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.


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.


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

Garden Path

I recently quilted this quilt for Margaret, which she named “Garden Path.”


If you look closely, you will find delightful colors and patterns of Japanese fabrics, many of them cut into strips and sewn together to create a harmonious path, of sorts, around the quilt top. I really like how she combined the colors of blue, taupe, purple and green and then set a back-and-forth pattern into this quilt.  She also chose the perfect thread for this quilt,  variegated blue and green.

Not wanting to detract from the quilt design, we decided that it would be best to quilt an allover, edge-to-edge design on this quilt.  I could have done some really cool custom quilting with Japanese symbols, etc., but it would have gotten lost in the quilt.  So, we went with a smooth “water-look” design.


It was close-knit quilting, but Margaret is planning on hanging this piece on the wall in her living room.  The extra stitching may stiffen it up a bit, but it will also stabilize the quilt blocks that are set diagonally.

Here’s a look at the back.


The Reveal

So, “the reveal” of the raffle quilt was today.  That means I can share pictures of the finished product.  I’ve given you a couple of tastes of it before, but here is the whole thing.

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And, here are a few close ups.  The fans at the top in the pillow topper are hand appliqued with embroidery added.  There is taupe piping along the edge of the big kimono block/medallion in the center to go along with the thinner taupe colored inside border.  I learned from quilter Cathy Wiggins that you should repeat your colors or fabrics elsewhere within your quilt, so you should have them 2 or more times.   I was trying to pick up the taupe in the outer border fabric, so that’s how I wound up with the inner border and then the piping.  You might notice several different fabrics for a scrappy look. I saw that outer border and knew it would be the basis of the quilt, so I pulled as many indigo fabrics as I could find that would go with it.  And, of course I needed to pull that rose color in from the border fabric as well, so that’s how I wound up with the fabric for the Kanji and sleeves of a couple of kimonos (cream background with cherry blossoms).   A lot of these fabrics are Kona Bay fabrics (http://konabay.com) that I bought from the a local quilt store, Quilter’s Haven (www.quiltershaven.com), in Olathe, Kansas.  They have quite the variety of Asian fabrics.

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The appliqued Kanji symbols say “Health, Weath, & Happiness.”  So, that is what the quilt is named.   Putting this quilt together was quick.  What seemed to take forever was the quilting.  In an earlier post I demonstrated a couple of strategies I used for marking designs onto it.  There are lots of ways to mark for quilting.  Quilters like to say, “If you can draw it, you can quilt it.”  Of course, I like to say, “If you can trace a design from a Dover copyright-free book, you have a quilting design.”  I got the designs for the motifs on the kimonos from a couple of Dover clip art books.  If you know anything at all about me, you know I like to sneak fun stuff into my quilting, so I have lots of Dover books in my stash to use for ideas.

Hope you enjoyed the “quilt” show!

Marking a Quilt using Press ‘n Seal

Remember that link I told you about awhile back where the blogger uses Press ‘n Seal to mark her quilts?  Here is the link in case you need a refresher: http://quiltsbyrosemary.blogspot.com/2011/06/marking-quilting-pattern-using-pressn.html.  Well, I decided to try it on my latest quilt.

I’ve been working on one of my quilt guild’s raffle quilt, or as they like to call it, the “2013 Opportunity Quilt.”  I am letting the cat out of the bag here by posting pictures.  I am nearly done and want to have it finished by our next meeting on December 4th.  I just have a few more motifs to sew and a small border and then I can take it off the quilting frame, bind it, put a hanging sleeve and quilt label on it, and it’ll ready to be hung for “unveiling” at the December 4th meeting.  As you will see from the pictures, it’s an Asian themed quilt, with kimonos all over it.  I won’t put a picture on here yet of the whole thing, but will wait until after the official unveiling on the 4th for that.

I quilted interlocking circles along 3 borders.  It was a little tedious trying to do that around applique Kanji (above, shown before quilting the interlocking circles), but necessary to make it look okay.  Clam shells were quilted inside the kimono blocks and a different Japanese motif was quilted in the middle of each kimono.  I won’t tell you too much about the kimonos, because I want to save that for the final unveiling pictures.  But, I can post a picture of one of the kimonos.

I used the Press ‘n Seal that Rosemary suggested on the above block and the block pictured below.  Here are a couple of pictures of the process.


I had already copied all my patterns onto vellum paper and am planning on using those in the same way, but I wanted to give the Press ‘n Seal a try on a small area before I try it on a larger area.

If you know anything at all about Judy Lyon, you know she does amazing things with pantographs.  You can find her work here: http://www.meadowlyon.com/.  When I saw her pantograph “Geisha Garden,” I knew I had to have it, and I wanted to add it into this quilt.  But where?   I already had the whole thing planned out, so the only place it would fit would be on the bottom border of the quilt.  And, how on earth would I get it on there?   Unless you are Matt or Bradie Sparrow, who can quilt a pantograph from the front of their machine using a BobbinCam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRDp2LZOPv8, then you need to come up with another way.   Normally a pantograph is quilted from the back of the machine, so I would have to be VERY precise with how I did this.  Plus, I had the quilt loaded to face the front of the machine, so that would mean taking the quilt off and reloading it the other direction.  That’s when I decided to just draw the design onto the quilt, but that, too, would be difficult.  I could use a roll of paper, but paper that is too big will get torn and mess up.  So, Press ‘n Seal was the way to go with this.  And, you know what?  It worked really well!

Drawing it onto the Press ‘n Seal… See why I HAD to put this design into the quilt?


Pressing it down along the bottom border – it worked REALLY well and stayed in place the whole time.




After I ripped the plastic off…

The only “con” for this, I think, was that it took a little longer for me to pull the plastic off than it did for me to run the stitches over the Press ‘n Seal.  Be careful of tiny little places where the plastic can get stuck.  Try to either sew those closed or make them bigger, more open spaces.




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?