Sunday, December 19, 2021

Who Wore It Best, Panto Edition: Snow Crystals Quilting Design on Two Holiday Gift Projects

Can you believe Christmas is only SIX days away?? Today I'm sharing two small Christmas quilts made by two of my favorite clients, Julie and Olivia. Even though I have lots of different snowflake designs in my library, we happened to chose the same Anne Bright Snow Crystals B2B design for both of these projects. However, I tailored the scale of the design, thread colors, and batting choices very differently to complement each project so they are interesting to compare side by side!

Those Trees Throw Quilt: Metallic Thread & Wool Batting

57 x 69 Those Trees Throw Quilt, pattern by Zen Chic Moda available here

For Julie's Those Trees 57" x 69" throw quilt (pattern by Brigitte Heitland for Moda Zen Chic is available here on Etsy, affiliate link), we used fluffy Quilter's Dream Wool batting for its lightweight warmth and fabulous loft.

Friday, December 10, 2021

TGIFF: Lazy Day College Graduation Quilt Finish + Two Christmas Finishes for Clients

 Hello, there, quilt lovers!  Happy FRIDAY!  Do y'all realize that Christmas Eve is only two weeks away?!  Hanukkah is over and done with for 2021, and Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka and New Year's Eve celebrations (and the resolutions of the new year) are sneaking up on us quickly.  This will be my last time hosting TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday) in 2021!  I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you have finished recently, whether it's a completely finished quilt or garment, a finished quilt top, or just a finished block.  ALL finishes count!  The link up is all the way at the bottom of today's blog post, because first I have a special finish of my own to share with you.

Alex's College Graduation Quilt

90 x 93 Lazy Day Quilt from Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! book, 3rd ed. (affiliate link)

This is my nephew Alex's college graduation quilt.  He graduated this past June, and I tried to give him cash, but he asked for a quilt instead.  💓💓💓.   

Simple Piecing, Double Batting, & Modern Curves Extended Width E2E

Of course, I wasn't able to attend his graduation in person thanks to Plague Protocol...

Big Alex Graduates from UC San Diego, June of 2021

I didn't want this to be another of my seven-year quilts, so I found this easy pattern in the book Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes, 3rd ed.  (By the way, the 2nd edition of this book taught me to make my very first quilt -- I noticed the newer 3rd edition when browsing at Barnes & Noble and bought it because all of the projects have been updated to appeal to modern as well as traditional quilters, and the new projects looked like they would be great for quick gifts).

Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Bachelorette, BOM Edition, But With a Married Quilter Bachelorette Who Just Can't Decide...

Y'all, I need HELP!!!  Australian pattern designer Sarah Fielke is relaunching her popular BOM (Block Of the Month) programs from previous years, ALL of them, running simultaneously in 2022.  I have admired her designs for several years but have never done one of them before, and I can't decide between three of them.  So I am going to show you the three BOM quilts, and then I am asking you to help me decide by either commenting here on the blog, or if you get my blog posts as an emailed newsletter, you can just hit reply to that email.  If any of you are planning to join one of these BOMs for next year, please let me know -- I'd love to have "virtual company" on the journey!

Down the Rabbit Hole (BOM from 2017)

Okay, here is Bachelor BOM Number One, the first of Sarah's patterns to catch my eye because I am totally smitten by the huge folk art style rabbits in the outer borders.  They remind me of William Morris and The Velveteen Rabbit and the fable about the Tortoise and the Hare:

Down the Rabbit Hole by Sarah Fielke, BOM from 2017

Happy Days (BOM from 2016)

Bachelor BOM Number Two would be sure to hold my interest over the year because it involves such a great variety of techniques and skill challenges.  Do you see the sweet singing birdie with the sixteenth note to indicate that he's singing?  There is appliqué, English Paper Piecing, Hawaiian appliqué in this project...  Never a dull moment and only Happy Days with Bachelor Number Two!

Happy Days by Sarah Fielke, BOM from 2016

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Rebecca's Ultimate Etsy Gift Guide for Quilters and Crafters

 Hello, friends, and happy Nearly Thanksgiving to those of you in the United States!  Today's post is something I've never done before -- a shopping guide chock full of gift-worthy goodies that I personally would love to find under my tree on Christmas morning.  If you have quilters, sewists, or embroiderers on your shopping list this year, I have some suggestions that are sure to be received with delight.  (If YOU are the quilter/sewist/embroiderer reading this post, you may find a few items for your OWN wish list).  What's more, every item on my list is in stock and coming from a small craft business owner via Etsy -- and none of them contains those pesky microchips that are delaying just about everything else you might want to buy for the holidays this year.

