Nancy’s quilt

This is a different style quilt than what Nancy usually does.  She wasn’t sure she liked it, but I am proud of her for stepping outside of her box.  She does that expand her horizons and to learn new things.  And, I think she did an excellent job of pulling all the colors together on this one.  Don’t you?

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It looks kind of like a disappearing 9-patch to me.  What do you think?

This quilt was an easy one to quilt an allover edge-to-edge design on it, which is also easy on the quilt maker’s budget.  The question was what to stitch into it.  Just about anything would go with this, but what would Nancy like?  She lets me choose, and I worry about what to pick for her, so I settled on flowers and leaves.  Everyone has had such a bad winter in the USA this year, except for us, but I still figured the promise of spring would be okay for this quilt.

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I snuck a butterfly into the quilt in the first picture, but I wish I had done a better job on it.  To me it looks like a bow.  Nancy is trying to use up her fabric (another reason for this quilt) as well as her batting, and I’d say she did a good job of it with this quilt.  Wouldn’t you?

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Cynthia’s QOV quilt

I have 2 other posts started, but I have not had time to work on them, and I really want to show you some of my customer’s quilts.  They are doing such a phenomenal job on their quilts.  So, let’s start with Cynthia’s quilt.   Here is the whole quilt.  Just half square triangles sewn together, but what a great pattern she made with them! IMG_2320

Cynthia wanted an allover design quilted into the body of the quilt with a separate border, which was perfect for this quilt, because the border is a fairly solid color and quilting wouldn’t show too much in the body of this quilt.  This is semi-custom quilting, and it is a great, reasonably priced option for many quilts.  Here are some close-ups of the allover, edge-to-edge quilting done in the body of the quilt. I quilted loops, swirls and stars into this section.

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Edge-to-edge designs make it easy for me to slip a surprise into the quilt, since about 98% of the quilting I do is freehand.  I quilted the recipients name into the middle of the quilt and I added Cynthia’s name in the lower right corner.

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As for the borders, Cynthia wanted feathers in them.  Feathers are done free-hand, so they take less time to quilt than anything with ruler work, such as piano keys… well, for me at least.

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I really like her quilt, and I hope the receiver likes it, too!

Vintage Red

Claudia hasn’t told me the name of her quilt yet, and I’m not sure if she has even named it.  But, I’m calling it Vintage Red.  You will see why when you see the pictures.  I LOVE this shade of red, and I love the white with red pin dot fabric that goes so well with it.  I’ll post a full shot first, so you can see why it looks vintage to me.

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And, here’s a shot of that white with red pin-dot fabric that looks white in the above picture: it is what is in the plain blocks.

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One of the coolest things that Claudia does is this.  She adds a line of stitching at the end of her seams along the outside edge of her quilt top.  I’ve never seen that done before.  Nor have I ever heard of it, but, let me tell you, it’s genius!  I love the fact that she does this.  it keeps the ends from opening up, especially since those seams get stretched on the long-arm machine’s frame.  Have you ever heard of this being done before?  it’s pretty cool, imho.

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Claudia chose feathers and swirls for her quilt, so she got some swirls and she got a ton of feathers on this quilt.  The swirls were done in the sashing and interspersed into the feathers as well, but the bulk of the quilt has feathers galore, for what I call a “bouffant” look.  🙂  There are triangular feathers in each block and twirly swirly feathers in the border.

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I hope she likes it!  She hasn’t seen it in person yet.

Does it look “bouffant” to you, too?  Or can you think of another “feathery” word to describe it?

Japanese Dragons

Pam brought me this quilt that she had pieced and was planning on hanging on her wall. In her quilt, she fussy-cut some of the fabric so that big pieces would show the dragons from that fabric.  Here is a full view shot of her quilt, so you can get an idea of the difficulty of putting together this quilt; straight pieces along with curves… means she was probably working with strrreeeettttch.

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And, here are a couple of the dragons.  I continued them into the rest of the quilt with stitching.

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Since these are air dragons, Pam wanted them to look like they were flying in the air.  How on earth do you quilt air to look like it should belong in an Oriental quilt?  Well, this is what I did.  It kind of looks like water, but I added swirls to give it the look of wind.

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I thought Pam did an excellent job on her quilt.  What do you think?

Snowflakes for Nancy

I’ve been negligent in posting lately.  This quilt for Nancy was finished in January.  I wasn’t sure what to stitch on this quilt until I looked closely at the fabric.  Here it was January, when we are supposed to have snow, and the weather was nearly balmy compared to the rest of the country.  This has been a bitter winter for many in the northeastern U.S.  And, flooding has engulfed the west coast.  The upper Midwest has seen brutally cold temperatures and the south has had more than their fair share of ice and cold temperatures.  But, here in the Kansas City area, we have had it mild, comparatively.

So, looking at the batik fabric Nancy had in the borders made me think this should be a winter quilt.  She has it interspersed throughout her quilt and on the the back, too.  Do you see the subtle snowflakes in the fabric?

