Saturday, December 10, 2022

Megan's Knitted Star Quilt + Janita's Wintry Batik Table Runner

 Hello, there, Quilty Peeps!  I hope you are all staying warm (or cool, if you live in a hot climate) and are managing the hubbub of the holiday season with a level head, a grateful heart, and an overflowing glass of eggnog (if you’re into that sort of thing).  I am 95% finished with my gift shopping, the trees are up and decorated thanks to Bernie, and Christmas carols are looping through my brain like jolly elvish ear worms.  How about y’all?

I did finish the custom quilting on Jingle but I’m waiting to share it until it's labeled, bound, and is hanging on my wall.  Meanwhile, I have a couple of clients' quilts with seasonal flair to share with you today.

Megan's Knitted Star Quilt

Check out this striking Knitted Star quilt made by my client Megan!  The pattern is by Brittany Lloyd of Lo & Behold Stitchery, and you can purchase the pattern alone or a complete kit here (this post contains affiliate links).  

Megan's 64 x 64 Knitted Star Quilt with Gems 2 Quilting Design

Megan used a Kona Solids kit pairing Kona White with Gotham Gray.  I've seen other versions of this quilt made up with a white background and red and green snowflakes, red background with green or white snowflakes, which also look great.  Brittany hosted an eight week Knitted Star QAL (quilt-along) on her blog when she released this pattern two years ago, and those step-by-step tutorials are still available here if any of you are interested in making this project.  If you are local to Charlotte, North Carolina, Megan is hoping to offer this quilt as an in-person class at Quilt Patch Fabrics in Matthews.  Call the shop at 704-821-7554 if you're interested.  One more "helpful hint" from me is that this pattern, like many of Brittany's designs, involves cutting and piecing many, many strips of fabric and the accuracy of your cutting (and piecing) those strips will have a huge impact on how easily this goes together for you.  Accuquilt is offering their strip cutting dies at steep discounts right now, and being able to cut 24 perfectly straight, exact width strips in a single pass would not only speed you through the cutting process so you could start sewing sooner, it would also improve accuracy and reduce the possibility of cutting mistakes that can happen when rotary cutting hundreds of strips.  

I quilted Megan's Knitted Star with a pattern called Gems 2 that creates a wonderful illusion of depth, an effect that is further enhanced by the loft of Megan's favorite batting, Quilters Dream Wool.  The thread is Glide in White.

Detail of Gems 2 on Megan's Knitted Star

The thread was chosen to disappear against the white patchwork snowflakes.  Had I used a dark gray or black thread to disappear into the background, it would have detracted from the bold graphic design of the patchwork.  
We auditioned some pale gray and silver thread options, but they just looked like dirty pencil lines against the Kona White fabric.

Quilting Detail, Stars and Dimples

One of the cool things about using a quilting design like this one with a lofty batting is that you get not just an illusion of dimensionality but actual variation across the quilt between areas where the loft is compressed by closer lines of quilting versus areas that puff up more because the quilting lines are spaced farther apart.  See that cute little star detail in the photo above?  Those little stars flatten out the batting more that the wider spaced lines surrounding it, and there are puffy "dimples" where those quilting lines nearly converge but never touch.  Not sure how well that conveys in photos but it looks really cool in person!

Megan's Knitted Star Top Prior to Quilting

And above, that's what Megan's Knitted Star top looked like before I quilted it.  Already gorgeous!  This is another one getting added to my mile-long list of quilts I want to make someday!

Janita's Batik Table Runner

This next share is a quickie, not because it's less loved but because it's less well documented in my photo roll.  This was one of four quilts I was working on for Janita and in my haste to get the next quilt on the frame, I somehow neglected getting that "finally finished" full length photo of her table runner.  I have to share it with you anyway because I just love her mix of richly saturated batik fabrics that have a subtle winter holiday vibe, but without being explicitly Christmas or Chanukah themed.  Very versatile; these are fabrics that will work well into January and February, until she's ready to swap it out for Spring.