A Few of My Favorite Tools

Each of the items on this list is something I personally own and love, or something I currently have on my own wish list.  Feel free to share this post with others, post on social media or wherever.  Disclaimer: this post does contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking my link.  I do appreciate your support of my wicked thread addiction!  😉

 Beautiful Tools: Where Form Meets Function

The items in this section are a pleasure to own and use because they combine the finest craftsmanship with beautiful design.  Bonus: They make great Instagram props to "style" your work-in-progress photos.

1. Hand Embroidered Felted Wool Pin Cushion from Etsy maker Martha of Quilt Shenanigans.  Who is this good for?  Anyone who does any kind of sewing at all can use a pin cushion, and these must take Martha hours to individually hand stitch and embellish with tiny beads.  Her hand stitching is exquisite, the felted wool is soft and luxurious to the touch, and the pin cushion is well-packed to hold its shape and is stable on a flat surface.  Even the slenderest pins slide in and out with ease, and she has lots of beautiful designs in stock to choose from.   

My New Favorite Pin Cushion, made by Martha of Quilt Shenanigans on Etsy 

2. Handmade, Hand Paired Embroidery Scissors from Maison Sajou.  These are manufactured by a 200-year old company in France, but available in several Etsy shops.  I got mine from Penelope Textiles' Etsy shop.  A few things to know: There are lots and lots of cheap imitations out there for a fraction of the price, but while the mass-produced knockoffs might look just as cute as photo props, there is no comparison to the way they actually cut.  It's like the difference between a Wustof steak knife versus the plastic knife that comes with your takeout order.  The lesser version SORT of cuts, but not cleanly or easily and it's not a joy to use!  Authentic Maison Sajou scissors are individually handmade by French craftsmen, with hand paired blades that are kept together throughout the entire production process to ensure that they match up perfectly. They are sharp, accurate, and cut smoothly and cleanly all the way to the tip (which is absolutely crucial for snipping the inside corner seam allowances in needle turned applique).  Who is this good for?  Anyone who enjoys any kind of hand stitching like cross stitch, embroidery, needle turned applique, or hand quilting would love to receive a pair of Sajou scissors!  In addition to the Hare design that I own, there is also a cute Eiffel tower version, gorgeous Art Nouveau Peacock scissors, and other historic reissue designs to choose from.  Of course, if you just want a cute pair of scissors for a photo prop, those cheaper knockoffs will suit you just fine!

Hand Paired Hare Embroidery Scissors from Maison Sajou, via Penelope Textiles on Etsy

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Megan's Vintage Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons + Curly Weave E2E Equals Magic!

 I don't normally post a client's post before they get it back from me, but my client Megan was so excited by the "teaser photos" I emailed her of her finished quilt that she gave me permission to post them right away.  If she loves this quilt now, I can't wait until she sees it in person because it is just unbelievably soft and cuddly and even more gorgeous in person than it looks in the photos!

Megan pieced this striking quilt using vintage Kaffe Fassett shot cotton stripes (affiliate link -- you can still find these on Etsy!) that she's had in her stash for awhile, and when I saw the pictures of her quilt top I was instantly smitten by the way her unexpected cool turquoise sashing and binding fabric contrasted with the mostly warm, autumnal tones of her striped fabrics. So much energy and life in this pairing, don't you agree?

68 x 78 Shot Cotton Swatches Quilt with Curly Weave E2E Quilting

I was delighted when Megan decided to go bold with her choice of quilting design, playing up the modern vibes instead of going with something "safe."  

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sarah's Chevron Memory Quilt, Lazy Day Quilt Progress + Pineapple Nostalgia Quilt Back from the Cleaners

Good morning and happy Tuesday, friends!  I have so much to share with you today, so let's dive into it.  First up is a lovely, snuggly flannel-backed Chevron Memory quilt that my client Sarah made in remembrance of her grandmother.

Sarah's Chevron Memory Quilt

70 x 90 Chevron Memory Quilt with Filigree E2E Quilting

Sarah pieced this quilt while working through the flood of emotions following the sudden passing of her beloved grandmother, incorporating some of her clothing into the quilt top and pieced backing as well as new fabrics with novelty print themes that reminded her of her grandmother.  We chose the Filigree pantograph design because it reminded Sarah of her grandmother's lace tatting and I knew it would give Sarah the loosely quilted, old-fashioned feel she wanted for this project.

