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.  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Vintage Economy Quilt is Headed Home: The One About the Super-Wide Binding

Good Monday Morning, Quilt Lovers!  This vintage Economy Block quilt is finally all stitched up and ready to ship back to its owner this morning.  I really love how modern and fresh this 80+-year-old quilt looks after all these years, and I'm glad to have extended its useful life so the granddaughter of the original quilt maker can continue to enjoy it.

Vintage Economy Quilt Repaired, Ready to Go Home

Although there's another, more familiar quilt block named Economy, I identified this quilt block as the Economy pattern that was first published in the Kansas City Star in 1933 using Barbara Brackman's definitive Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, 3rd Ed.

Economy Block, First Published in the Kansas City Star  (1933)

I think this quilt was made sometime during the 1930s-1940s, based on the the date the block pattern was published, the color scheme, and clues from the construction methods and materials used in the quilt.  It was well cared for by its owner and looks great for its age. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Pieced Whole Cloth Quilt, Part I: Q-Matic Loves Karlee Porter Designs (and So Do I)!

OH MY GOSH, you guys -- I have died and floated off to quilting heaven!!!  Look what I started quilting yesterday for one of my clients:

Karlee Porter's Bailee E2E Design, Quilted on Bernina Q24 with Q-Matic

This quilt is a gift for my client's 80-something-year-old mother, who says she "always wanted a white-on-white quilt but she could never have one because she had kids and pets."  So my client pieced a very plain quilt top from large squares of assorted white and ivory solids and textures, and told me that "the quilting needs to be the star."  Now, in case you are wondering what is the best way to become my Best Friend Forever, it is DEFINITELY by telling me that my quilting gets to be the star of your quilt!  💕

Setting the Design Up in Q-Matic

When I purchased this particular design for my collection, I didn't think I'd ever actually stitch it out as an edge-to-edge design like this.  I was thinking I'd stitch single repeats of the design motif on plain alternate blocks for custom quilting.  The level of detail in this design is insane and it would be completely lost on a print fabric or busy piecing.  

Monday, July 12, 2021

Vintage Quilt Repairs Continue + Millie Goes Home to Minnesota

Good Monday morning!  I'm still working on that vintage quilt repair that I wrote about last week (here).  At this point, I've finished all of the hand stitched repair work in the quilt's interior and all I have left is the binding.  This is a hand pieced quilt that had open seams to be stitched shut in almost every block, as well as a few other minor holes and one serious hole where something acidic had spilled on the quilt and eaten through the cotton fibers.  When deciding how to deal with this hole, I tried to address it the way the original quilt maker might have done, so I looked to the repairs on this antique Oak Leaf and Reel quilt for inspiration:

75.75 x 69 Oak Leaf and Reel Quilt, circa 1860

I photographed this quilt at the Paducah museum in 2019, when it was the inspiration quilt for a New Quilts from an Old Favorite challenge.  This hand pieced, hand appliquéd antique quilt is part of The Richardson Collection belonging to the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University.  

What really fascinated me about this quilt was the way it had been repaired long ago:

Thursday, July 8, 2021

TGIFF is At My Studio This Week! Modern Scrap Petal Garden Baby Quilt

 Hello, and happy (almost) Friday! I'm delighted to be hosting this week's TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finally Finished) Friday linky party, because I am head over heels in love with this sweet modern baby quilt that I just finished quilting for a client.  

36 x 42 Scrap Petal Garden Baby Quilt with Jessica's Abacus Chevron E2E

The machine appliqué pattern for this quilt is called Scrap Petal Garden, from Cabin in the Woods, and it's available on Etsy here if your local shop doesn't carry it.  I love the fresh, bright flower petals against my client's low-volume background fabrics, don't you?  I know everyone loves the before and after quilting photos, so here's what the top looked like before quilting:

Sunday, July 4, 2021

The High-Tech, Low-Tech, Good News and Bad News Update

Happy Sunday, Happy Independence Day to those of you in the United States, and Happy July, everyone!  Today's post will be a smorgasbord of high-tech and low-tech excitement that has accumulated over the past week.

The Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild hosted a Zoom lecture with Canadian quilter Libs Elliott a few days ago, which was fabulous!  Libs is best known for her use of computer code to generate random geometric designs for modern quilting.  She shared that her parents were antique dealers and that she'd discovered and fallen in love with old quilts at auctions and estate sales.  As she related her journey from trying to replicate traditional patchwork with hardly any instruction through creating ideas of her own on paper and then trying to figure out how to make a quilt that looked like her sketches, I really appreciated her spirit of adventure and the way her style and her process have evolved over time.

Enjoying Libs Elliott's Lecture on Quilt Design with Computer Code

I got some good news last week, and I got some bad news.  Good news first!  I found a buyer for my APQS machine, a quilter from Northern Minnesota who was delightful to talk to on the phone.  She will be driving over 1,300 miles come and pick up the machine this week, and I wish her a safe and smooth journey!

Bad news: I already sold the IntelliQuilter computer robotics that I had on my APQS Millennium, because my Q-Matic computer robotics for the Bernina was supposed to be here at the end of June.  Well, guess what?  The Q-Matic is now pushed back until at least August, due to the global shortage in microchips.  😧 Yikes!  That means I can't stitch any digital edge-to-edge quilts for another month!  My Bernina dealer, Creative Sewing & Vacuum, has graciously offered to let me use their demo Q24 machine at the store for computerized quilts that  I need to get done in the meantime.  The only catch there is that, to conserve floor space in the shop, their demo Q24 is set up on the smallest 8' frame and the widest quilt that will fit that frame is about 71".  Not big enough for the queen quilts in my queue!  I had a customer's baby quilt that needed to get done, though, so I brought it over to quilt it with Q-Matic at the store.  I can't show you this quilt quite yet -- the client is picking it up on Wednesday -- but I'm hosting TGIFF Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday this week and I'll show it to you then, okay?  Pinky promise!  For now you just get this little tantalizing glimpse:

Borrowing My Bernina Dealer's Demo Q24 with Q-Matic