Friday, August 10, 2018

Sujata Inspired Customer Quilt

M.E. is the proud creator and owner of this quilt. I want to feature it in this blog post because it is a piece that may spark some inspiration in other quilters. When I quilted it, I kept picking out colors and prints and wanted to stop quilting and get to my string basket and start sewing! That is one small downside of being a longarm quilter. So many customer pieces inspire and yet, we continue to quilt for others. I admit, this past week I've been quilting small pieces and have been happy to get to my sewing machine for some personal sewing.
But on to M's quilt.

It was created using a process outlined in Sujata Shah's book Cultural Fusion  If you don't have this book and you love color and an organic feel to your work, click the link, buy her book and savor the photos.  It's worth every penny, and she will even autograph it for you.

M likes lots of quilting on her work and if you click on the photos, you can see that she chose a variegated  multi colored thread.  All the line work was done freehand to play off the gentle curves and waves of her string piecing.  The polka dots and striped borders play off the colors in the piecing.  Curly feathers that were not "fussy" added a bit of whimsy to the line work.

The print fabric has a fantastic bird print with lots of great colors.  The birds are flying in all directions and the pinwheel setting gives motion to the piece.

Curves, strings, wavy quilt lines, a mixed bag of color and prints.

This quilt can be defined by this, taken from Wikipedia

"In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts."

I know, you want to run your hands over this to feel the texture.  I love that I get to visit this quilt when I visit my friend! She has kept this one for herself.

Keep stitching!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Wild Flowers - String Applique

This piece has been under wraps for a very long time and I'm excited to finally share it with everyone. I started this piece in a Gwen Marston string workshop.  I didn't read the supply list so when she put up a sample to show what we were making, I was caught off guard.  I assumed we would be doing a free wheeling day of string sewing and cutting and piecing.  Since I brought my intended project, Gwen was gracious enough to help.  However, when I asked her to explain how she pieced her string flowers, she laughed and said "I didn't!"  Whoa, what ???  It's in her string book that I had with me.  I opened it up, went to the page and sure enough, she gave you the outline and suggested how it "could" be done.  I shared my ideas/methods,  moved forward and then Gwen taught me the value of a circle.  Thank you, Gwen.  You have pushed me far beyond my self imposed boundaries, and I am ever so grateful for that!

American Patchwork & Quilting October 2018 issue is hitting your mail box now, and the issue will be on the stands August 6th. I'm always thrilled to be part of this publication, and yet again, they have put together a stellar line up of projects for the fall.


Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Enlarge this one to see the quilting details.  I did ruler work behind the flowers, and then did a checker board around the border for some interest.  This was my first attempt at that border treatment, (I always practice on my own work first!)
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

 Here is the pattern tester, Vicki Hoth's, version.  I love how they quilted the background and the string piecing.  Super cute in the soft colors. 
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

This is a staged photo I took in my back yard a few years ago.  I loved using the old wooden fence, the vintage wagon wheels and whatever vegetation was growing.  I miss that fence!

Here is the cover so you can easily spot this issue on the news stands.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

And here is my second version.  I used a string inset pieced border and went with bright pinks. 
I didn't want to make it "the same" so instead of appliqueing leaves, I used green perl cotton and did a big stitch outline of a leaf. 

My first version was needle turn appliqued and this one was done on the machine, using variegated threads.  The magazine wrote the pattern using Machine Applique methods.

I'd love to teach this to your group or guild.  My method of string pieced needle turn applique is super simple.  I will share techniques that transfer to any string shapes and I'd love to share it.  Book a trunk show and workshop that focuses on string piecing, have some fun and learn a new technique!

And as always, keep stitching!

Monday, July 9, 2018

English Paper Piecing Millefiori Style

There is a group of quilters that gather once a month and I'm thrilled to stitch with them. We also retreat every three months for a few days and the pieces that come from these members are fantastic. Here is one by M.N. All photos can be enlarged, and her choices of fabric is pretty fun.
As the longarm quilter, my goal is to make the piecers work shine. Simple lines, 100wt thread in light turquoise, and a ruler. That's what was needed to help finish this piece. I'm really hoping she enters it in our NW Washington Fair. Enjoy the pictures.

EPP is so portable and easy to do. I purchase my papers from my LQS. I find what I want on Paper Pieces website and then have my LQS order them in. The price is the same, but the shop makes the mark up and I don't pay the shipping. It's a win/win all the way around.