Sarah's Pieced Backing, Flannels and Regular Wovens, with Filigree E2E quilting

Okay, so when Sarah first reached out to me about this quilt, she warned me that it was only her second quilt ever when she started it three years ago, that it was "full of flaws" and learning experiences, etc.  I was bracing myself for there to be challenges for me to work around -- and then this beautifully pieced top and pieced backing showed up in the mail.  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

TGIFF: My Pineapple Log Cabin Quilt is Finally, FINALLY Finished!

Happy Almost Friday, y'all!  I'm hosting the TGIFF Thank Goodness It's Finished linky party this week and I have THREE "Big Quilt" finishes to share with you -- one made completely by yours truly over the past SEVEN years, and two large beauties that I recently had the privilege of quilting for clients.  At the bottom of this blog post you'll find the link up where you can share a recent finish that YOU'RE proud of, whether it's a finished top, a completely finished quilt, a finished garment/bag/home dec project, or just a finished quilt block.  

First, oh my gosh, you guys -- Colleen, are you still out there somewhere???  I have been posting about my progress (and lack thereof) with this monster of a pineapple log cabin quilt off and on since I started it in 2014, and I know some of you longtime readers thought I would never finish it.  One reader, Colleen, used to regularly encourage/nudge/plead with me to finish this quilt, but I haven't heard from her in awhile.  Colleen, if you're reading this right now, THANK YOU for keeping the faith!  

My 120 x 120 Pineapple Nostalgia, 2014-2021

You can learn more about this quilt from this previous post, written when I finished quilting it but before it was labeled and bound.  It was foundation paper pieced on my Bernina 750QE, the logs finish at 3/4" wide, there are 97 pieces in every block and 36 blocks in the quilt, and the batting for my Pineapple Nostalgia quilt is Quilter's Dream Wool to get some loft without weight, since the heavily pieced quilt top weighed a ton all by itself.

Two Very Special Clients' Quilts, and a Movie Star Moves Into My Studio

Happy Thursday, Friends!  I just finished writing a different blog post for TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday) that I've scheduled to publish automatically at 6 PM EST this evening, since that's when Friday begins for those linking up from Australia, so be sure to check back for that one and link up your own finishes, even if it's a small finish like a single block completed.  Meanwhile, I have a couple of extra-special client quilts that I've been wanting to share with you.  

Julie's Vintage Equestrian Applique Quilt Repair

This first one belongs to Julie, whose puppy chewed a hole through all layers of the quilt at the top edge.  These dogs sure do keep me busy, don't they?!  I neglected to get a good "before" phot of the entire quilt before I started working on it, but here's what it looked like when it was nearly ready to go home again:

74 x 84 Vintage Equestrian Applique Quilt, After Repair

Julie cherishes this quilt because her husband had it custom made for her as a surprise gift many years ago.  Their family is involved with equestrian sporting and I believe he may have even drawn the horse silhouette for the applique shapes himself.  He found a quilter to make it and was given a shopping list of how much fabric was needed, then went to the fabric store and picked everything out himself -- hence the assortment of calicos, corduroys, and poly blend fabrics in this quilt.

Detail of the Worst Damage Area

This quilt was made with a wide sashing between the blocks and a narrow, 1/2" finished width outer border in the same fabric that simply wrapped to the back of the quilt and was machine stitched in lieu of traditional binding.

Same Spot On the Quilt, Backing Side

Here's what that section of the quilt looked like after I'd repaired it:

Repairs Completed, All Machine Stitched

My client's budget dictated that all of the machine repairs would be machine stitched for this project.  The binding was damaged and falling off on all four sides of the quilt and would need to be replaced, and finding a suitable fabric was the biggest challenge.  I'd initially told Julie that I'd use a solid red for the binding, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  My goal in restoring a family quilt like this is to have it look as much like it did originally as I possibly can, and although a red binding would look good on the quilt, it would definitely draw your eye and look different to its owners.  I could not find anything like the original ivory/red/blue print calico fabric in any of the local quilt shops I visited, but I did find a red and white polka dot fabric.  I was able to tone down the bright white background of the new fabric to better match the original fabric by coffee staining it before using it to repair the quilt.

Monday, November 1, 2021

November OMMG, Lightning Round: One Million Monthly Goals for Rebecca

 Hello, friends -- I've missed you!  Happy November!  

