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?

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.

Mary’s Music

Isn’t this a cool quilt?  I love the fabric.  Mary said she bought up all that black fabric with musical notes that she could find, so I doubt we will be able to find it anywhere.  The picture of the front makes it look distorted, but it is actually draped from the top of my design wall and hits (on fabric) the floor. 

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Here is a close-up of the quilting I did.  I don’t know if Mary found it yet or not, but I quilted a quote by Lawrence Duncan into it in the lower right (as you look at it); “Silence is the fabric upon which the notes are woven.”  It just seemed to “fit” this quilt.  Further towards the top, I also quilted “music 2 my s”.  Hopefully that will be easier to find than the quote. 

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The back looks really cool, I think.  I have to admit that I was a little worried about it after I got it on the frame.  Seam lines always draw the fabric in so the surrounding fabric is not as taut.  But, it turned out fine.  I think Mary was very creative with this backing.  It goes great with the fabric and patchwork on the front. 

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