Keep stitching,

Friday, June 29, 2018

Sue Spargo Fresh Cut Block of the Month BOM

Finally, I can share this FAB-U-LOUS quilt with everyone.  This Block of the Month 2017 is now available in book form so I can share the photos of one that I quilted.

Lots of photos, click to enlarge.  Very few words are necessary.  ENJOY and savor the stitch work that KB did on this amazing treasure.  Few stitch as good as her.

KB worked on this all year, did not waver, and had it finished in time to take to a Sue Spargo retreat.  How terrific. 
Keep the quilting simple, dense and make sure to quilt over the seams.  Wool shifts and moves, and when that happens, you can get bumps or ridges along the seam lines. 

I did a small paisley motif in black thread over the whole background.

Minimal stitching on or around the blocks using monopoly thread.

OK I know that was a lot of photos, but how could I not share every single one with you. I got to see every stitch up close when I quilted it. I hope you enjoyed seeing this lovely jewel of hand crafted loveliness.

Keep stitching,

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Giving Vintage Tops and Blocks a New Life

While attending a weekly meeting that has nothing to do with quilting, I became acquainted with someone that had a tub of parts and pieces of textiles from her mother.  The tub had moved from coast to coast, from the US to Canada and it was time to clean up boxes in her storage space.  Once BG learned I was a quilter, we became better acquainted and she brought her bin of "stuff" over to my studio, where it sat for far too long.  I posted here a year ago.  After going through everything, blocks were sorted, organized, and sold off.  A DWR shown here was gifted along and this top below was turned into a quilt.

The crazy piecing was stitched and flipped on a foundation fabric, but then it was top stitched along to stitched edge.  This dark fabric had a metallic stripe woven through it and I'm going to guess it was a swatch sample as it was in five colorways.
An array of prints and fabric designs were used in this top.  BG questioned getting these tops put into quilts as she shared that her daughters had no interest in these textiles.  She herself did not stitch and quilts were not part of their family history.  I assured her once they were done, she would look at these differently.

A simple ribbon motif did the trick for quilting.  I really loved getting close up to so many fabrics from days gone by. Plaids mixed with stripes stitched to dots and florals.  It's all good!

I used a simple plain muslin for the backing and found a light purple print for the binding. 

Next up was a stack of Bow Tie blocks with names embroidered on them.  I did contact the company where all the makers worked, but didn't get very far with the HR person I spoke with.  There was a slight language barrier, and I just could not communicate to her what I had.  She kept repeating "quilts" and although I left my contact information, I have never heard back.  Oh well.  On to turning the blocks into a quilt top.  Only a few blocks needed to be embroidered and the hand writing was clear so that was a quick fix.  Then I had to find the largest measurement I could trim the blocks down to. 

After trimming, I had 51 blocks setting them 7 x 7 left 2 extra blocks.  I promised that every block would get used and BG's mom's block would be in the center.  That's the block with the yellow post-it note stuck to it.  I wanted a place to add some fancier machine quilting, so after piecing the center, I added wide borders using muslin.  The remaining two blocks were set in opposite corners.
Here I got to put a wavy feather all around the quilt border.

and here you can see the corner block that I set opposite each other.
Rissie Moore, the center attraction.  This is who the blocks were all made for.  She left her job back in the 50's and her co workers all signed and pieced a bow tie block for here.  Here we are in 2018 and the blocks are now stitched together, quilted and bound.

After getting everything finished, I returned the tub with one very small quilt, two larger quilts, and all the remaining blocks are now in the hands of other quilters who will now have the opportunity to give them a new life. 
As for these quilts, BG informed me that her daughters were arguing over which ones they would get.  One daughter wants all of them!  I told BG that what the kids didn't want was a box of "junk".  By turning the scraps into quilts changed the dynamics of these family treasures.  I've been thrilled to be part of saving this history.

If you have unquilted tops, take some time to go through them and make a plan to get them quilted.  Many of us have tops that we don't want to spend the money on the quilting, or don't think they are worthy of finishing.  If that's the case, pass them along.  Someone would like to quilt them and turn them into a quilt that just might be treasured! (or donated) Quilt tops, not so much.  They just don't have the same status as a finished quilt.

What are you going to finish in 2018?  I just loaded up a vintage top.  I've had it so long I can't even remember where or who I purchased it from.  I just know it needs to be quilted.

Keep stitching,