The longer it's been since writing a blog post, the more I have to share, the longer it would take to write about everything I'm working on, and the less time to get anything finished.  I have a folder on my computer desktop where I keep photos of things I want to post about and if it was a REAL folder, it would be splitting at the seams and pictures would be falling off the desk and onto the floor.  I've been working on so many different quilts for clients lately that I'm dying to share with you, but since it's a brandy-new month I've decided to keep it personal and just share my own projects and plans with you today.  I'll be linking up today's post with One Monthly Goal (as if) and To-Do On Tuesday linky parties in addition to my other favorite parties. 

Deco Quilt-Along: Behind Schedule Already

The Deco Quilt QAL hosted by pattern designer Brittany Lloyd of Lo & Behold Stitchery is running from October 18th through November 29th, and I was hoping to keep up with the QAL schedule to prevent this project from turning into yet another languishing UFO (UnFinished Object) hanging around my studio.  I had a delay with the fabrics I'd ordered online, then when they got here I didn't love some of the colors with the Anna Maria Horner backing print I'd fallen in love with while waiting for the solid quilt top fabrics to show up.  But I finally made it out to a bricks-and-mortar quilt shop about 40 minutes away from me a few days ago, and now I'm happy with my "fabric pull."  (Side note: Pulling Fabric (out of quilt shops) is MUCH MORE FUN than Puling Teeth (out of your face).

My Deco Bed Quilt Fabrics, Revised to Coordinate with Anna Maria Horner Backing Print

Obviously I could have saved myself a lot of aggravation and time if I'd chosen the backing print FIRST and THEN pulled solid fabrics to match colors in the print.  I'll still be using these fabrics more or less as shown below in my original color plan, with that inky dark Kona Solids Indigo as my background fabric.  I love bright colors with dark background fabrics!  

Deco Bed Quilt Will Finish at 102" x 102"

According to the Quilt Along schedule, I was supposed to be Planning the first week, then Cutting and Organizing ALL the fabric for the whole quilt last week, and this coming week is supposed to be making all of the Block One blocks (those are the ones that are like log cabin blocks -- in my version, they will have large dark or medium blue squares and logs of Indigo alternating with either purple or green).  In order to get back on schedule somewhat, and because of my track record in the past when cutting EVERYTHING out first, I think I'm going to just cut and piece as I go along.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Ann's Magic Carpet Quilt + TWO NEW PROJECTS for Rebecca!

First Things First: Ann's Mesmerizing Magic Carpet Quilt

Oh my gosh, you guys -- check out the quiltaliciousness of this fabulous Magic Carpet Quilt that I completed last week for my client Ann!  Ann pieced the top using Paula Nadelstern's Duets and Poured Color fabrics from Benartex.  She followed a FREE Benartex pattern called Magic Carpet that was designed by Stephanie Sheridan specifically to promote the fabric collections, available from Benartex here.  

Modern Eccentric E2E in Variegated 40 wt YLI Cotton Thread

I quilted Ann's Magic Carpet quilt using Ann Shackelford's Modern Eccentrics E2E quilting design and I just love how it turned out -- great texture with a wonderful illusion of motion.  I feel like I really could step onto this "magic carpet" and go sailing off into the night sky.

Ann made this quilt as a wedding gift.  I think the pattern does a great job of showcasing the distinctive Paula Nadelstern fabric prints.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

I'm Hosting TGIFF This Weekend! Let's Get This Finishing Party Started!

Hello, and happy (almost) Friday! I'm delighted to be hosting TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finally Finished) Friday linky party again this week. I feel like this is the Quilt Blogging Equivalent of hosting SNL (Saturday Night Live).  Just like the SNL guest hosts, I even have "musical guests" to announce, because both of my sons will be home from college for a 4-day "Fall Break" weekend and I've volunteered their bass voices up to my choir director.  At least I didn't volunteer them to be acolytes and crucifers at the early service...  Mwahahaha!!!  😇

However, unlike the guest hosts of SNL, I don't have a monologue full of witty political jokes and I'm not here to promote my newest film.  Lucky for all of you!  

