Friday, September 9, 2022

Olivia's Church Windows, Gail's Autumn Bear Paws, and My '80s Sampler Gets Borders and Backing Fabric

Good happy morning, everyone!  I am so far behind in posting photos of the quilts I've been doing for clients that I am having a hard time deciding which quilts to share with you today.  Seriously!  The second-best part about being a longarm quilter is that I get to see and collaborate on so many gorgeous quilts in every color and style imaginable.  (The very best part about my job is that I get to meet, talk with, and be inspired by the wonderful people who make these quilts).  

So, considering that my phone is busting at the seams with photos I haven't shared yet, I ought to quit writing the blah blah and just show you some quilts already!

Church Windows Baby Quilt for Olivia

The maker of this fresh and modern baby quilt is a high school math teacher, so she's automatically my hero.  Olivia has brought me several baby quilts over the past year, shower gifts that she's made for friends and relatives.  This one is extra-special, though, because it's for Olivia's own first child who is due to arrive any day now.  I'm so excited for her!

Olivia's 39 x 40 Church Windows Baby Quilt

Olivia chose the Church Window quilt pattern from Lo and Behold Stitchery, available on Etsy here (this post contains affiliate links).  After looking at lots of designs together, Olivia chose this Annabelle edge to edge design from Christy Dillon for its ability to soften the geometry of the piecing lines with soft curves, feminine florals, and a modern vibe that will "grow with the baby" versus anything overtly "baby."  Don't you love the way the flowers appear to be vines supported by a patchwork trellis on this quilt?

Annabelle E2E Design Stitched in Barely Pink So Fine Thread

We used Quilter's Dream Bamboo blend batting, one of my favorites for baby quilts due to its lighter weight, softness and breathability.  Previously known as Quilter's Dream Orient, this blend includes not only bamboo but also silk, cotton, and Tencel fibers.  The thread I used is 50 weight So Fine in color Barely Pink.  So Fine is a great choice for quilting designs like this one that involve backtracking/overstitching on previously stitched quilting lines because it doesn't build up and look "thready" in those areas.  Looking at the finished quilt, you might think the thread was white or off white, but when we auditioned thread colors against the quilt top the Barely Pink color was less jarring against the deep raspberry fabric patches than the white threads.   We wanted the quilting thread itself to be as inconspicuous as possible to balance the complexity of the quilting design with the simplicity of the patchwork design, to maintain that clean modern look that attracted Olivia to this quilting pattern in the first place.  Her fabrics are so much prettier in person, by the way.  This is one of those times when I finished up the quilting and took pictures at night.  The colors are more accurate in the "before quilting" photo below:

Olivia's Church Windows Top Prior to Quilting

Gail's Glorious Bear Paws

This next quilt is one that I completed early in the summer for my client Gail.  I waited to share it with you until Fall was in the air -- or at least until Pumpkin Spice Lattes reappeared on the menu at Starbucks!  😉

Gail's 72 x 72 Bear Paw Quilt with Fall Leaves E2E

While there's nothing specifically autumnal about the bear paw block itself, Gail's palette of beautiful batik fabrics in deep jewel tones with brown, orange and gold reminded us of fall leaves swirling against a clear blue sky.  We decided to play that up with the quilting design Fall Leaves from Christy Dillon (coincidentally, the same designer who created the Annabelle E2E pattern that I used on Olivia's baby quilt).  

Falling Leaves E2E Stitched in Glide Thread, Apricot Blush

Solid and near-solid fabrics like Gail's are wonderful for showcasing quilting designs that might get lost on busy prints.  We chose 40 wt Glide trilobal polyester thread in color Apricot Blush for this quilt where we wanted to really see the quilting design and stitching.  Apricot Blush is like a pale brownish-peach pastel, not so dark to look garish against the white background, but just enough color and shimmer to be impactful and visible against the different fabrics in the quilt.  The batting for this one is Quilter's Dream 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend, which is my favorite "all purpose" batting.

