Roses on a Trellis

Ibby's quilt 1 024

I thought I’d start with a picture of Ibby’s quilt, because it is fabulous!  Ibby hand stitched the appliqued roses in place and did such a great job of combining colors and spilling those roses out onto the borders.  I can only imagine how long it took her to stitch this beautiful quilt.

Here it is, on the frame as I am finishing up on it.  You can see the backing in this picture.  I am so disappointed with myself for not getting a picture of the back of her quilt, because the back is just as cool as the front.  She had leftover blocks from the front that she pieced into the back.  In this picture you can see where I quilted roses into the trellis blocks.

Ibby 003

Here’s a shot of the border along the lower right hand side.   This shows how she spilled the roses out onto the border and also added a flange just inside the border.  Ibby wanted feathers quilted in the borders, so I stitched a couple of roses into each border and then quilted feathers around them.

Ibby 002

And, here’s a shot of the top border with a rose spilling out into the border.  Ibby wanted echo stitching around the applique.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I think she made a good choice, don’t you?

Ibby's quilt 1 028

I am showing you this shot on the left, because I was following someone else’s “rules” on how to do feathers and I didn’t like how “thready” and uneven it looked.  So, I changed it up a little for the look in the picture on the right.

Ibby's quilt 1 033    Ibby's quilt 1 032

And, of course, no quilt would be complete without some surprises finishing touches to make it special and unique for the person it belongs to.

Ibby's quilt 1 035 Ibby's quilt 1 037

Ibby has a “bee” in her name, so her garden needs bees to help the flowers bloom.

Thank you, Ibby, for letting me quilt your quilt and share it with others for them to enjoy as well!

The devil got the best of me…

The quilt I have been working on is Joan’s applique quilt for Easter.  She was/is so worried about her needle-turn applique abilities, but I think she did great!  Besides, with applique, I think it all blends in when you look at the big picture.  Honestly, my applique ability looks a lot like hers.  Plus, I have a LONG way to go to perfect my stitch in the ditch quilting.  Anyhow, here is a full shot of her quilt.  Isn’t it cute?

Joan's 2 001

Joan made the mistake of telling me to do whatever I wanted with the quilting.  BIG mistake on her part!  People know I put surprises in my quilting, but I can have a twisted sense of humor, and it will show up in my quilting.   I was so happy to get to draw on an applique quilt, that as I was quilting merrily along, my sense of humor got the best of me  my evil twin took over and quilted stuff all over that quilt!

If you look at the whole quilt, it could be a big parade, so that’s how this first row ended up, with the bunny in front leading the way with a flag.

Joan's quilt 2 006

On the top right is the biggest block.  I tried to figure out a way to emphasize the applique, but I don’t think echo stitching around it was the way to do that.  This is all done freehand (not computer guided), so duplicating the appliqued tulips onto the left side of the bunny is less than perfect, but okay.

Joan's quilt 2 004

You know how people tend to correct others’ speech, grammar, etc.?  The next row down has a bunny on the left saying “Happy Easter” and the bunny on the right with a thought bubble saying “Hoppy” as in Hoppy Easter.   Notice the egg “turds” trailing behind the chicken?  This is where things started getting… well… evil.  This is the “Haters row.”

Joan's quilt 2 010

I mimicked the upper right-hand corner stitching in the lower left-hand corner.

Joan's quilt 2 015

Playing nice, I noticed that this row was full of love.  The bunnies gazing lovingly into each others eyes begged to have hearts floating up between them.  This is the first block in the “Love is in the Air” row.

Joan's quilt 2 017

The bunnies playing on the Teeter Totter have hearts floating up as if playing along with them.

Joan's quilt 2 018

And, the tulips are hugging.  So, of course there had to be hugging hearts as the final block in the “Love is in the Air” row.

Joan's quilt 2 019

This next row, the bottom row, is called the “Hostage” row.  Looking over the quilt, you notice how the bunnies are riding chickens and stealing collecting their eggs.  So, in the first cart of eggs, there is a chick(en) being held hostage.  Next to and at the rear of each cart is a bunny walking guard.

Joan's 2 006

You might be able to see it better here.  I just need to remember to clean off the loose threads BEFORE taking pictures next time.

Joan's quilt 2 022

Finally, behind those 2 carts is a chaperone car zooming to stay right behind the hostage.

