Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Three Favorite Traditional Applique Quilts From AQS Paducah Quilt Week + Vintage Quilt Repair Update

Okay, my lovelies -- I know you wanna hear all about my adventures at AQS Paducah Quilt Week, but you're only gonna get this in dribbles because my brain is overloaded, there are 500+ photos on my iPhone, 45 pages of notes from the TEN classes I took (those are just my own notes above and beyond the handouts) and UPS won't be delivering my big box of show goodies until Wednesday.

Best of Show: Muttons and Buttons and Pearls, Oh My! by Janet Stone, Overland Park, KS, Photo by AQS
You may have already seen this AQS photo of the 2019 Janome Best of Show winner, "Muttons & Buttons & Pearls, Oh My" by Janet Stone.  Isn't it gorgeous?  You can find out more about this quilt and watch an interview with the quilter on the AQS website here.  I was not able to get a good, clear photo of the front of this quilt myself without anybody's head in the way, but I did get some close-up shots of details that caught my eye:

Prize-Winning Quilts ALWAYS Wear Labels...
Ah, yes -- we are going to look at the BACK of the quilt with the darling little sheep print fabric, and the quilt label.  The label is simple but elegant, conveying the relevant information in permanent ink, embellished with a narrow striped border and a smattering of pearls.  As long as Janet labored over this amazing prize-winning show quilt, this label did not take long to make at all.  And it's PERFECT!  (There is a moral to this blog post, y'all -- LABEL YOUR QUILTS!  No more excuses!)

Check Out the Nifty Binding Details
Janet's crisp, overlapping prairie points are adorned with contrasting blanket stitching and hand stitched pearl beads, and they are ingeniously sandwiched between two different "binding" fabrics, as you can see comparing this photo to the previous one.  

The other detail that called to me was the quilting in the white border between the appliquéd flowers:
I Love the Sweet Leaves and Berries Quilted In This Border!
This is simple connecting curves with a little "pearl" or pebble or whatever, nothing fancy, but it complements these simple folk floral appliques beautifully and the execution of the machine quilting is nearly flawless even with your nose 3" away from the quilt.  No galloping horses needed for THIS quilt!

You can see even MORE gorgeous detail photography of this quilt over on The Quilt Show's blog here.  

I'm only going to show you two more quilts tonight, because I'm tired.  Like Janet's Best of Show quilt, these are also very traditional designs and colorways but created using the best modern machine techniques.

Coxcomb Nouveau, by Wilma Richter and Leah Sample, Little Rock, AR
What I love about this quilt is how at first glance it's a straight-up antique reproduction, but the very modern geometric longarm ruler work quilting sets off the traditional appliqué and makes it feel fresh.

Geometric Ruler Work Quilted Background Sets Off Applique
Of course, since I was overloading on longarm quilting workshops at this show, I was especially focused on the way each piece was quilted.  After taking ruler work classes with both Judi Madsen and Lisa Calle, I have a much better idea of how to accomplish quilting like this -- after some additional practice, naturally!

1790 Love Entwined by Marlee Carter, New Gloucester, ME
The last quilt I'm showing you today is one I was delighted to recognize -- it's the first version of Esther Aliu's Love Entwined pattern that I've seen "in the flesh."  This is Esther's painstaking pattern based on an antique British quilt that she has only seen a black and white photo of in an old book, referred to simply as "1790 Coverlet."  That is some insane appliqué, don't you think?  Marlee did an amazing job with the appliqué.   

That's all you get for today, though.  I've got to get the binding on my vintage repair quilt so I can get it back to its owner, and I need to get Lars's graduation quilt loaded on my longarm frame and start quilting it -- I've only got a little over three weeks now to get it completed before graduation weekend and Quillow Sunday.

Just realized that I forgot to show you how the quilting and machine embroidered label came out for the vintage quilt!  The first time I shared this quilt with you it looked like this:

1960s Utility Quilt Top, Acrylic Yarn Ties, Poly Batting, and Backing Removed
The backing was in shreds and the quilt's owner requested a change in color, so I snipped away the acrylic yarn ties to free the quilt top for patching and seam repair.  You can read more about my process for repairing the quilt top in this post.

Quilting Allover Loopy Meander to Draw In Excess Fullness
I'm using new backing fabric (prewashed in HOT water to maximize shrinkage, since the fabrics in the quilt top have been laundered many times over the years) with 80/20 batting, Superior's King Tut cotton 40 weight thread in a variegated pinky-orange that reminds me of cotton candy or sherbet, and off-white Superior Super Bobs prewound 60 weight polyester in the bobbin that just melts into the lavender backing fabric and disappears.  I chose the loopy meander because I thought the random curvy quilting lines were a nice complement to the random straight(ish) piecing lines of this utility quilt, and the double loops were good for drawing in excess fullness in areas where that was a problem.  I wanted to quilt this close enough to marry the fragile vintage quilt top fabrics to the new batting and backing for strength, but didn't want to do anything with the quilting that would draw too much attention to itself and scream "Rebecca was here."  I am VERY pleased to say that this quilt came off the frame nice and flat and SQUARE.  Hallelujah!

