Author Archives: ccpquilt

Moving Target 

So.. I have not updated my blog in an embarrassingly long amount of time.. I started this quilt back in 2014, and it was actually lucky enough to go to Quiltcon 2015. However.. I almost quit quilting because of this quilt..

  
This quilt was inspired by an optical illusion featured on the show “Brain Games” by National Geographic channel. This image combined with the Panasonic bias tape quilting challenge told me that I needed to make this quilt.

  
The first challenge was to create an interesting background and then start attaching the bias tape.

  
I actually pieced the large center circle, so that I could guarantee that the joins on the bias tape lines would be fluid.

  

This also offered me the opportunity to angle the fabrics in the center circle at a 45 degree angle to the rest of the background. I had originally intended to quilt text in the background of this quilt to give it some more organic lines, but I was having a hard time finding the perfect passage, so I created a plan “B” quilting design that quickly became plan “A”..

  
I ended up having to test how it would stitch out, once I was happy with my sample I decided to push forward with the quilting.

  
There was a main difference though between my sample and the actual quilt, on the actual quilt I would have to avoid quilting on top of all of those bias tape lines. Also I changed up my batting to wool, since this was destined to be a show quilt. These two choices caused many problems.

  
Many stops and starts.. Lots of thread tails to tie and bury.. Plus the wool was causing things to slip and be off by a bit.. Which tripled with the fact that I was planning on changing out the thread color from blue in the middle to white on the outside of the main circle meant that you could see everything.. At this point I actually opted to remove the quilt from my frame and put it aside. I had taken it to a guild meeting, and a friend of mine asked why I couldn’t just pull up the bias tape, quilt it, then put it back. Since I didn’t see finishing the quilt in the state it was in I decided to try this crazy option, however first I had to “unquilted” what I had already done..

  
This time I decided to go with cotton batting and a pearl colored thread throughout. However since the bias tape was still attached in the seam for the big circle, it had to come along for a ride while the rest of the quilt was quilted..

  
Avoiding the bias tape was a bit of a challenge, but at least the quilting was looking good..

   
 
After quilting the entire quilt top I then had to try and make my bias tape sit in perfect circles again. However, with the density of quilting and the fact that the glue I had originally used left a bit of a mark I decided to opt to cover my prior glue lines, which meant that the circles looked a bit squished (at least to my eye..).

  

Deciding to just move forward, all of the bias tape got top stitched and the binding attached (I used some texty fabric for bits of the binding as a ghost of how I should have quilted it.. 😉).

   
 
I entered it just under the wire for the Quiltcon 2015 deadline, but was just kind of burnt out and couldn’t really even look at this quilt. It wasn’t until I had ventured down to quilting studio late one night was I able to see this quilt in a new light..

  
Eventually I was able to see my quilt hanging at Quiltcon 2015, and even had matching nails to boot..

  

Love letters

This quilt was one of the first quilts that my customer had ever made, and she was never quite sure how to quilt it, so it sat around unfinished for a long while. When she found out that I had a long arm she was eager to have me finish it off for her.

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This quilt posed many challenges. The first of which were the envelopes themselves. This meant ares of the quilt would not be quilted at all. Second she had already attached the buttons and ties for the envelopes.. Turned out to not to be that big of a deal since I had to avoid the areas anyway. The biggest challenge I faced was the construction of the quilt itself. The background surrounding the envelopes was constructed with the meeting of the on point blocks that held each envelope. The outer part of the background area was finished off with filler triangles. All of this meant that it was a bit puffy with some thick seams (due to the extra envelope fabric). Also the outer border was not in harmony with the sizes in the middle. I knew that I would need to go with a custom job and didn’t want to just go with and all over design that would get trimmed. My original design included just a separate border for the inner background, but I wanted to have it flow better as one space so I found a triangle that came with the square heart pattern I was wanting to use. With the triangular pattern I was able to make the patterns fit the space while keeping it similar to the main background areas.

Voile Baby Quilt

I decided to make this whole cloth baby quilt for a friend of mine that had a baby girl, after having 2 boys she needed something a bit more girly for this baby. It is constructed with some bamboo batting sandwiched between two layers of Anna Maria Horner cotton Voile. This quilt turned out to be so soft and lightweight for a summer baby, and I made it big enough so that it could be a floor quilt or a swaddling blanket. I used Glide thread for the quilting, which just looks like little jewels on the quilt after it was washed.