Quilting Feather Ferns on Janita's Table Runner

Janita's table runner measured 30" wide by 83" long and I quilted it with Feather Ferns E2E.  I used Quilters Dream 80/20 Cotton/Poly batting and the thread is Glide in Warm Grey 4.  That is the only picture I have of the quilting, unfortunately!  We chose that quilting design because several of the batik prints had a similar leafy vine at a much smaller scale, and the overall effect of the finished piece is like a wintry forest blanketed in icicles and snow.  

Janita's Table Runner Prior to Quilting

Thanks for choosing me to quilt for you, Megan and Janita!  ðŸ˜Š

MoMa Wants HOW Much for These Stockings?!!

And now, for some silliness -- or some inspiration, or some enabling.  Take your pick.  When I first saw these patchwork Christmas stockings for sale in the Museum of Modern Art's online gift shop, they were priced at $95 each.  The price has since been reduced to $75 each, but most of you reading this are probably reacting like I did, knowing that even paying full retail for the fabric from our local quilt shops, we could make these stockings for pennies to the dollar.  Seriously!

From a Factory in India, Still Priced at $95 or $75 Apiece

The back of the stockings aren't pieced or even made from any of the fabrics used in the stocking fronts.  There is no cuff, the strip piecing would go together quickly and they are finished off with a large scale meander quilting that is described by the museum as "the artists's signature squiggle quilting," as though she personally invented the stipple quilting that millions of quilters have been doing for at least 30 years.  I don't mean to trash the designer because I actually love the simplicity of her designs and the fun modern color palette she used.  My beef is with the deceptive marketing copy that claims these stockings are hand pieced and hand quilted, which is absolutely and unequivocally false advertising.  I expect more integrity from a museum shop, frankly!  I'm not sharing these stockings just to complain about them, though.  I don't expect to find bargains at museum gift shops and I like shopping there anyway, knowing that my purchases are helping to support the work of the museum.  If you're looking for a last-minute gift idea, or you promised to make someone a set of "handmade Christmas stockings" and you're running short on time, by all means order these from MoMa and I won't judge you!  

But I'm also sharing these stockings for any of you out there who might be looking for ideas of quick homemade gifts that you could still reasonably accomplish for the holidays.  It doesn't have to be super complicated!  A simple design like this in bright solid fabrics is sure to be a hit, especially with those young adults on your gift list who are just starting out in their first apartment or first home.  In modern interiors, less is more.  If anyone has a favorite pattern for making simple Christmas stockings, tree skirts, or table runner projects for gifting, please share your source in the comments.  

And now, for the enabling bit: if you've had your eye on a snazzy new sewing machine that is on promotion for the holidays and you're on the fence about asking Santa to snag one for you, I give you permission to do the "MoMa Math" when calculating how much money you will SAVE by sewing Christmas stockings, quilts and clothing with your new machine instead of buying them.  Mwahahaha!  

And on that note of wickedness, I'm signing off and getting back to my own projects.  I'll be linking up with my favorite linky parties, listed on my left blog sidebar.  Happy quilting, everyone!


Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Your quilting is gorgeous on these two quilts, Rebecca! I love how the white thread shows on Knitted Stars, and the pretty vine on the batik one.
Cute stockings, but a little too expensive ;))
Thank you for sharing your beautiful work, and linking up!

Gretchen Weaver said...

You've done it again, beautiful quilting designs! Happy stitching!

Chantal said...

Gorgeous quilting on Megan's quilt. I love that quilt in every colours I think. It always looks so great but your quilting gave the quilt another dimension, like WOW! Bravo! ;^)

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

oh wow on the socks - they are cute - but to claim hand pieced and hand quilted when we can all see they are not made by hand! well just wow
Neat quilts!

Debbie said...