Alright, so let's get on with it!  I have two beautiful client finishes plus one small personal finish to share with you today:

#1: Liz's Deco Baby Finish

46 x 52 Deco Baby Quilt with Orange Zest E2E Quilting

When Deco quilts (a new pattern from Lo & Behold Stitchery, available here) started popping up in my Instagram feed a month or two ago, I was instantly smitten with the unusual layout and dramatic impact of the Art Deco-inspired piecing design.  I am loving this quilt in EVERY colorway, EVERY rendition that I've seen so far.  So I was DELIGHTED when my client Liz (on Instagram as @lovelizziee) reached out to me to quilt her baby size Deco quilt for her.  

Orange Zest E2E Stitched in Glide Thread, Apricot Blush

The quilting design we chose is Orange Zest by Karlee Porter and I quilted it in Glide thread, Apricot Blush color.  The batting is Quilter's Dream Bamboo.  

Monday, October 4, 2021

"Heartbroken": A Valentine's Day Mini for the Scrappy Improv Quilting Blog Hop Tour

Woo-hoo!  It's finally my turn to share my project on the Scrappy Improv Quilting blog hop, hosted by Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation in conjunction with the release of her newest book!  When Kelly asked me to participate several months ago, I was thrilled to accept because: 1. I have never done ANY improv quilting before and it's something I've been wanting to try anyway, and 2. the "mini quilt" projects in Kelly's book are small and manageable, most finishing at 24" x 24" like the one I'm sharing today.  Great size for experimenting with new techniques when you're not sure you are ready to commit to a huge bed quilt.  

My 24 x 24 "Heartbroken" Improv Mini with Rose Texture B2B Quilting Design

The project I was assigned is called "Heartstruck" in Kelly's book, and it's the Valentine's Day project from her Seasonal Sensations chapter.  Most projects in this book finish at 24" x 24", by the way, which is awesome for your front door,  entryway, classroom, office  -- any space you're wanting to brighten up with a splash of quilty cheer that can be swapped out regularly so you never get tired of any one quilt.  Since many of my clients drop off and pick up their quilts from my home, I'm thinking of making a whole series of these mini quilts to display on my front door to welcome new clients -- and to reassure them that yes, this IS the right house where the quilter lives!

Kelly's 24 x 24 "Heartstrings" Improv Mini, As Featured In Her Book

Studying Kelly's "Heartstrings" mini, I love how her arrows direct your eye through the quilt in a back-and-forth motion and I was also excited about all of the empty "negative" background space because that's a great opportunity for dramatic quilting to make an impact. When Kelly invited me to participate in the blog hop, she encouraged me to "make the project my own" and have fun with it.  So, as much as I like Kelly's Heartstrings mini, I was looking for a way to change it up somehow to make it "mine."  I started thinking about the fact that there were three hearts rather than just two,  kind of like a Love Triangle.  And THAT reminded me of the late Princess Diana's remark in her 1995 BBC interview, about how there were three people in her marriage, making things "a bit crowded."  💔. Aha!  In my version, the top two hearts were going to be lucky lovers who get "struck by Cupid's arrow," but the third one was going to be a broken heart that Cupid passes by.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A Tale of Two Baby Quilts

I've been getting the best baby quilts in for quilting lately!  My customers are giving me so many ideas that I'm stowing away for the next time I need a quick baby shower gift.  Check out this first quilt from my client Julie:

36 x 45 Baby Quilt with Rapunzel B2B Quilting Design

Isn't it fabulous?!  The hearts, stem and leaves were fused and machine appliquéd to a single width of background fabric.  It's simple, but so effective, don't you think?  We chose the Rapunzel quilting design to echo the shape of the leaves and carry the movement of the appliqué design across the rest of the quilt.

Quilting Detail.  Glide Thread in Cotton Candy + Quilters Dream Bamboo Batting

I used a pink thread, Glide in Cotton Candy, because I wanted the quilting to blend into the appliqué fabrics and stand out more in the background.  The quilting is fairly dense, but this quilt is still going to be soft and snuggly thanks to the lack of any stiff or bulky seams and the fabulous bamboo/silk/cotton Quilter's Dream Bamboo batting.  I know you guys like to see before and after photos...

Sunday, September 19, 2021

A Couple More Blocks for My Retro 'Eighties Building Blocks Sampler

Good morning, my lovelies!  I have been "SEW" busy lately that I'm starting to accumulate a backlog of things I wanted to share here on my blog.  Today I'll show you the last two 10" blocks I made for my Retro 'Eighties Building Blocks sampler (adapted from the 2014 Moda Modern Building Blocks QAL).  Here's what the design wall is looking like these days:

All of the 10 inch Blocks Are Completed!