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Valley Swoon

When I finally got my longarm I knew that the one pattern that I wanted to complete was Thimbleblossoms Swoon quilt. Since it is such a popular pattern and produces such a large quilt I figured that I would have an oppertunity to quilt one in my near future. After acquiring the pattern I went scouring my stash for 16 coordinating fat quarters and matching background. Somehow I found that I had a full stack of fat quarters from Deynse Schmidt’s Hope Valley line, as well as 5 or so yards of ivory colored Essex both of which were not scheduled for anything in particular. At which point Valley Swoon was born

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After pushing through I modified construction of 9 blocks I did not have it in me to add an additional row (even though I had the fabric to do it). Finding enough fabric in my stash for backing was troublesome as well. Since I figured that I would have to piece it and it was a square block on a square quilt I decided to experiment a bit and see how closely I could center the backing on the quilt. So I sized up the swoon block to be the entire back using some DS yardage that I had picked up from Joann’s. Not wanting to make the quilt any heavier than it already was I just paired it with some kona bone to try and match the Essex as close as possible. Since I was not really in love with the quilt yet, I didn’t want to spend too much on it… Although I did end up going back for more kona bone twice..

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When I started quilting this quilt I started by basting it through the middle and worked toward both ends. For the quilting I wanted something that would emphasize the circular nature of the blocks and take advantage of the negative space between the blocks. When I found Anne Bright’s wreaths I was intrigued but when I saw that they came in halves that were designed to be used as an E2E pattern I was sold. This meant that as long as I was careful I would have very few stops and starts. I ended up centering the wreath motif in the center of each negative space as well as on top of each star.

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Once quilted I started to like the quilt more, but ended up taking it back up to the trainers at my longarm dealer to see what they thought and see if they had any suggestions. They loved it and suggested that I enter it in an up coming quilt show. This meant that I had to go take care attaching the binding and add a sleeve and label on the back. But I figured that it would probably give me some exposure as a new longarm quilter in the area.

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I ended up entering it in the modern division of the show, the only division that only receives a first place ribbon, no second and third. So I was not expecting much, other than some good publicity… I was surprised when I walked in to the show to find my quilt hanging with all of the other ribbon winners. Apparently the judge was so impressed with the quality of the quilts in the modern division that two honorable mention awards were given out as well. My Valley Swoon being one of them.

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Feathers forever…

When this quilt was brought to me I knew exactly what I wanted to quilt on it. I saw feathers around the edge, and I could use each of the floral rows as a sampler of different modern quilting designs. I could not have picked a better backing fabric if I had tried. I am in love with this quilt, and it is not even mine.

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If quilts had karma… this one would be all bad..

This quilt was one of the lonely quilt tops from my mother-in-law. This quilt was created as a guild project in which each person added a different border. This being said, each border added just seamed to add to the wonkiness of the quilt. I had never even considered posting a picture of this quilt, but circumstances changed that.

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I finally picked out a fabric from her stash for the backing and binding, and decided to add an orphaned block to the backing. However my measurements were not spot on the backing had it’s own wonkiness.. (I didn’t even get a picture.. but trust me.. it matched the front.  I had already decided on a fairly loose all over design with a fine thread. Truly.. I just wanted to get the quilt done… So I mounted it on the longarm and mostly went on to something else when this happened:

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Yup.. the foot went under the edge of the quilt and happily stitched itself into the quilt. I was able to save the quilt top, but I ended up with a hole in the backing.

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The dark patch that you see is a small piece of backing that i shoved between the backing and batting to help patch it up before I stitched over it again (very carefully.. ).

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You can see the small dark patch where I also lost some of the batting, and didn’t bother to replace it before stitching over it.  This is the tool that got me out of the bind:

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A curved claw style seam ripper.  When the quilt was finally all together I ended up putting a small curve shaped patch on the back. Which is hardly noticeable.

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Hopefully I did this quilt justice in the end, since there is so much work in to it. I just know that I will try to never think badly about a quilt before I am about to quilt it again. (Also I will be using smaller basting stitches around the edges, and watch the machine around the edge more closely too.. )

batik stars…

This quilt was my done for my first paying client. Luckily I consider her a friend as well, and she allowed me to free reign as to the design. Only after coming up with a design did I realized that I viewed this quilt as a challenge to my ability to fit patterns that I already had to the spaces on the quilt. I also was attempting to find and use “hidden” blocks in the design since there was no sashing.

