Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Gravity Quilt

I really liked the look of this quilt and was excited about quilting options when I first saw this quilt early last year.   A new to my area quilt shop, Cupcakes opened recently and created a modern bee called "Modern Monday"  that I joined from the onset.  We only meet one evening each month.  This was my first project to work on at that bee.  The pattern is called Gravity and was a BOM from Jaybird Quilts however all the patterns are in one book.   Her pattern and tools for cutting these diamonds and hexis etc is awesome.
I  did change thread colors but I would not do this again if I make or have an opportunity to quilt another one.  So much time is lost because you can't just quilt from one unit to the next in the greys,   In the focus blocks, even choosing a pink or a blue or a green, there are 6 colors in each focus block so somewhere you end up with high contrast.  That high contrast may as well be grey and save time.  Lots of time!   I used Superior Threads So Fine for the top in all but one block and that had Omni a 40 wt .   Combination of threads in the bobbin.  Greys were all Magna Glide classics,  colors were mostly that shade of So Fine.   I used 1 layer of Quilters Dream Wool batting.  2 batts are so heavy and I did not feel I was going to be quilting so densely as to require 2 battings. 
Much inspiration has been found online over the last year.  I had ideas in mind based on having seen so many awesome quilts before me.   I changed things where I could and also have ideas plentiful for more of these quilts!   Inspiration came from Natalie Bonner, Kathy Schwartz and Teresa Silva to name a few in case you haven't seen this quilt out there.
I can't wait to make my next Jaybird Quilt pattern!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pam's Flower Pots

Pam completed this quilt top several months ago and planned on quilting this herself on her longarm.  Some intense back pain kept her from being able to do this in time for an upcoming guild show.   Of course we longarmers have seen online Judi  aka Green Fairy Quilts version and that was her dream for this quilt.  Unfortunately,  budget issues aside,  I did not have time in my schedule for that intense marking and quilting.  We are talking weeks!  I tried to create a simplified version in the borders for her, then used rather dense fills behind the applique.  I used echo stitching inside the appliqué similar to Judy's designs also.    No marking as she did not think she would be blocking this quilt.  The busy fabrics were difficult to highlight on my phone.   Hobbs 80/20 with Quilters Dream Wool on top.  Here's some of the better ones that show some detail. 
Good luck Pam @ the show!   I'll see you there.  I know everyone  will enjoy looking at your beautiful applique quilt and thank you so much for the opportunity to quilt for you. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Baby Jungle Animal Quilt

This is a cute  quilt using fabrics from a panel and a minkee backing.  I custom quilted with some embellishment in each block.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Klein Oak T Shirt Quilt

I've been an officer for KO Wrestling Booster club for the past 2 years and another member of our team also serves on the committee responsible for the Senior Prom for this year.  She asked if I would make a tshirt quilt to raffle as a fund raiser.  My son is a junior this year, not a senior but I agreed if it could be small.  My recommendation was a 12 tee quilt. 
Cyndi agreed to reimburse for the fabric, the rest was my contribution.  Cyndi chose the style from examples I showed her and also rounded up new tshirts that represent events or activities that occurred during these 4 years.  I took one of the best Tees for school colors with me to shop for fabrics and found the perfect Black and Gold in Kona Cotton and then found a bright, colorful fabric for the backing. 
After careful consideration of all the tees she was able to obtain, some were culled because they were prom events that only seniors can attend so the Class of 2016 may not have attended any of those.  Many were lists of donors that while nice as a remembrance, they don't  add a lot of visual interest for a raffle quilt with an unknown recipient.   Plus I was tying to keep the size down as this is a freebie for me.  Remember I don't generate income on the days that I am shopping, rough cutting and fusing then final block cuts on the tees, discussing, creating the top,  quilting and binding....  and I have a business because I need the income.  It's much more manageable for me if YOU make the tshirt quilt and bind it... leaving only the quilting for me to do.  I don't have that much time to even make my own quilt tops anymore.  But I do like to help our kids and our community so I always try to quilt X # of donation quilts each year.
Top after all the sashings sewn in.   I made this last month, I'm thinking the size was 71 X 71.   Perfect to keep the backing at 2 widths of fabric.
Close up of hand quided panto.  Spiral Square by Keryn Emmerson.
This was only picked up this week and it occurred to me that I may not have taken quilt pictures.   Mick was home and held it up for me so I could get a quick full size pic and sure enough, searching my photos I did not take finished pics.   I know the quilting finished late in the day and also binding (all applied by machine but still so time consuming).  I like to take pictures when the sun is shining!  So... this will have to do.  At least I got a closeup and decent pics during constructions. I hope  this brings some nice cash to the event.   It feels wonderful.  I have a feeling that my friend is going to be bidding on this!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Red and green

