Monthly Archives: April 2014

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.


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:


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.


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.. ).


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:


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.