Swan Quilt

Hi!  I'd like to introduce you to "Buttercup"....she's a lovely swan I had the pleasure of quilting! 

Buttercup Quilt

Buttercup Quilt

This quilt was designed by Sarah Overton for Bonnie Christine's fabric line, "Hello Ollie" and was on display in her booth at quilt market over the summer.   Here she is on display :)

When Sarah first sent me the design for the quilt top, I was excited about the negative space I'd have to play in!  I went to work on my iPad, thinking up quilting options.  When I started doodling, my first thought was to frame the swan.  This helps break up the negative space and emphasize the main focus.  To do it, I had drawn the box how I wanted on the iPad, so when I got the quilt top, I used my blue water soluble marker to draw a box on the quilt before loading, trying to match up the same points as in my picture. 

Next, in my doodling, I started drawing lines going out from the box, and where you have lines you must have ribbon candy, right?!  Naturally.  I used my 1/2" echo foot along with my Handi Quilter Versa-Tool ruler to give me nice evenly spaced lines without having to measure/mark. 

For the inside of the frame, I came across this design on Instagram and just thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen!  I knew it would be the perfect "showstopper" fill I wanted.  The instructions I found came from here.   To do it, I measured across one side of the frame, then divided that length up equally.  Then, I marked the boxes all the way across, and just filled them in one at a time.  For the corners, I made them into 2 triangles.  That's the great thing about that design, it works for squares, rectangles, triangles, anything!  Whatever kind of shape you end up with, you can fill it and it just adds more texture.  Can't go wrong!  You can see my boxes, if you divide the "fan" in half - from half of one to half of the other, that was one box.  It took awhile, but the results were totally worth it! 

I also wanted to double up the batting to really show the quilting and I just love how puffy it makes everything!  My go-to is Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom, and Hobbs Tuscany 100% wool on top.  It's so much fun to quilt on. 

As for the swan, it was time to let the Pro-Stitcher do some fancy work :) I had used this design before and just love how soft and feminine it looks.  Perfect!  I used the "multi-point" function to create my area which was the outline of the swan, then laid my design over top and simply cropped away the outside.  Here's what it looked like on my screen:

And here's the finished swan - it looks like soft, little pillows to me :)

And of course she needed nice swirls all around, like she's swimming on the water.  Then it was off the frame and on to market!  

She was really such a pleasure to work on.  It's so fun seeing your ideas come to life!  I'm grateful to spend my days creating and doing what I love. 
If you have any questions or comments, please leave me a note below!  Thanks for reading :)


Playful Petals

Hi!  This week I finished up this gorgeous petal quilt:

This quilt is called "Daisy Fields" from Corey Yoder's book, Playful Petals.  When we started, my client knew she wanted similar quilting to what is shown in the book, so that was swirls in the white areas and feather swirls in the octagons.  So I did a few sketches of some ideas, and we settled on swirls/pebbles in the white, with feathers in the triangles along the edges, echoing around the petals, and feather swirls in the octagons.  I'm so happy with how it turned out!  It's such a beauty :) I love the fabrics she used - the octagons were from a layer cake of Amy Butler's Bright Heart collection.   So pretty!  It was fun to quilt....although it took me about 30 hrs!  I was slow at first, but the second half went faster because I had my rhythm going and knew what to quilt in what order.

 I used Superior Threads MonoPoly thread on top so I wouldn't distract from her beautiful octagons, and silver Bottom Line in the bobbin.  My client used Jade Grunge fabric by Moda for the backing, which is my favorite color!  I couldn't wait to get this quilt off the frame just to see the back!  It turned out beautiful, if I do say so myself...ha :) 

I had to get creative with my lighting while quilting....because I was using clear thread and because of the print & dark fabrics, I literally could not see where I was quilting when trying to do the feather swirls....so my hubby helped me out with a magnetic bendable flash light!  (Didn't know they had those...) I had to close all the shades in my quilt room, turn off all the lights, and set up the flashlight shining across my quilt top to create shadow so I could see!  Dramatic improvement!!  That helped me quilt a lot faster too...I wasn't craning over the quilt top trying to see where I just quilted before I stitched my next line.

So, that of course led to creative picture taking because we discovered it looked really cool if you shined the flashlight under the quilt :)

All in all, I'm very happy with this quilt and glad I got the opportunity to do it.  It's going to be in our local show this fall and I know it will be enjoyed by everyone who sees it!  

Thanks for reading!


Bali Fever

Hi - welcome to my first ever blog post!  Hmmm....what to discuss.....how about my latest quilt?  I just completed a custom quilt for a friend of mine.  She makes the most beautiful quilts, and LOVES paper piecing.  This one was a quiltworx pattern by Judy Niemeyer called "Bali Fever", and even had a piece of fabric in the quilt that was autographed by Judy herself! So, without further ado, here's the quilt:

This being my first Judy Niemeyer quilt (and knowing it was going in a show!) made me do LOTS of pondering on design ideas.  But, that's the fun part, right?  My sweet husband surprised me last week with an iPad Pro and the apple pencil (he's definitely a keeper!!) which I absolutely LOVE!!  I like to take pictures of the quilts I'm getting ready to work on, then draw on them using the Procreate app.  That way I can see how it's all going to look, and get an overall perspective of the quilt, before I start.  And, I can also send my drawings directly to my clients via email so they can see it too!  I could spend hours doodling on quilt photos :) But, back to the quilt....so, on this one, I knew I wanted to emphasize the circles, and I liked the lines of the piecing in the border, but couldn't figure out what to do behind the circles.....at first I thought maybe some all over fill so the circles would pop out, but I just couldn't get settled on that.  So I started stitching all the circles because I knew I wanted to do the feather fill in one, and emphasize the spikes of the other.  Once I got that done, I went back to pondering and it hit me to bring out the individual squares instead.  So I just did a 1" echo on the inside of each square block to "frame" them, and filled around with pebbles.  I really love how it turned out!  So glad I didn't do that all over fill...ha!

 The border I just kept simple, with stitching in the ditch and a 1/4" echo on each strip.  

Then for the inner border, I did a simple swirl, but at the end, I didn't like how it looked.  It left too much open space (see above).  So, I went back and did an echo line, tucking it in to the center part of the swirl and then echoing over the tail on each side of the swirl (see new & improved below).  It was just right, and a very easy fix (no picking!!  Hooray!) 

I used double batting, a layer of Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom, and a layer of Hobbs Tuscany Wool on top.  I just love their wool!  It's so fluffy and nice.  And the double batting just really makes the quilting stand out.  I used Superior Threads Mono-Poly thread on top, that way I didn't have to change thread colors a hundred times, but it still allows the piecing to shine through!  (Added bonus - it hides imperfections really well) Now it is all finished, and I have to say I'm feeling pretty proud :) Here's a few more pictures...since I took a bunch...ha!

This is the fabric with Judy's autograph!  This block is different...truth be told, this was my original design idea for the squares...it looked great on my iPad, but then when I started stitching it out, I didn't like it because the circle is closer to the edge of the block in some areas than others.  This made the area with pebbles different, etc. and apparently I really like symmetry.  So, after I did the corners and didn't like it, my hubby gave me the brilliant plan to leave that block different because it has the autograph!  (See, I told you he was a keeper!) I loved that idea because it draws the eye to the one "different" block and makes you study it and wonder why it's different!  And let's be honest, I also loved it because I didn't have to rip it out!!  :) 

Here's the back - always fun to see:

And I just thought this picture was pretty :)

Thanks for reading!