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I filled the outer border and sashing with swirls, and the circles in the inner border were supposed to resemble snowballs, but they ended up more square than round.

The blocks themselves got snowflakes stitched into them.

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She added 3 stripes to the backing fabric.  The rest of it is white.

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And, here’s a full shot of the front.  Can you tell she likes purple, blue and yellow (GREAT colors together!)?

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I Spy

My final quilt for 2014 was an “I Spy” quilt for Charlotte’s grand-daughter.  What’s an “I Spy” quilt, you ask?  It is a quilt with lots of pictures to look for, using the quilt as a game board, of sorts.  Here’s a shot of the full length of the quilt.  Can you see what I am talking about?

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How about now with these close-ups?  Can you see some of the things you might “spy” with your “little eye?”

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I doubt you can see much of the quilting, but I added numbers and the letters of the alphabet around the borders.  Inside the borders I just quilted and Edge to Edge (E2E) of assorted drawings of things I saw in the quilt.  I hope Charlotte and her grand-daughter have a lot of fun with this quilt!  I know I did!

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?

Quilting for a Guy?

What do you see when you look at this picture?

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Janet made this quilt as a Christmas gift for her grandson.  Her grandson tinkers with machines and vehicles, so when I looked at this quilt, I thought of wheels and gears.  So, I started with the borders and put gears in the corners and midway between the corners.  Janet also wanted tools scattered randomly in the borders, so I added those as well and then scattered tools throughout the quilt.

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As a filler, I added flames to resemble the “smoking hot & fast” work that her grandson does.  😉  Actually, I figured he might like fast cars, too, so the flames were to make it look like the wheels were moving fast.

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Here are a few more pictures of the tools strewn about on this quilt.  I must admit that when I first started working on this quilt, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, that I wouldn’t do a good job of drawing (with thread) the tools on this quilt.  But, once I got started, I had a ton of fun drawing on this quilt!

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And, what a great way to finish off a quilt for a guy!  Don’t you agree?

Farms are Finally Finished

Remember the other 2 “farm quilts” I quilted for Claudia?  She asked that I do one last one for her father.  This one is smaller and I decided to change it up a bit to make it special for her dad.

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She had some different colors, so I added a sun in the upper left-hand corner.

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And, because her dad is the “parent” of the farm, I put a house in the lower right-hand corner of this farm quilt.

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And, this farm has a dog, where the other 2 quilts do not.

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Claudia has been on a roll this year with making quilts for Christmas presents.  She asked me to quilt this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle quilt for her 5-year-old grandson. I love the texture of the fabric and the colors she put together for this quilt!

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But, what on earth do you quilt on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle quilt?  Looking back, if I had to do this all over again, I would not have quilted anything fancy at all in the center of this quilt.  It gets lost in the fabric print and is hard to see. I quilted a scene of all 4 Ninja Turtles together showing off their weapons, but you can’t see it in any of the pictures.

However, if you look closely at the next few pictures, you can see that I quilted one of each of the turtles’ weapons in each of the outer blue borders.

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You can barely see that I also stitched the names of each of the turtles in the purple borders, and I stitched hexagons to resemble a turtle shell in the green borders.  I was trying to fill up space by putting the weapons in the largest borders, but I wish I had stitched the names in big block letters in the blue borders and made the weapons smaller and put them in the purple borders.  Live and learn!

In this next picture, you can see the little orange cornerstone blocks.   If you know anything about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you know they love to eat pizza.  So, I stitched pizza in those blocks.

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I can only hope that Claudia’s grandson will be able to find all the hidden “pictures” in this quilt!

Flaming Guitars

My latest customer quilt is for Mary’s grandson.  Mary has done a wonderful job of combining colors to match her black fabric with musical notes.  I think she is using up her scraps; smart lady!  Anyhow, she paired the musical notes fabric with another black fabric that has guitars on it.  Here’s a shot of the whole quilt and a couple of close-ups.  Mary was very open to whatever I wanted to quilt on this, but this time we were looking at quilting something other than musical notes.  This is for her 10-year-old grandson.  What kind of stitching would you quilt on this?  The backing is a fire red, so I thought flames would work alright on this quilt.

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I snuck in a surprise down towards the bottom in the middle.  I put it in a place where it wouldn’t be obvious – you’d have to search to find it.  I wasn’t sure if her grandson would be frightened by it or think it was cool.  I’ll turn it over to the back so you can see what it is before I show you the front.  The orangey-red (flame red) is the actual color of the backing, but you can see the picture better in the second picture.

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I needed a template for adding this to the stitching, so I drew the flaming skull out onto vellum paper and then pinned it down before stitching it.  I avoid marking on my customers quilts unless I can find no alternative.  It’s just too risky.

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As you can see (or maybe you can’t – that’s the idea), after pulling the paper off, you have to really look to find the skull.

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If you are interested in seeing this process in action, I have a video of me doing this on my YouTube Channel.  You can find that video here.  I hope this helps you learn some strategies for marking (without marking ON) your quilt top for quilting.