Personally,  I love red and green quilts.  One last little quilt for 2015.  This clients' quilt is for a fund raiser and she wanted something  simple. 
Hand guided pantograph "Undulate" by Denise Shillinger.
I really like this quilt.   So many ways this could be quilted.   I'm always thinking... what if I did this or that!  I toyed with doing light custom and not billing as a contribution to her charity.  It's hard to leave some designs, but we can't support everyone's charity and it IS just a few days before Christmas.   I knew it would be pretty with an allover.  Often, for busy prints, I like to choose a tight, one motif type design.  This quilt with all the sashings, I felt like something flowing over the surface, feathery  would be better.  A one motif design might really stand out stronger against the blocks.  The client is not fond of feathers so I choose a curling, swirling design  and  used  Glide thread "Shell" which is a light gold color on top and in the bobbin (the paisley has a gold thread running through it).   It turned out so pretty!
I had this top draped over the side of the longarm and out of the corner of my eye, I notice a slightly different pattern.   Upon closer inspection, I see a unit that is turned the wrong way.   Easy fix before it goes on the frame.  Some repairs are much more difficult or time consuming that might require you to pick up and repair but most of the time I can work those into my schedule for you for a small fee.
Another problem I struggled with, I really love that red paisley focus fabric that was also used as the backing.  She had included plenty of backing and I knew she said she had 3 more yards of that fabric.   I draped the top over the backing to see what large plain borders would look like.   I liked it!  I was in the middle of texting her to see if she wanted to add a border to this when it hit me and I stopped.  It's almost Christmas, with holiday schedules, company etc.  We both were scrambling to do our parts so that she could have early next week for a fund raiser.   She knew she had the extra fabric.  We both were on tight schedules.   And... it's adorable with the small border.   Let's quilt it and call her done!   You wouldn't think those ideas would run through the longarm quilter's head... but I worry over so many things!  
So, not only the act of quilting and good tension etc, but I worry about the quilting design, what if we did this instead of that... the backing and whatever is going on with that, the piecing, the perfect thread and in this case even if it should have an additional border!   That's a lot of worrying and work not included in the base price but I don't know any other way to do this.   It's my passion,  it provides much needed income for my family.... but it's way more than just a "job".  A lot of thought and care goes into every quilt whether its a basic utility quilt or your over the top show quilt. We always hope we make the right choices and in the end, I think this one turned out great!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Good Night, Irene

I love this quilt!   The brown is from an aged muslin line that I must check out for my projects. This could be a good stash busting project and looks complicated but is not.  It uses four square in a square type blocks in the X block and four 4 patches in the other block.   Pattern found  @ Fons and Porter.   Or a Missouri Star video tutorial called 4 patch + X's and O's  here.  Can you tell I hope to make one of my own in the future?!
I think her fabrics used really create a fresh look at the quilt, so many use white. That's nice too but this colorway speaks to me.   The brown doesn't show that clearly in the pictures but it had some slight variations in the color and almost looked like suede.   Its called Aged Muslin I believe.   All the focus fabrics are from one line and the backing fabric completes the look.  But if you want to clear out some of your fabrics, or create fast gifts or charity quilts,  this looks like a fun pattern to use.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Peppermint Place #2

I had a request to quilt this one just like the one I quilted a few years ago for Karen.  I liked that one  so much,  I had created it's own album on my business Facebook page Valerie's Thread Tales so I had easy access to lots of pictures.   I looked up the prior invoice and had the exact threads used too.   Such a cute pattern, lots of photos:
below is #1 quilt.  Notice difference in borders? 
sorry, blurry but included for reference.
I had a long detailed post about this quilt.... but my phone was showing it as a draft...after I had published.   I hit the publish from my phone... and the original info with the just the pictures re-published.  Argh!   so... No time... this is it!