I figured I’d better get this on here while I’ve got the chance. I’ve been busy lately working on things for my booth at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, which starts next Friday, by the way. And, I will continue being busy working on more stuff for the next week. This was the last customer quilt I was able to work on before the quilt show. Joan always lets me play and put whatever I want on her quilts. It’s a very dangerous tactic, you know.
So, let’s show you a full shot of the quilt first before I get into the details of the quilting.
Now, how on earth would YOU quilt this? My first concern was the border, because that’s where I start. The cornerstones were easy – Joan had an applique star in the upper right hand corner, so I just copied that into the other corners.
As for the borders, I couldn’t come up with something creative enough (for me) that would go with this quilt, so I ended up doing something simple with holly leaves. It would need to be able to
work play well with the applique in the borders. Just now, looking at these pictures, I wish I had added piano keys on the outside of the swags.
Along the lower border were 2 bears, but they needed a mama bear so I added her in the back of them.
Joan asked how I got the bear to look just like the others. Well, I cheated, and here is a tutorial showing you how I did it. But… it shows what I did with the trees at the top of the quilt instead of the bear; I did the same technique. I found myself going back and forth on this quilt, adding a bit here and a bit there. It seemed to me that I was doing a lot of the same things, so in that big open space in the tree farm, I decided to add more trees. I have a roll of vellum or onion skin (I can’t remember which I’d bought) for tracing designs. So, to add more trees, I simply traced the applique trees already there and added more trees around them. This would be my quilting design. If you look closely at the corners of the paper, you will see where I have straight pins holding the paper in place. I just stick them straight down without trying to weave them into the fabric. When I do that, it just turns out worse.
After I had the trees drawn out, I then hold my left hand on the paper and move the machine around with my right hand (if you are left handed, hold the paper with your right hand and move the machine with your left hand). If you don’t already know this, a longarm quilting machine floats or hovers above the fabric and has no feed dogs (those gritty teeth things on the bottom/bobbin plate of a domestic sewing machine) to keep it steady and in place. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Unless someone shows you what I just did, you will never know if “I meant to do that” or not.
And, here is the result after I tore the paper off.
I tried to give each of the houses a different roof top, but some of them are repeated. If you go back and take a second look at the border pictures, you can see more houses in those shots.
Most of the houses in this quilt reminded me of the Victorian houses in the Colorado mountains. This trio, however, could have been cabins, if I had thought about it long enough. But, they turned out okay as Victorian houses as well.
The final picture is of the star on top of the “town tree” shining down for its audience to “ooh” and “ahh”.
All in all, this was a fun quilt to “quilt.” I hope you enjoyed the show and learned something, too! Merry Christmas in June!