Monday, July 25, 2022

Barbara's Gee's Bend Inspired Housetop Quilt

Do I have a treat to share with you today!!  This striking contemporary quilt was made by my client Barbara, who was inspired by the iconic "Housetop" style of abstract quiltmaking that was pioneered by the African-American quilting tradition that originated in Gee's Bend, Alabama.  If you're not familiar with the Gee's Bend quilting tradition, definitely check out both of those links. And then check out this article detailing the history of the Gee's Bend quilters in the Smithsonian Magazine, too.   Do it now -- I'll wait!  Seriously!  I would argue that the entire modern quilting movement as we know it today traces its roots back to "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibit that took the art world by storm when it opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2002:

Gee's Bend's "eye-poppingly gorgeous quilts turn out to be some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced. Imagine Matisse and Klee (if you think I'm wildly exaggerating, see the show), arising not from rarefied Europe, but from the caramel soil of the rural South."             -- Michael Kimmelman, Art Critic for the New York Times


Barbara's 57 x 65 Housetops Quilt with Bobbing For Apples E2E

So hopefully now you've given yourself a crash-course on the Gee's Bend quiltmaking tradition and you can fully appreciate what Barbara was working towards with this piece.  Don't you just love the mix of colors and fabrics in her quilt?  The vivid coral orange, salmon pink, brick red and mustard with just that little bit of deep raspberry convey so much energy!  And I love how this quilt reads as though it's all solids from a distance, yet she does have that khaki and white stripe in there and wide swaths of the yellow tonal print fabric.  Those details make the finished piece so much more interesting than it might have been with a more restricted assortment of fabrics.

This Quilt Is Even More Gorgeous In Real Life

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Feather Quilting Dresses Up Jingle's Setting Triangles

Hey there, Quilty Folk!  I finally have some quilting progress to share on my Jingle sampler that is not invisible!

Sashing Triangles Done, Just Starting This Star Block

By the time I was done with the Drudgery That Is Ditch-Stitching, a little devil was whispering wicked things in my ear like "How much credibility would I lose as a professional longarm quilter if I paid someone else to do this for me?" and "maybe I should try some other hobby, like golf?"  Y'all, I have tried golf and it did not go well -- so it looks like I'm stuck with quilting!

It took me three days to quilt these feather designs in my setting triangles, four if you count the day I spent considering all of the bazillion possible ways I could quilt them until I narrowed it down to this one.  It's a digital block design from Anne Bright that I chose because it has formal, symmetrical feathers that complement the style of metallic Hoffman fabrics that I used in my borders and fussy cut for some of the blocks.  But it's not too traditional, either, with the staggered feather plumes curling around on themselves.  There's a touch of whimsy to these feathers that connects well with the simple appliqué shapes.  At least, that's the hope!

These Inside Corners Were Challenging!

These weird inside corner shapes (above in green and below in red) were challenging both in deciding what to quilt there, how I wanted to turn the corner with the design, and then fitting the designs into the weirdly-shaped spaces.  I was very glad when I had the fourth one stitched without messing any of them up!  

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

More Christmas In July: Sharon's Flannel Snowflake Quilt + Jingle Progress

Since my last post was all about boring invisible ditch quilting, I feel like I invited you all to a parade to see the Emperor's (imaginary) New Clothes!  So today I am sharing another Christmas quilt, but with this quilt you can actually see the quilting.  I quilted this one a few months ago and I've been waiting for July to share it with you.

My mom pieced this quilt using the Snowflake pattern from Modern Handcraft and a kit of flannel fabrics from Keepsake Quilting.  She chose Minky dot fabric for the backing, and the finished quilt is soft, snuggly, and weighty -- perfect for curling up with a good book or a Hallmark Christmas movie in the month of December.

Sharon's 60 x 72 Flannel Snowflake Quilt

This is only my mom's second quilt ever -- didn't she do a great job?  We went with Quilters Dream 80/20 batting and Glide thread in White.  The edge-to-edge quilting design is called Snowflake E2E 2 and it took forever to stitch out.  

Saturday, July 2, 2022

It's Christmas In July! 9 Years In the Making, My Jingle Quilt is Finally On the Frame

You guys -- NINE years after starting my very first appliqué project, and THREE years after completing the quilt top, Jingle is FINALLY on my frame for custom quilting!  WOO-HOO!!!

Jingle Is On the Frame!  This Is Happening!!!

I had admired appliqué quilts in the pages of Quilters Newsletter Magazine and at quilt shows for years before attempting one, thinking that appliqué was a really advanced skill that would be way out of my reach as a novice quilter.  And then one day I stumbled across Erin Russek's quilting blog, One Piece At a Time, and saw that she was doing a free pattern called Jingle as a Block of the Month combining pieced blocks with prepared edge, hand stitched applique.  Her applique tutorials were outstanding and her voice was so encouraging that I decided to give it a try.  Erin's pattern for this quilt is no longer offered for free because it was published in book form in 2021.  You can purchase the Jingle pattern here on Amazon, or directly from the publisher here (This post contains affiliate links).  

Loaded Up and Ready to Go

I've scheduled a couple of weeks at the beginning of July for custom quilting Jingle, but if I'm not finished by the time I need to start on my next client's quilt I can just zip it off my frame and set it aside.  I am hoping to either completely finish the quilting or at least get it to where I'd just need to come back and finish background fills.  Fingers crossed -- this is my One Monthly Goal for July.