Joan's quilt 2 023

And, the border, as seen in the last post…

eyelet 007

As a side note (*tip!), whenever I think I am done quilting, I take the quilt off the frame and lay it out on a table I have next to my machine.  I let it “rest” there overnight so the fibers can relax from being stretched on the frame.  This gives me a chance to rest and come back and look at it fresh the next morning.  That way I can see if there are places I missed or things I want to add.  In this case, I had a “road” stitched horizontally across the middle of the quilt.  I didn’t like the way it looked, so I went back and made cobble stones on that path way.  I was able to easily put it back on the quilting frame, because of the zipper leaders.  They allow me to put the quilt back on the frame exactly like it was before.

Joan's 2 003

I really had a lot of fun quilting drawing with thread on this quilt.  I hope you enjoyed looking at it as much as I did!

It Gives New Meaning to Frogging…

Okay, I admit it. I cannot stop myself from drawing stuff on customer quilts that they don’t ask for.  One of my customers has nicknamed me “Sneaky.”  The problem is… I’ll be quilting along and my brain will say that something such as a frog would look cool on this quilt.

Bob's little pony 008

Now, I know better than that!  It’s not my quilt, and I tell my brain that, but before I know it, I am stitching a frog into the quilt.  I honestly don’t know what happened to me with this quilt.  I am quite embarrassed at how bold my “evil twin sister” was in putting these items on this customer quilt.  All I wanted was for my quilting to complement the customers quilt top.

Wilmas quilt 2 final 005  Wilmas quilt 2 final 006  Wilmas quilt 2 final 007

Did you notice they are all drawn into the black spaces where they can easily be seen?  WTH???  I get embarrassed by my quilting anyhow and don’t want it screaming at the world, so what came over me (oops! I mean my evil twin sister) with this one?

For those of you who don’t know what frogging is to a quilter, it’s where you rip out the stitches… rip it… rip it… rip it…  Get it?  I can only hope the customer will be okay with the results of this quilt, or I will certainly be frogging this one next week.  😦

What she really wanted was viney leaves and flowers to match her applique.  This is what I did before adding my trademark signature “surprise” of thread art…

Wilmas quilt 2 final 013

She also wanted piano keys, but she was worried how the green thread would show up against the orange striped border.  I was a bit worried how it would look, too, so I stitched right inside the parts with the green in it to help the green thread blend into the background (so how come my evil twin sister was so brazen with the creatures stitched into the black fabric?).

wilma 2 006

That meant I would need to measure out the stitching along the sides to match the different piano key widths of the bottom and top.  My straight line stitching needs a lot of practice… sigh…

wilma 2 005

But, here is the finished product.  From here, you can’t see any of the stitching, for which I am truly grateful.

Wilmas quilt 2 final 016

I love her applique work and the way she brought it all together!


Applique Basket

Here is my latest customer quilt, finished.   She did all this by hand; needle-turn applique.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Wilma's quilt 1 013 copy

And, here is a picture of just the basket of flowers.

Wilma's quilt 1 014

I love her selection of batik fabrics and how she coordinated it all.    She chose this color thread.  What is strange is how it showed up on the background fabric.  I swear it gives off a pinkish color in some places.  It’s funny how you can see a thread in one light and it looks different in another or next to other colors, such as the colors in the batiks.

Wilma's quilt 1 010

So, this is what I did with it.  I was a bit stumped on what to quilt into the basket.  There are lots of things you could quilt into it… berries and vines, flowers, etc.  But, I opted for curved cross hatching, because I thought it would be better understated than too much.  I didn’t want to over power the applique.

Wilma's quilt 1 002

You know how I love to sneak stuff into my quilting.  Well, I couldn’t resist adding a few surprises to add to the garden feeling of this quilt… one more reason why I didn’t want to add too much frilly stuff to the basket and opted for simple curved cross-hatching.  See the overweight hummingbird drinking nectar from the wrong color bloom?  That’s what happens when I freehand quilt a bird that is color-blind.  😉

Wilma's quilt 1 006

And, then there’s the confused bumblebee that looks like it has stingers on both ends…

Wilma's quilt 1 008

Or the butterfly that barely looks like a butterfly…

Wilma's quilt 1 009

But, I am fairly happy with the quilted vine that looks kind of like the vines the customer appliqued onto her quilt… if I could just get those outlines more even and not fat in one place and skinny in another.   I don’t know what happened there.

