the problem.  In any case, I’ve been working on this post for several hours now, and I give up.  You can find the rest of the pictures on my Flickr site here.

I have a question for you as I sign off.  When I did all my machine quilting on my domestic sewing machine, I matched the bobbin thread to the color of my backing fabric.  I did not and do not have any problems with my domestic machine, and if I do, they are super easy for me to fix.  However, on my quilting machine, I fight with the tension all the time.  I use the same size bobbin (L, the small one for longarms – you’d think if I used a larger bobbin I might have this problem, but not with a smaller bobbin) in my longarm as I do on my domestic machine.  However, the tension in the bobbin on my longarm will start out tight and by the end of the bobbin, the tension is loose.  That’s just the way it works.  I don’t know if that’s an issue with my particular brand, but I do know that almost all of my friends who have longarms have problems with their tension.

So, years back in my professional quilting, I decided to just use the same color thread in the top and in the bobbin.  Otherwise, I’ll get little dots of contrasting color peeking through on both sides where the needle pokes the layers of the quilt.  This way, if the thread colors are the same, they will blend better.

I’ve had a couple of quilts where the backing fabric is such a contrasting color to the thread color, though, that it has me wondering just how important it is to customers to have bobbin thread color to match the back of their quilts. Mary’s quilt was one such quilt.  She wanted red on the red pieces of the quilt blocks and white on the white pieces of the quilt top.  And, she used white fabric for the backing.  The red really contrasted with that white backing.  If I had used white bobbin thread, there would be little white dots showing up on the red fabric in the quilt top and little red dots showing up on the white backing fabric.  My fear is that people would look at it and think it is a mistake.  Yes, I should be able to get that tension perfect and have it perfect throughout the quilt.  But, so far, I haven’t been able to do so on my longarm machine.

So, my question for you is… It’s YOUR quilt.  Which is more important to you as the customer?  Is it more important for the bobbin thread to match the backing fabric?  Or, is more important to not have little dots of color on each side?

Fancy Filled with Feathers

First off, let me say that I’ve been wanting to make a blue and brown quilt for a long time.  This one has the perfect colors!  I love the denim/indigo blue and the leather brown colors that Diane sewed into this quilt.


Diane likes simple, traditional quilting, so we stuck with feathers for this quilt.  Each of the blocks had feathers in them and the borders had a curly-Q feather swag.  For the sashing, Diane went with a simple design.  I call it the eyes and nose design, because it has 2 ovals with a square in between.  The cornerstones have squares in them as well.  I guess they could be the ears?

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There’s not much to show as far as pictures of quilting.  The quilting was straightforward and simple (there’s only so many pictures you can see of quilted feathers before they all start looking alike).  But, I think it looks lovely on this quilt.  Don’t you?

Sunbonnets and a Garden Tea Party

I just finished quilting this beauty for Mary.  She said to do whatever I wanted with it, which, for me, was preserving it as much as possible with historical stitching… but also adding some surprises finishing touches to make it unique for her.  The border is about 3″ wide, so I stuck feathers in there and added traditional quilting to the sashing.  For the most part I added cross-hatching in the background of the blocks, because that is what I think of when I think of Sunbonnet Sue blocks.

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Looking at this while I was working on it was a real delight.  These Sunbonnet Sues were blocks that Mary’s mom had appliqued.  Her mom is gone now, so Mary wanted to preserve them and finished the quilt for her with borders and sashing.

The fabric was like a step back in time.  Look how her mother fussy cut the red fabric so it would look like Sue is holding that shovel.

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And, look at this fabric with the car.  You can also see where I stitched a table with a pot and cup on it – this was part of the garden tea party theme I quilted.  I wish I had taken a picture of the backing fabric (Why do I keep forgetting to do that???), because it has colorful teapots all over it.  Very cool!

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Here’s one with medals.

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I think black and rose has been a good color combination for a long time now.  Here’s one where I added her pouring tea into a cup.

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A little girl can’t have a tea party without a teddy bear.  😉

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Check out this black and coral colored fabric – I thought this one was cool, too!  I mimicked the flowers in the dress fabric and added it to the garden of the tea party.

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I can’t wait to see what Mary does with this one and who she gives it to!  Lucky person, who ever it is!  Maybe… ME???  😉