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The patterns in the corner squares of each block come together to make a secondary design. I also chose to treat the triangles between the star points as diamonds.

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The border design was taken directly from the design on the border fabric. I mirrored the motifs to complete the border.

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The backing on this quilt was plain white fabric and showcased the bone colored thread supremely.

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gilded again…

A few years back I quilted a baby size quilt with Anne Bright’s gilded E2E design. However that was long before I had a longarm, and I ended up tracing out the design and quilting through the tracing paper. When a friend of mine brought me a black, white, and red quilt I knew immediately that I wanted to use the same design. I forgot to snap a picture of the front of the quilt, but she provided me with the white fabric for the backing. I knew that I needed to add just a bit more fabric to mount it on my longarm. I added the black fabric, knowing that I wanted to quilt it using red thread. Here are some pictures of the back.

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I love the mixture of swirls and not quite feathers.. and some paisley and fern elements..

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I used a solid black for the binding to calm down the busy front of the quilt (that I didn’t grab a picture of.. ) so I had the extra black for the back. I think this quilt ended up bigger than me or my friend thought that it actually was.

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All I ever need to know…

This is the quilt that seemed to consume most of my time for the better part of a month. This was the quilt that the Cubic Experiment quilt was made to test techniques for.

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This quilt started by using large squares of wash-away self-stick stabilizer. I drew a grid on the back side of the stabilizer using just crayola washable markers. Then I cut thousands of squares from strips selected from three different solid jelly rolls. After i first heavily starched each strip.

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Each of the students in the kindergarden class was given a sheet of the stabilizer and was able to create any image they wanted. Then using a flip and fold method I stitched all of the seams in the blocks, pressing each seam open as I went.

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I found that the clover clamps helped to give me a much straighter block. i also found that taking  a q-tip dipped in starch to the backside of each open seam and then manipulating it with the iron and my fingers gave me a much flatter seam.

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Here the seams on the left have been treated with the starch process, and those on the left have not. Needless to say that these blocks took me much longer than I was expecting. Since I knew that each block was going to be a bit off of square in different ways I decided that I needed to add some sort of design element that would allow for me to square up each one without taking too much off of each smaller square. After several considerations I had decided on either a shadow approach or the grid design that I eventually went with. I also wanted to make sure that the design element did not interfere or detract from the design of the blocks themselves.

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I used my husband to help take this photo. As it turns out this has to be one of the heaviest quilt tops I have ever constructed. Between all of the seams and the stabilizer it made for quite some weight. Also the stiffness of the blocks made it harder to stitch the entire top together as I was pairing a single layer of fabric with the stiffer block.

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I had one of my girlfriends with an embroidery machine make up the label for me. Since she wanted to play with her new circle attachment I decided to insert it in to the backing in a circle.

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After procrastinating about putting the real quilt on the long arm I decided to make up a sample. Since I also wanted to test out my binding. After making the equivalent of a placement I decided that I needed to get the real quilt quilted.

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The quilting design is Modern Maze #1 digitized by digitech designs for Krista Withers. I used SoFine #50 in pearl. I love how the fish ended up with some of the bubbles around his eye.

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After quilting it I had to do something that was very scary.. I had to wash the quilt to remove the stabilizer. I first soaked it and tried to rinse out as much of it as possible, and then put it through a long wash cycle. Luckily, nothing ran, and it washed up well. When it came out of the dryer it had that nice crinkly texture that many people look for in a quilt. However I had grown to love it flat, so I took the iron to it, and liked it better again.

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This quilt as raffled off at the school’s annual auction, and at least made as much as it was worth. I was just glad that it went home with the parents of one of the students in the class.

angels in the middle…

This project was an experiment to test quilting of a small quilt that was already finished and bound. This table runner was something that my mother in law had put together, however she had never put a stitch of quilting in it.

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This style of table runner is not something that would fit in any of the homes of the immediate family members, so it was decided that this would be donated to my sister in law’s preschool for an auction. I wanted to see if I could quilt it quickly on the long arm by just pinning it to the leaders. Although I was not able to quilt it completely to the edges, I believe that the quilting that I was able to accomplish did help to increase the value.

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This method only took me about an hour and came away with good enough results that I am most likely going to try it again on a few more of the pile of table runners that I have from my mother in law.