Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dusting off my Blog

Wow, it's June and I only put one post up in May.  Hand quilting and secret sewing really makes for a boring blog.  I'm going to try to keep this up a bit more as I have a few of my own projects in the works.  First up is this one.  Look at this fabulous Christmas fabric.  Timeless Treasures sure knows how put print some great pieces.This is the fabric that started this journey many years ago.

I was visiting my parents in AZ over Christmas and the 'quilt lady' across the street took me to a long arm quilter's home.  She sold a little bit of fabric from her garage and also taught classes.  Here was this amazing Stack and Wack made out of the above fabric.  I was smitten and I HAD to have this.  Of course she didn't' have any yardage left, but she did have some left over blocks already cut from her class.  And of course they were two different sizes.  Not to worry, I can fix that.  So here is my quilt that has lived in the bottom of a big plastic bin for many years.

The plan has always to put loads of feathers on this piece.  I have stashed away a 30 wt orange/red thread just for this occasion.  The setting triangles are quite large as the blocks finish out at 16". I've chalked out a feather, trying to see how much it will fill the space.  I've over cut the setting and corner triangles as my plan was to grid from the feathers to the edges and then trim down.  I'm all ready to go.

The quilt got loaded up on my machine, I pulled out the heavy thread, nope, then I pulled out my 'go to' So Fine from Superior and this happened. Good bye feathers and hello dense matchstick quilting with double orange peel motifs and a ton of stitch in the ditch. 

After the center was quilted, I pulled out my 'tools of the trade' and got busy.  The first thing was to get out my carpenters L and mark out the corners, as I had intentionally over cut them. These are big corners.

Next up was my rulers, markers and adding machine tap, along with my trusty seam ripper.  That tool was over worked on this project.

The corners were the biggest challenge, but I just kept my focus and worked through the process of "divide and design". This is the first real attempt I've made at this type of "modern" quilting.  Adding machine tape is my best friend for this.  Just roll out the length of your area, fold it in however many places you want to divide into and voilà, no measuring.  Other tools were used as needed , and here you can see my outline and chalk registrations.

Here is the 'after' shot with all the quilting done.

The smaller blocks had a sashing sewn around them to build them up the larger block size.  However, when sewing the centers together, apparently I did not pay attention to the direction of the spin.  Yup, makes for a mixed up background of patchwork.  But remember, I was going to feather all the red background so no big deal................... until I changed my plan.

Another shot of the stacks.

If you enlarge the photos you will see more of what I'm describing.  When it can to the setting triangles, the quilting on the surrounding blocks was different on each area where the triangle was set in, due to the reverse spin and orientation placement of the blocks.  I couldn't have made a more mixed up setting if I tried.

The side triangles each have a different pattern, but they do match to the same on the other side.  The top and bottom triangles match, as do the four corner triangles.  Here are two side triangles stitched out.

Second design, just divide and conquer.

The long shot when it was still on my machine.

It's hard to photograph the whole piece, but once it's bound and washed, I'll try to share another picture. 

It takes a lot of thread to quilt like this.  My long arm uses L bobbins, (the smaller version) but I've never used 17 bobbins of thread, not even on a King that was custom feathered. Wow. There were a lot of stops and starts as well. Look at the tread tails.

This fabric made for some amazing medallions.  It's a Christmas print, so I will have a new piece to put out this year.  I'm super pleased how well it came out design wise.  It's got flannel on the back, but with all this thread, there is nothing cuddly about this quilt.

An easy skinny L design filled the spins, and I used a tan thread as to no detract from the fabric.

I managed to find this piece at a later date and bought enough to bind the quilt. Now that it's done, I'm debating about keeping the binding in the red.  I have lots of that "crackle" print filed away.  

I'll try to post a little more often, I'm still taking customer quilts, I'm open for quilting, so if you have some tops you would like turned into quilts, please consider my services. My guy is waiting for surgery, all our summer plans are canceled so I'm staying home stitching the summer away. He's looking at shoulder surgery which comes with a 6 month rehab. Yuck.

Keep stitching,


Mimi said...

Absolutely beautiful Sharon. I hope to be as good as you one day.

As for my DH, he will probably be looking at back surgery in the near future AND he broke his foot over the holiday weekend. Retirement isn't going well for him yet.

taylorsoutback said...

Amazing texture you have created - so tempting to want to just reach out and touch the quilting! This holiday quilt will add a lot of sparkle to your Christmas.

Louise said...

Fabulous Sharon!!! Really like the fabrics but the quilting is so, so wonderful. Good wishes to Tim for his surgery.

KaHolly said...

Wow! Didn't it come out beautiful! Your work is very inspiring.

Nancy said...

Oh my Sharon, How beautiful, your quilting is amazing and really perfect for this quilt.
How do you ever come up with these wonderful ideas?

Debra @ Life is a Stitch said...

That is totally amazing!!! Great job! and welcome back to the blog! I'm also trying to be better at blogging and those secret projects do definitely cut into the sharing, I know!

Janet O. said...

Incredible! How do you come up with the design? I can't imagine this kind of stuff. It is just gorgeous--and I love the tip on the adding machine tape. Thanks! : )

Sharon said...

Wow, you made your gorgeous quilt even more gorgeous with your fabulous quilting! I love your process photos and explanations. It looks like it was quite a job, but you did a bang-up job!

Sorry to hear your summer plans aren't working out. And good luck to your sweetie and his surgery. I hope you'll blog a little more often. I'm trying to too.

Browndirtcottage said...

Wonderful Sharon! You are so brave AND clever. I don't think I could ever tackle this type of project.
Good luck with your "patient". My hubby had both knees replaced within a month of each. He has mended
up nicely.

Karen said...

Gorgeous quilting!

KaHolly said...

Your quilting is extraordinary! Divide and Conquer. I am learning to FMQ on a domestic and am almost ready to start a quilt with lots of negative space. I must remember that, and to come back here for inspiration when the time comes.