My Patched Sections Blend In Even Better After Quilting
My goal with this quilt is to be as invisible as possible, so it still "looks like grandma's quilt" to my friend when she gets it back.  I digitized this quilt label in my Bernina v8 Designer Plus software and stitched it out in cotton embroidery thread on my Bernina 750QE sewing machine, matching the thread color to the original acrylic yarn (the original backing was that same Day Glo orange, too).  The orange dots on the new purple backing fabric and the loopy circles that I quilted in are supposed to be suggestive of these little yarn pom poms, too, since they are not going back on the quilt.  

Machine Embroidered Label Ready to Attach
I chose binding fabric in that same orange:

Label Attached, Awaiting Binding
GOSH I hope she likes this.  I am SO FAR PAST the point of no return!

After 30 hours of longarm quilting workshops, I have a much better idea of how I want to quilt Lars's Mission Impossible graduation quilt, and I have new longarm rulers and thread coming for that in the UPS box that I shipped home from the show.  And no, that doesn't mean I overspent -- I have a bulky quilt sample from each of the 10 classes that I took and I wanted to keep them all because I didn't finish any of them and I want them for reference.  They go with my notes

And so, without further ado...  my To-Do On Tuesday Goals for this week are:

  1. Bind this Vintage Quilt & Return to Owner
  2. Test Spoonflower backing for colorfastness & deal with any dye instability, then piece Mission Impossible backing
  3. Load Mission Impossible and start quilting!
I'm linking today's post up with:


·      Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at http://www.cleverchameleon.com.au
·       To-Do Tuesday at Stitch ALL the Things: http://stitchallthethings.com


·      Midweek Makers at www.quiltfabrication.com/
·      WOW WIP on Wednesday at www.estheraliu.blogspot.com


Needle and Thread Thursday at http://www.myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.com/


Vivian said...

It's no wonder those quilts are top show winners --- the details you highlighted show the skill and effort that went into them. And speaking of skill and effort: hats off to you for the vintage quilt repair! You've done a phenomenal job restoring that quilt. She will no doubt love it (for another few decades thanks to you!) and the label is the icing on the cake. Again, phenomenal job!

SJSM said...

I am loving the repair to the vintage quilt. Your friend will have tear of joy when she sees it.

The border on the first quilt is striking. I see why you like it. I do too.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

you know I truly forgot to go look and see what won best of show and haven't seen any blog post showing the quilts until yours popped up this morning. I assume you had fun! and a box that you sent yourself means you did some good shopping too I guess. - congrats on getting the old quilt done

Marty Stanchi said...

I know Wilma and Leah from Little Rock very well. I'm so glad you liked their collaboration. Good luck on your own longarm journey, you do beautiful, precise work. I love reading your very entertaining posts!

Robby said...

You have invested so much care and love into the quilt repair, Grandma's love will still shine through. Just wonderful.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Wow, stunning quilts! Thanks for sharing. Great progress in your repairing.

Christine Slaughter said...

I haven't been paying much attention to the show at all, and so this is the first time I've seen the Best In Show quilt. It is spectacular! So are the other two you shared. It sounds like you gained a lot of information in all of those classes. I know it takes some time to process all of that, so I hope you have fun practicing everything you learned!

The vintage quilt repair is so fantastic! I do not know how she could be anything other than ecstatic at how it all turned out! Beautiful work in keeping Grandma's original quilt at the forefront, but making it so that it will last so much longer for them!

Maggie said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful applique quilts. LE? Mine will still take years, seeing one done always inspire me to keep going. Love the updated quilting on the antique quilt. Colour overdose and just see in so many quilts at a show, require that we decompress when we get home. Repairing a quilt and giving it new life, takes a very special person to do so. It looks amazing, the label on the back tells the next chapter of the story.

Bonnie said...

Many thoughts spinning through the head. I agree completely with all your comments about the 3 quilts your shared. Amazing work. I often take pictures of just a small section of quilting to think about for future projects. My guess is you will try them while I think about them! You've done a wonderful job on the repair of the vintage quilt. You've been so thoughtful about your choices. It will make the owner very happy. My only thought is your name should have been on the label as the restorer. And, yes, we all should be labeling every quilt we finish but... I know I don't always. I'm hoping to try using my new embroidery machine to make some labels... time will tell. Thanks for a great read.

chrisknits said...

Oh My! Such exquisite quilts!!!

Janice Holton said...

Thanks for sharing the great eye candy from the quilt show! YUM! What a wonderful job you did repairing that beloved quilt. Love the label. Can't wait to see how you're going to quilt Lars' quilt!

Marlee said...

Thanks so much for posting a picture of my quilt. It was a joy yo stitch!

Marlee Carter

LA Paylor said...

I love the Paducah show!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

On that middle quilt, did they quilt it first, then add the applique? Fun blog post!

Susan said...

Thanks for a peek at the show winners - just lovely!

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing your trip to Paducah. Certainly, understand your overload. I have seen other Janet Stone quilts in person, and they are inspiring. Gotta love “Love Entwined.” Good luck on your projects.

Dione Gardner-Stephen said...

Thank you so much for sharing these. I saw the first one on instagram and so, so wanted to see more detail... and here it is. Happiness abounds.