This project would be a finished quilt top by now if I was able to work on it consistently, but I've been more focused on customers' quilts lately.  I've also been responsible for more church music over the past few weeks, now that Church Council has decided we have to wear masks while we're singing and a lot of our singers are staying away because of health concerns etc.  So, those are my excuses for only having TWO new blocks to share since the last time I posted about this project!

Block 18

Both of these blocks finish at 10" and use Kona Solids in Lipstick, Snow and Black.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Custom Quilting FINISHED on Judy Niemeyer Prismatic Star Queen Quilt

Today's post will be quick, short on commentary, and loaded with photos because I just could not resist showing you how gorgeous my client's Prismatic Star Queen turned out after quilting!

91 x 91 Prismatic Star Queen, Custom Quilting Completed

My client Mildred used Judy Niemeyer's Quiltworx pattern, Prismatic Star Queen, to foundation paper piece her quilt top.  Several Etsy sellers have this pattern available here.  I believe my client may have purchased the pattern and batik fabrics together as a kit.

Feathers Aplenty, Feathers Galore

Since Mildred wanted me to quilt her top to look "just like the pattern cover photo," I used the digital design set that Quiltworx created specifically for this quilt, the same one they used to quilt the sample quilt on the pattern cover.  

Friday, September 3, 2021

Behind the Scenes: Digital Custom Long Arm Quilting With Q-Matic on a Judy Niemeyer Quilt

Good Morning, Happy Friday, Happy Labor Day Weekend, and Happy September!  It was in the fifties this morning in Charlotte, which felt GLORIOUS after the sweltering hot Armpit-of-the-South weather we've had for the past few months.  Fall is my favorite time of year and it can't get here soon enough!

Custom Digital Quilting Fit for a Prismatic Star Queen

Sneak Peek of the Custom Feather Quilting Under My Needle

I've spent more time quilting in the studio than sitting at the computer lately, so I have lots of things I could be sharing with you.  Today, I thought folks might like to see a custom quilting project that I'm working on for a client right now and learn a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes when custom quilting with digital designs.  Spoiler alert: the process is not as automated as you might expect!  Here's my client's quilt top, prior to being loaded onto my frame;

Auditioning Threads for Mildred's 91 x 91 Prismatic Star Queen Quilt Top

My client Mildred pieced this gorgeous Prismatic Star Queen quilt top using one of Judy Niemeyer's Quiltworx foundation paper piecing patterns.  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

My Pineapple Log Cabin Is Quilted, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

Oh my gosh, you guys -- I am so, SO pleased with how the quilting turned out on my longtime UFO pineapple log cabin quilt!!!  😍😍😍

Pineapple Log Cabin Quilt with Moulin Rouge E2E

Pineapple Log Cabin FAQs:

I was so relieved when I got to the bottom of this quilt without having to piece any extra batting on the sides!  The widest batting comes is a stated width of 120", and packaged batting usually gives you a few inches more than what it says on the package in the length, but the width of a roll is the width of a roll.  Whew!  Normally, I make sure to have at least 4-6" of extra backing AND batting on all four sides of a quilt.

Glide Thread in Sea Foam, Moulin Rouge E2E Quilting Design

Talk about playing "batting chicken!"  So, let's talk about this Sea Foam thread color!  My first instinct for this quilt was a more traditional off-white or ivory thread color, but I wanted to keep the focus on my piecing design and on my fabrics.  

Friday, August 20, 2021

My Suddenly-Empty Nest + My Client's Gorgeous Jason Yenter "Seasons" Quilt

I have a gorgeous client quilt to share with you today, but first -- OH MY GOSH; it's SO QUIET and empty in my house right now!!  If either of my sons was home right now instead of being away at their respective colleges, they would definitely still be asleep, but still.  The silence of the suddenly-empty nest is deafening!

My Son Anders -- and My Kaleidoscope Quilt -- Live at Furman University Now

We moved Son-the-Younger into his Freshman dorm at Furman University yesterday.  The Giverny Teleidoscope quilt I made ended up fitting the dorm bed just fine, although Anders did complain about how he's going to be too hot now and "suffocate."  Poor baby -- smothered by mama's love, even from hundreds of miles away!  😂

Anders' Quilt Blessing at Christ Lutheran in June, Photo Credit Annabelle Laine

I don't think I ever shared any photos from the quilt blessing at our church, Christ Lutheran, back in early June.  They did it outside with just a few families at a time this year due to the pandemic, and summer photography intern Annabelle Laine took this great photo for us.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

It's FINALLY Happening: My Giant Pineapple Log Cabin Quilt is On the Frame for Quilting!

