Friday, May 28, 2021

Giverny Kaleidoscope Quilt Finish + Big Birthday Surprises: A Bernina Q24 is Coming Next Week (APQS Millennium + IntelliQuilter For Sale)!

Today's post is a long one; I have three things to share with you.  

1. Graduation Quilt Finished Early!

First things first, my lovelies -- I put the final stitches in the binding of Anders' high school graduation quilt last night.  I finished it EARLY, y'all -- graduation isn't until Tuesday, and Quillow Sunday at church is on June 6th.  Woo hoo!!  This was my One Monthly Goal for May, and it feels good to hit the finish line with several days to spare!

70 x 90 Giverny Teleidoscope Graduation Quilt for Anders

I really love how the ombre backing fabric came out, too:

Giverny Teleidoscope Ombre Backing

I ended up doing a 1/2" finished width binding on this quilt because it seemed more proportional to the oversized kaleidoscope blocks than my usual 1/4" binding.  As for the size, it came out right at 70" x 90" before washing it, and I used 100% cotton batting so I'm bracing myself for some shrinkage to happen in that first wash.  I had intended for the quilt to be a little larger, but it will be fine.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Preeti's Spring Broken Improv Quilt with Raindrops On Water E2E

You guys, I have been DYING to show you this client's quilt ever since it was on my frame a month ago, but I was sworn to secrecy.  This quilt top was created by my client Preeti of SewPreetiQuilts using improv piecing techniques (no pattern available).  Her inspiration for the quilt, entitled "Spring Broken," was the lost opportunity to enjoy this year's Spring Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. due to pandemic restrictions.  The fabrics are all from Ruby Star Society.  Isn't this gorgeous?

Raindrops On Water E2E on Preeti's Spring Broken Improv Quilt

I love it when clients send me quilt tops that are so different from the projects I'm working on myself.  I've never tried my hand at improv piecing before, but now I've made up my mind to sign up for an improv piecing workshop the very next time I have an opportunity to do so.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Date Night With Jack the Ripper: A Directional Tension Thriller With a Happy Ending

Friday Night with Jack the Ripper

You should have seen the look on my husband's face when I told him I was ripping stitches out of Anders' graduation quilt.  You'd think I just told him that I fed one of our neighbors to the dog or something.  It was all there in his eyes -- shock, horror, revulsion, "how could you do this to me, to us, and to our family?!" blah blah blah.  But a quilter's gotta do what a quilter's gotta do, and sometimes you just have to put on your Big Girl panties and reach for the seam ripper.

So I finished quilting Anders' graduation quilt late on Tuesday night, but when I took it off the frame and flipped it over, I saw a couple of spots where I wasn't happy with the stitching on the back of the quilt.  I know better than to make rash decisions when I'm tired, so I walked away from the quilt and decided to come back and triage in the daylight, after a good night's sleep.  Sometimes I can pick out and restitch small sections of quilting invisibly, knotting and burying the thread tails so you'd never know any "quilt surgery" had happened there.  This was not one of those times.

Tuesday Night, When I Thought I Was Finished

Inspection on Wednesday morning revealed directional tension problems in the first two rows of quilting, about 15" across the entire top of the quilt.  

What the Heck are Directional Tension Problems?

Oh, I'm so glad you asked!  

Friday, May 14, 2021

Spring Forth: One More Cuddle Quilt Ready for Outreach Drop-off This Weekend

Happy FRIDAY!!!  The Charlotte Quilters' Guild Outreach committee is doing a drop-off this weekend for charity quilts, and I managed to squeeze one more in for quilting so that I'll have three to turn in this month.  I took advantage of the opportunity to try out a new quilting design called Spring Forth.  It shows up really nicely on the pieced backing side of the quilt: 

Spring Forth E2E in Tabriz Orchid Glide Thread, Backing Side

I knew the quilting design wouldn't show well on the front of this heavily pieced quilt, and I didn't really want the quilting to stand out on the front of this one, so I tried to pick a design and thread color that would blend in and let the piecing shine.  Not every quilt is all about the quilting!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tuesday's To Do List: Champagne in Giverny for Son-the-Younger

Well, I hope everyone likes the champagne bubbles because we're committed to them now!  After agonizing over trying to choose the perfect design for Anders' graduation quilt for weeks now, I finally decided to show a few options to the soon-to-be-graduate himself and see what HE likes.  Anders chose this design for his quilt, Kristin's Champagne Bubbles E2E, and I started stitching it out this afternoon.

Kristin's Champagne Bubbles E2E on Kaleidoscope Quilt

I just LOVE how my IntelliQuilter can quilt out such smooth, perfect circles onto a quilt, don't you?  This is one of those quilting designs that can only be stitched out with a computerized machine.  I chose 100% Quilter's Dream Cotton batting for this quilt since Anders complains about being too hot at night -- and since he'll be attending college in South Carolina.  The thread is Glide in color Split Pea, selected because it blends into most of the lighter colored fabrics in the quilt top and is a near-perfect match to the backing fabric.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Featherlicious Quilting on a Hunter Star Quilt + Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wool Batting

This beautiful Hunter Star quilt is fresh off my frame, ready to be shipped back to my client Jo, and I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Jo pieced this quilt as a gift for her sister, using fabrics from Moda's Daybreak collection by Three Sisters.  

Abundant Feathers E2E on Jo's Hunter Star Quilt with Wool Batting

When Jo first reached out to me about this project, she had seen the Graffiti #7 E2E on my Color Outside the Lines quilt and thought she might like something similar.  I suggested Abundant Feathers instead because it has a similar sweeping movement, curved lines, and dramatic impact of the Graffiti design, but with a more traditional style that better complements the soft colors and traditional fabric prints in Jo's quilt.  

I know everyone loves seeing "Before & After" photos.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Spring Daffodils, Sunshine, and Abundant Feathers "for the Babies"

In addition to my personal quilting projects and the quilting I do for clients, I also quilt tops for our Charlotte Quilters' Guild's charity outreach program.  Our guild donates to the NICU and Pediatric wards at both the Atrium and Novant hospitals in Charlotte, in addition to the women's cancer units and veterans' hospice.  Many of our guild's members make donation quilts from start to finish, but others will bring in piles of pieced quilt tops for other members like me to quilt.  

The quilt I'm sharing today is one of nearly SIXTY quilt tops that were made and donated recently by a single person, a guild member's mother who is ninety years young.  Every morning she sits down at her vintage Singer sewing machine and sets to work on making "quilts for the babies and children in the hospital."  Just imagine how much love and compassion this one woman has sent out into the world over the decades of her lifetime, working one day and one stitch at a time!

39 x 39 Cuddle Quilt with Abundant Feathers E2E

The sunny color palette and daffodil print fabric are so cheerful, perfect for the Spring season.  

Saturday, May 1, 2021

It's All Fun and Games in the Studio Until Rebecca Unleashes the Flying Monkeys...

Hello, There!  It's Me, Rebecca Grace!

This blog post is a quick public service announcement for the extra-special readers who have subscribed to receive my posts automatically via email.  First of all, THANK YOU!  Full disclosure: When I put that little Follow by Email widget into the sidebar of my blog so many years ago, I thought the only person who'd ever sign up would be my mom.  I never dreamed that there were thousands of quilters out there who would care enough about what I had to say or was making to invite me into their personal in-boxes.  Your comments, questions, suggestions and encouragement mean so much to me.  💕