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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  😉

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

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Or the butterfly that barely looks like a butterfly…

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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!

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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.

She’s a handy girly whirly

My husband does not have a handy bone in his body, but I do.  The way my siblings and I were raised, we learned to live with what we had and to fix things.  My husband, on the other hand, is a super chef (at home, not as a career), and I am not.  I cook out of necessity, not because I enjoy it.  My husband has a knack for flavors and creating some of the most scrumptious dishes.  As for me, I sew and fix things.  What more could a husband ask for?  And, when I do fix things, my husband says, “She’s a handy girly whirly!”  He acts like he is amazed at the things I fix.  Of course, I am amazed at the things he can cook!  So, anyhow, this is my latest project.

As you can see, we are in the basement – I call it the dungeon.  That is where my longarm quilting machine resides.  I never seem to have enough counter space, so I built this countertop to sit on top of my 2 cubicle bookshelves.  It serves a double purpose as a work desk for me, as I have a drafters chair that rolls right into place in the middle.

Since the bookshelves are 36 inch square, I took a piece of plywood and had it cut at the hardware store to 3 ft x 6 ft.  I then added trim along the sides that would extend a bit along the bottom of the counter to hold it in place on top of the bookshelves. When I added that trim, I left about 1/8 of an inch lip on the top to insert my cutting mats to hold them in place as well.  I then added some measuring tape sticky note tape stuff along the edge that I bought from JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts.

It serves its purpose fairly well, but I still don’t feel like I have enough counter space.  I am planning on and saving up to finish the dungeon and have added power tools and hardware gift cards to my Christmas wish list.    Others might think I’m weird for wishing for power tools, but I don’t want to feel like I’m in a dungeon while I work and create.  And, I know my husband isn’t going to finish it, nor do we have the $$$ to hire it out.  So, it’ll be me, on my own.  I think I will line 2 of the walls with low bookshelves or cabinets.  Not only will that provide storage, but it will also provide that much needed counter space.  I can also hang shelves on the wall when it’s finished, and there will be a ledge that will run along the corner, so all of that will help.

My dream is to have a small kitchenette and bathroom down here.  The kitchenette would be a great place for me to dye fabrics.  And, of course, the bathroom would be handy for this handy girly whirly.  But… I don’t have a clue how to do that nor the muscles for doing plumbing.  Anyone know someone who would be willing to do plumbing for charity?  😉

As for my latest quilting project, I wanted to work on curved crosshatching.  For whatever reason (I guess it’s the freedom that comes with it), I love quilting charity quilts.  The fabric can be some of the most God-awful stuff and it may not be perfect, but it’s a cheap way for me to practice, practice, practice.  After I got in to quilting this a bit and realizing how much time it was taking up, not to mention the fact that this would probably go to a male child, I realized that curved crosshatching is not the thing to put on charity quilts.  Ever!  I didn’t want to rip it out, so I continued on my merry way.  This was a beautifully pieced quilt, and I could have done so much more and better with it.  But, lesson learned!  And, as I like to say, “It’s all (life) a learning process.”  We make mistakes and hopefully learn from them, and in the mean time, it’s not as bad as we think.  As for this one, if I hadn’t done custom quilting on it like this, I probably would have just done an edge-2-edge, which would have done nothing to add to the piecing on this quilt.  But, then, I’m not sure this did, either.