Here’s the link to the pattern I’ve used to make stockings:

The original pattern is for a lined stocking, and I’ve made them as written, but since getting my longarm I’ve quilted the fabric in advance to nice effect.

Sandy said...

Wow! I don't know why I'm always amazed at your beautiful quilting, since it's always exquisite! These two pieces are gorgeous; I'm sure the Knitted Stars class will fill, based on this quilt, and the table runner is wonderful. As for the MOMA stockings, shame on them for the false advertising -- I'd expect better.

piecefulwendy said...

I have Knitted Stars on my list of quilts to make, too, so I enjoyed seeing this one, and I like the quilting design you chose. The colors in the runner are pretty, too. Many years ago, I remember seeing a carved penguin in the MoMA shop in a magazine, and I wanted it so badly. Never did order it and I've regretted it to this day. Those stockings, though - hmm. Not sure I'd cave, even for $75. Highly doubtful about the hand piecing and quilting!

Kathleen said...

Wonderful quilts! I love that pattern you chose for the Knitted Stars. It is really interesting and love the little stars it creates. The tablerunner, too is fun. Those stockings - nice but not for $75! I know I underprice things when I sell them, but that is a bit ridiculous.

Marie said...

Beautiful quilts Rebecca. Knitted Stars is on my seemingly never ending list of quilts to make, just not sure about the colour palette yet, but it's lovely in the colours chosen by your quilter. And great choice on the thread.

Suzanne said...

Your quilting work is exquisite, as always! I love what you share on your blog.

I want to mention two things about the MoMa stockings, if I may. One is about their wording, and another is about the work it supports. While you are 100% correct that we quilters/sewists would NEVER call them handmade, the common/popular use of the term means something more like “not made in a factory.” I live very close to RISD (alma mater of the artist) and sometimes go there, plus I receive emails from them. Something about these stockings rang a bell — likely them calling her stippling a “signature squiggle”, which is just too funny for words!!! Anyway, I had looked the artist up before, and this is what I recall: the work is done by individual Indian women at domestic sewing machines, as they are learning a trade and gaining independence. This is at a nonprofit called Work+Shelter (just looked them up again at that seeks to equip women who are uneducated and have been victims of domestic abuse. So, YES, absolutely none of us on here would call the stockings hand sewn! But I think most other people would. This makes me think of the reaction I get when a friend or family member is ooohing and aaaahing over my work and says, “I can’t believe you do this all by hand!” And I correct them and say, “No, I have a longarm machine for the quilting and I have another machine I use for the piecing of the top.” Then, they promptly look at me as if I have 3 heads. To non-sewists, they think I’m doing it “by hand” simply because I’m doing with my own hands versus it being industrial-factory-made. Okay, seriously, not correcting you — just clarifying that I think we quilters and sewists sometimes communicate in our own language, and the MoMa wording is probably accurate according to the outside world :)

Can’t wait to see Jingle soon! I’m on the edge of my seat for the big reveal!!! Have a great Christmas season.

Linda said...

Brittany's pattern looks so good in the gray and white, but your quilting - oh my goodness! One thing I noticed is that on the "before" photo, I see the individual strips that make up the snowflake. After it is quilted, although my eye is drawn to the quilting, I just see the snowflake. Hard to explain, but again, your quilting is not only magnificent, it is so very thoughtful.
I love that you called out the wording of that ad! LOL - you are 100% right. Thank you for sharing with us at To Do Tuesday! :)

Judy Hansen said...

The Feather Ferns design is beautiful. It looks perfect with the beautiful batiks. And the snowflake quilt is stunning. You said you used quilters dream wool batting. Some quilters have suggested I use two battings to get more depth. How do you decide whether to use one or two. The quilting on this one really enhances the snowflakes design. Thanks for linking with Design Wall Mondays, Judy

dq said...

Wow wow wow!!! Once again you have made this quilt come to life with your quilting. I love the secondary pattern it makes. It is brave to do white thread on the navy, but you have pulled it off beautifully!