Some of my long-time quilting friends out there thought this day would never come, but there's no going back now -- I loaded my pineapple log cabin quilt last night and the quilting will commence TODAY!

Loading My Massive California King Pineapple Log Cabin Quilt at Last!

Here are the answers to the most common questions I've gotten about this project over the years:

  1. I paper pieced the blocks using a free foundation pattern that I downloaded from Fons & Porter here, but after taping just one block together I took it to my local FedEx shop and printed single page copies on their large format printer.  Although the foundation paper piecing pattern came from Fons & Porter, it's not their design -- it's a pattern for reproducing an antique pineapple log cabin quilt from the collection of the International Quilt Study Center.  You can see that quilt here.
  2. The blocks finished at approximately 17 3/4".
  3. The fabric strips are cut at 1 1/2" wide since I'm paper piecing, but the finished width of the strips is 3/4"
  4. Each block contains 97 pieces, and each block is taking me roughly SIX hours to piece.
  5. This quilt is for my own California King bed that measures 72" wide by 84" long.  It's a deep pillow top mattress, so I planned my quilt top to be 120" x 120" to ensure that even after the shrinkage of quilting and washing, the quilt will still completely cover the mattress when it's on my bed.
  6. I started this project in June of 2014, SEVEN years ago!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Olga Quilt Finish for a Brand-New Quilter + More Y-Seams for My Retro '80s Building Blocks Sampler

Part One: Yolanda's Very First Quilt!

Good morning and thank goodness it's Friday, everyone!  I haven't been blogging as frequently as usual because I've been busy, busy, busy.  My oldest son Lars just got home from working all summer as a camp counselor and he leaves to head back to college this Saturday.  My younger son Anders' 18th birthday is TODAY and he heads off to begin his adventures as a college freshman next Thursday.  I've been doing lots of laundry, birthday planning and college shopping for the boys to ensure they have everything they need for school.  

Of course, quilting has been happening, too -- I'm behind on a few quilts that I wanted to share with you, and today I want to show you this Olga quilt (a beginner quilting pattern from Tuesday Bassen, inspired by vintage Scandinavian textiles and available for purchase here) that I quilted for my client Yolanda.  The most amazing thing about this quilt is that it was made by a TOTAL beginner -- not only is this the first quilt that Yolanda has ever attempted, it's her very first project on her very first sewing machine.  She did an amazing job -- I would never in a million years have known that she was brand-new to sewing if she hadn't told me that when she dropped off her quilt top!

60 x 60 Olga Quilt with A Bit of Fun E2E

Yolanda requested a "simple meandering quilt design" for this throw quilt destined for sofa snuggling, and I suggested A Bit of Fun E2E, which combines a basic meander with loops for a playful counterpoint to the rigid geometry of the piecing lines.  

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Bring On the King-Size Quilts: My Q-Matic is Finally Here!

Today's big news is that my Q-Matics computer robotics that has been backordered since May finally came in and was installed on my machine yesterday!

Q-Matic Computer is Here, Up and Running on My 13' Long Arm

Now I can finally get to the Queen size quilts in my queue whose makers have been waiting so patiently.  I can now quilt anything up to 120" on my 13' Big Girl frame (Bernina calls it the Large frame, but I am calling it my Big Girl Frame after being restricted to the dinky little 8' frame at the Bernina store that couldn't handle anything bigger than a Twin).  Not only can I get caught up with larger customer quilts now, but I'm finally going to quilt my enormous 120" x 120" California King pineapple log cabin quilt -- if I can only make up my mind about how to quilt it!

It took my dealer about 5 hours to install my Q-Matic, and I managed to piece two more blocks for my Retro '80s Building Blocks sampler quilt while he was working in my studio.

Progress on my Sampler Quilt Project

Since my Featherweight was still set up from the LeMoyne star blocks I made last week, I chose two more blocks containing Y-seams (in the original Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt, these were made with flying geese units, but I redrafted them to have fewer seams).