Gail's 72 x 72 Bear Paw Quilt

Isn't it pretty?  I'm afraid I neglected to get a "before quilting" photo of Gail's quilt top so I can't do my usual Before-and-After thing with this one.

Thank you so much for choosing me to quilt for you, Olivia and Gail!  I appreciate you!  💕

Meanwhile, Back At the Ranch...

I DID finally get those borders on my Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt!  Woo-hoo!

This Quilt Top is FINISHED!!

Even more exciting, I found the PERFECT backing fabric, AND it was on sale!  That NEVER happens to me!

Cassette Tape Mix in White, from Dear Stella

This is regular 45" wide fabric so I'll be seaming it to get it big enough for my King/Queen bed quilt, but that extra work is totally worth it because I can't imagine a better backing print for my '80s nostalgia inspired sampler.  The fabric is called Cassette Tape Mix and it's part of the "Pour Some Sugar On Me" collection from Dear Stella Designs.  The little cassette tapes have handwritten titles such as "Heavy Metal," "Power Rock" and "Hair Bands."  (Side note: I doubt either of my sons has ever actually seen a cassette tape in real life). I found some smaller cuts of this fabric on Etsy here.  I ordered a full ten yards from Hancock's of Paducah to ensure I'd still have enough after prewashing it in hot water, since all of my quilt top fabrics were also prewashed in hot water before cutting.  So now the fabric is prewashed/shrunk/dried and waiting to be cut into lengths and seamed together.

I think I've decided on how to quilt my sampler, and I predict that you will all be shocked when you see what I have in mind...  😈. What I have not yet decided is which batting(s) I'll be using, since the son for whose bed this quilt is destined has made irksome declarations about his warmth and weight preferences for the new quilt. There is plenty of time for me to consider my options, because I have several clients' quilts that will need to go on and off my frame before I can squeeze my own quilt in.  You know what they say about the cobbler's children going without shoes!

As usual, I've rambled on a bit longer than planned so that's it for today!  I hope you are enjoying the change of seasons and finding time for the things (and the people) that you love.  Happy quilting!  I'm linking up today's post with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.

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!  I am currently scheduling quilts for completion in late November, so please let me know ASAP if you are working on quilts with holiday deadlines.  Click here to learn how easy it is to book a quilt with me!


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

what size is the bright colorful solid quilt - glad to hear you finally had luck in finishing the top. It looks like you have been staying busy

Gretchen Weaver said...

Your clients quilts have wonderful quilting! Enjoy your stitching!

Sandy said...

Gorgeous, as always, Rebecca Grace! I really love that baby quilt -- it's definitely going to be able to "grow" with the child. :)

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Fun, fun, fun!!! I enjoy seeing the variety of quilts from your clients, and seeing what pantos you put on them, Rebecca! Suspense, on your son's quilt!!!!

piecefulwendy said...

So many pretty quilts. I'm so curious about how you are going to quilt your retro - will be exciting to see what you have in mind! said...

What a special baby quilt! I love how the thread disappears and leaves that subtle texture. The baby is going to love it. I do enjoy bear paw quilts too! What great fabrics in that one! Ta-dah for having a finished top and finding the perfect back. . .it really is PERFECT! Awesome find!!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

I love the variety of quilting designs and threads you used for these pretty quilts. You really have the eye for making them even more beautiful than they are "before".
Your quilt is lovely too, well done with the borders! Fun backing fabric ;) I can't wait to see how you will quilt this one!
Thank you for sharing those beauties, and linking up.

Mary said...

Hi Rebecca, I love reading all the details you include about your long-arm quilting. I feel like I learn something about thread or batting (or both!) with all your posts. The quilting patterns are perfect for each quilt. How exciting that you have the borders done on your 80s sampler! Those mitered borders are the bomb!!! Hope you’re having a great weekend, Mary.