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.  Most charities report that they receive far more juvenile and "girly" quilt donations and are always in need of more "masculine" or gender-neutral quilts for male recipients.  

Textures Digital Design Mimics Organic Free-Motion Quilting

Given carte blanche for the quilting, I chose Anne Bright's Textures design and scaled it at 15" height.  I wanted to add quilting texture without competing motifs that might detract from the simple patchwork, and I like the organic "freehand" look of the digital Textures design.  In fact, this computerized design is a mix of patterns that I absolutely could have quilted freehand.  The advantage of the computerized version is that it ensures a balanced mix and uniform scale of the different patterns over the entire surface of the quilt.  

Setting Up the E2E Design in Q-Matic

I used Quilter's Dream Poly Select batting for this quilt with Glide 40 weight Azure thread in my needle and Glide 60 weight thread in Hawaiian Blue for the bobbin.  Although the "obvious" thread color choice would have been a tan neutral to match the background fabrics, I wanted the quilting design to show up primarily against the background and be more subtle against the blue plusses/crosses, and that's why I selected a blue thread rather than a cream or beige.  The key to success is that it has to be a light blue in order to not look stark and severe against the backgrounds.  A royal blue or navy blue thread would have been too harsh for my taste.  I find that I use more pastel thread colors than anything else.

Light Blue Thread for Subtle Contrast Against Background Fabrics

I love the stitch quality of the Bernina Q24!  This quilt is currently on a UPS truck headed to California, where Bernie will complete the binding and deliver it to the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital along with the others that have been donated through the quilt along.  

I know we all love to see Before and After Quilting photos, so here's a picture of the unquilted Positivity blocks on Julie's design wall:

10 inch Positivity Blocks Before Quilting

At 60" x 80", Positivity was close to the limit for what I can quilt on my Bernina dealer's 8' frame. I'm still patiently/impatiently waiting for my own Q-Matic system to be installed on the 13' frame Q24 in my home studio, but in the meantime my awesome Bernina dealer has opened his store to me and is giving me full access to use his demo Q24+Q-Matic as if it was my own machine.  This has been a blessing in disguise, honestly, because I have been meeting so many people who have asked for my business cards while I've been quilting away in public like an "Artist in Residence" at the shop.  I can fit anything up to 71" (on the shortest side) on this little demo frame, which is why my current turnaround time for baby quilts, throw quilts, and Twin quilts is so much faster right now.

Quilting Positivity at Creative Sewing and Vacuums Bernina Dealership

The other downsides, in addition to not being able to quilt anything bigger than a Twin right now, is that I can only quilt during business hours at the Bernina store -- and quilting in my pajamas is frowned upon.  I am expecting an update from my Bernina dealer today about the Q-Matic backorder, so fingers crossed!  I have some beautiful Queen size customer quilts in my queue, and I'm looking forward to finally quilting my California King pineapple log cabin quilt as well!

PSST!!  I'd Love to Quilt for YOU!

By the way, if you or any of your quilty friends has a quilt top or two that needs quilting, I'd be delighted to quilt for you!  My turnaround for edge-to-edge quilting  is currently running about 3-4 weeks, and you can click here to find out how to book your quilt with me.  

August OMG: One Monthly Goal

With the uncertainty of whether/when my Q-Matic might be installed in August, and both of my sons headed off to college in two weeks (my youngest is a freshman and my oldest is a junior this year), it's hard to predict what this month will look like.  I have more shopping to get done before we move the kids into their dorm rooms and we'll be celebrating Anders' 18th birthday right before college move-in, too.  One monthly quilting goal is exactly the number of goals that is reasonable for me this month!  

My August goal is to continue learning the Bernina Q-Matic program by piecing and custom quilting a small pediatric bereavement quilt for our local Novant hospital.  The size requested by the hospital staff is 36" x  45", in white/cream fabrics, just the right size for practicing setting up and stitching out borders, corners, and sashing designs.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal August Link-up.

Tuesday's To-Do List

  • Finish college shopping for the boys
  • Cut out the next blocks for my Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt
  • Work on an update project for an interior design client
  • Check stash for suitable fabrics for the Pediatric Bereavement quilt

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


To-Do Tuesday at ChrisKnits


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

...And of course, I'm linking up with the Positivity QAL Finish Linky Party at Mercyful Quilts!


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

the quilt turned out great - love the close ups of the quilting

Lynette said...

Oh, wow! Who would think that such a simplistic quilt design would turn out so beautiful? It's a fantastic quilt that somebody will really love receiving. The blue thread is perfect on it.

Julie in GA said...

Your beautiful quilting added so much to this simple quilt. I love the texture of the quilting design, and the light blue thread is perfect! I hope we can collaborate on another quilt soon!

Preeti said...

Your quilting added so much joy and beauty to a simple flimsy. Love you, Rebecca.

O'Quilts said...

Great post, beautiful quilting

O'Quilts said...

Great post, beautiful quilting

Jay said...

Love the variety in that quilting design. I have no doubt this quilt will provide much comfort to its recipient(s). Nice work!

The Joyful Quilter said...

That Textures quilting design will provide hours of interest for the recipient and their family. Kudos on the teamwork with Julie!

Frog Quilter said...

Love that quilting design. Just beautiful.

Vicki in MN said...

I'd say you found just the right quilting design for this quilt as it does give fabulous texture.

piecefulwendy said...

You and Julie made a good team, that is such a beautiful quilt. I love the yellow background with the blue plus blocks. Great idea using the blue thread, too! I hope this month of transition goes well for you! said...

You have mastered the quilting design! The texture is perfect for this quilt!

Melva said...

Good morning! I wanted to let you know that I am subbing in as the hostess for the Tuesday To-Do Linky party. Feel free to join in over at MelvaLovesScraps(dot)blogspot(dot)com

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

That panto is definitely going on my wishlist! Great thread color choice, too!!!

Linda said...

Your quilting is beautiful and I love the choice of that blue thread for the plus/cross quilt. So interesting to read about your quilting experience as the serendipitous "in-shop artist"! I know you're excited to have your own larger frame arriving soon. I have a Simply Sixteen arriving this week, and it is only going to be on a 5-foot frame but I am very excited to start my longarm adventure. I hope to become as knowledgeable and discerning as you when it comes to the best quilting for each quilt!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Fingers crossed that you get good news soon and are back to quilting all quilts, regardless of size. Meanwhile it's nice that your dealer is providing support for your business. What a lovely quilt! I agree--this will make someone very happy and will provide the comfort needed. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Pretty quilt, and once again you choose the perfect quilting pattern. J'aime beaucoup le choix du fil bleu pâle, qui ajoute une belle texture ❤️

Digitizing service said...

I really love these patterns how the machine turns them into beautiful quilting patterns.

JanineMarie said...

What beautiful teamwork to make a lovely quilt for a lovely cause. I’m in awe of your design choice for the quilt. It truly looks custom. Thank you so much for the thread color/value lesson. I usually use white and off white for quilting (mostly for frugality) but I think it’s time to stock a pastel for those quilts with big value contrasts.

Bernie Kringel said...

I was wondering if you had free handed the quilting or not when I first received the quilt. What a cool pattern you selected! Well done Rebecca!