Monday, August 2, 2021

Julie's Positivity Quilt for the Mercyful Quilts QAL

Good Monday morning and Happy August, y'all!  I'll get to my goals for the fresh week and shiny new month later in this post.  First, I want to show you this beautiful Positivity quilt, pieced by Julie Kennedy of Julie's Quilts & Costumes, and quilted by Yours Truly:

60 x 80 Positivity Quilt for Mercyful Quilts QAL

"Positivity" is a FREE pattern from Preeti Harris of Sew Preeti Quilts, available here.  Preeti and Bernie Kringel of Needle & Foot are currently sponsoring a QAL (quilt-along) using this pattern to create donation quilts for Bernie's Mercyful Quilts charity benefitting dying patients and their families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California.  Those participating in the QAL, which runs through September 5th, are encouraged to either ship their completed quilts to Bernie or else donate them to local charity.  Although I didn't have time to piece a top for this effort, I was glad to collaborate with Julie in support of this worthy cause.

Positivity Quilt Pieced by Julie, Quilted by Me

One of the things I love about Preeti's Positivity pattern is that, although there's nothing explicitly religious about the plus sign design to non-Christians, Christian patients and their loved ones will see the plus sign as a cross -- a reminder of the promise of resurrection, which makes this quilt both physically and spiritually comforting.  I love the color palette Julie chose, too.  The blue crosses/plusses against the warm neutral background fabrics is calm, soothing, and organic, like earth and sky and water.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Happiness is an Eight-Pointed Star, and Y-Seams Are My Super Powers

If Prince Charming was a LeMoyne Star quilt block, then Wendy Welsh of Wendy's Quilts and More would be my Patchwork Fairy Godmother.  I am just ridiculously happy about how perfect this 10" eight-pointed star block turned out on my very first try, nice and flat and zero puckers in those Y-seams, and all this was accomplished without any seam ripping or swearing, thanks to Wendy's fabulous Hand Piecing 103 - 8 Pointed Stars video.

10 inch LeMoyne Star, Block 15 for my Retro '80s Sampler Quilt

In the original Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt, this Eight Pointed Star block (also known as LeMoyne Star, Lemon Star, and Puritan Star) was simplified to be more beginner-friendly by bisecting the 45 degree diamonds into half square triangles, eliminating the set-in seams as shown below:  

I prefer the cleaner look of the traditional block with the Y-seams for my own quilts, and I relish a good piecing challenge.  This is supposed to be a skill building project, after all!

I finished the partially-pieced block I shared in my last post (also with unnecessary simplification seams removed in favor of Y-seams) and that one came out pretty good, but I'm regretting using white thread because I can see little white thread dots at the center of the block.  I might redo that center bit with red or blue thread.

Block 12 Completed, 10 inches

Block 12 from the Moda Modern Quilt Blocks Sampler was first published as Mosaic #13 in the Ladies' Art Catalog #341, according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, 3rd Ed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Yes, I DO Remember How to Make a Quilt Block…. Back to My Retro ‘80s Building Blocks Sampler!

My mom came over to sew with me after church on Sunday, and I decided to get back to my languishing Retro ‘80s Building Blocks sampler (also known as Nanu! Nanu!).  I got one simple 5” block cut out and sewn together and another more complicated 10” block cut out and partially pieced before my mom called it quits and I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon playing with my spoiled rotten Rottweiler.

Block 12 in Progress, 10 inch Version With Y-Seams

My Retro '80s Building Blocks sampler is adapted from the Moda Modern Building Blocks Sampler that was released in 2014.  I changed the block sizes from multiples of 6" to multiples of 5" to get the size I wanted, which complicated cutting considerably since I no longer have "ruler-friendly" fractions for most blocks, substituted out a bunch of blocks, and have redrafted any blocks that Moda simplified because I'd rather sew Y-seams than have unnecessary seams bisecting all of my diamond patches.  The whole point of this sampler was to be a skill builder, after all.

Moda's Version of Block 12, 12 inches, with Easier Bisected Diamonds

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The White On White Bailee Quilt, Final Reveal!

Today's post needs to be a quickie because I have a full day ahead of me, but I just had to share pictures of how that white-on-white "pieced whole cloth quilt" turned out.  My client picked it up yesterday and she'll be surprising her mother with it when she flies out to see her tomorrow.

The "Pieced Whole Cloth" Quilt, Bound and Ready for Gifting

My client is thrilled with how this project turned out and I can't wait to hear about her mom's reaction to the quilt.  This is supposed to be the white on white quilt that she always wanted but couldn't have because of her messy kids and dogs.  I think we nailed it, don't you?

56 x 68 Finished Quilt with Bailee Quilting Design

It's so hard to get pictures that do justice to the quilting when it's white thread on a white background.