Wilma's quilt 1 001

Okay, the one at the top of her quilt looks better.  The good thing about being a quilter is that quilting isn’t usually the thing that pops out on a quilt; it’s the colors, the piecing and/or the applique.  So, even though I am not as good as I would like to be (and I never will be – there’s ALWAYS room for improvement), it will still look good if the piecer/appliquer is good.  And, she is!

Wilma's quilt 1 004

When I first saw this lovely quilt, I was concerned about the prairie points sticking up after quilt.  You know how quilting will draw up your fabric?  Well, the prairie points were not quilted, so I was worried I would ruin her quilt.  But, they actually lay fairly flat and look really nice as an frame for her bouquet.  This quilt gets returned to her tomorrow.  I hope she is happy with it and that she likes it!  I was honored to get to be the quilter for this quilt and for her.  She is a special lady who does so much for so many others.  I hope when she looks at this quilt on her wall that is makes her smile.

Marking a Quilt

I know most quilters mark designs onto quilts, and I mark my own quilts all the time.  But, I am always afraid to mark on customers’ quilts.  So, I have been trying to find alternate methods of getting a design onto a quilt.   Remember the Press ‘n Seal method?  You have probably already tried the following strategies.  I have, too, but it’s been awhile since I’ve tried them, so they are new to me yet again.  One strategy I tried on Mickey’s quilt last week was to bring my laser light to the front of my machine instead of using it in the back for pantographs.  You can see how I drew her dog onto the quilt.  On the left is the picture of her dog in black and white.  I took a green highlighter and marked on the paper what I wanted to draw onto the quilt.  Can you see the little red dot under the dog’s paw?  That’s the laser light that is attached to the front of the machine.  When I move the laser light along where I highlighted, I will be drawing with thread onto the quilt.  You can see the finished product on the right.

MD quilt 001      MD quilt 002

It’s not perfect, but it is one way for me to avoid marking on a quilt.

With the quilt I am working on right now, I am trying onion skin paper.  I’ve tried tracing paper and vellum.  Today I used the onion skin paper.  I bought a roll of this from Du-All Art & Drafting Supplies.  It’s 50 yards long, so hopefully it will last awhile.  The cost, with shipping, was about $32.

The artist for this quilt wanted her applique to shine.  She had twisted vines along 2 corners, leaving the opposite 2 corners blank.  I could have quilted anything in there.  A lot of people would have put feathers in there.  Personally, I think feathers are sometimes over done.  I love them, but I also love to see variety in quilting.  So, I decided to use this quilter’s applique as the basis for the quilting motif along the blank corners.  I figured that would better show off her applique.  First I traced her design onto the onion skin paper.

marking quilts 001

Then, I adapted her design to fit into the empty corners, by folding the paper and creating new curls in the vines.

marking quilts 002 marking quilts 003

You can see here that the design is too long, so I will just take the vine from that curved corner and stretch it around to meet her appliqued vine (the area between my fingers).

marking quilts 005

Now I have the 2 corner vines drawn onto new paper and ready for quilting.

marking quilts 007

I’ve got it pinned onto the quilt and am ready to stitch-in-the-ditch (SID) around her appliqued vines and will stitch through the onion skin paper onto the quilt.

marking quilts 008

After I quilted through the paper and quilt sandwich, I ripped the paper off.  It snapped off cleaner than both tracing paper and vellum.  I like it!  So, I think my preference between tracing paper, vellum, and onion skin paper would have to be the onion skin paper.  Good thing I’ve got a 50 yard roll, because I’m sure I’ll be using it for future projects.

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished product in the near future!  I’ll be filling in the area around the applique with stippling so it will pop!

Sneak Peak

I haven’t been posting too much lately, because I’ve been up to something…  I am making the Opportunity Quilt for one of  my quilt guilds for 2013, and other than taking care of necessary life requirements, I have been working diligently on this quilt.  I can’t let anyone see the completed quilt until its unveiling at the guild meeting in either December or January.  But, I can give you a sneak peak so you can see what I’ve been working on.


Can you tell what kind of quilt it is going to be?  I mean, what “style” is it going to be?  This/these has/have been appliqued and then embroidered.  There are 4 of these that will go at the top of a bed quilt, where the pillows are tucked under.  Here’s another one…


The rest of the quilt is already pieced together.  I just need to add these to the top and then layer the “quilt sandwich” of backing, batting, and top and then quilt it.  I will give you a peak of the quilting later.

What have YOU been up to?