Sunday, May 7, 2023

Quilt Finishes for Mike, Kim, Jane, and Carrie + Halo Progress

Happy Sunday and Happy Spring!  I have four clients' quilts to share with you today and then I'll wrap up with a couple photos of how my Jen Kingwell Halo Quilt is coming along.  Lots of ground to cover and I know you're all here for the eye candy anyway, so I'll try to keep my comments brief!

Mike's Thank-You Quilt: Cherrywood 9-Patch with Amoeba Quilting

Detail of Amoeba Quilting on Cherrywood 9-Patch Quilt

This first quilt I'm sharing began as a very traditional pieced top that was donated to our guild from the estate of a former guild member.  The quilt top and backing are all Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics, with a suede-like look and rich but muted colors (this post contains affiliate links).  The Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics are fabulous; I've heard of this line but never worked with them before.  I love how understated they are, and the quilt top reminded me of Amish quilts.  I could have played that up by quilting a traditional feather design in an inconspicuous blending thread.

However...  I was asked to quilt this top so that it can be gifted to Mike, the young man who sets up the room for our monthly meetings at the Tyvola Senior Center and stays late on the first Wednesday each month for our meetings.  Mike doesn't give off an Amish vibe!  Given free reign, I choose Karlee Porter's Amoeba edge-to-edge quilting to inject some youthful, modern energy into this quilt.  I love it and I hope Mike will enjoy it, too!

60 x 60 Cherrywood Quilt for Mike

Not sure what batting is in this quilt as it was provided to me along with the quilt top.  I used King Tut 40 wt variegated cotton thread in Saint George for this quilt, with shades of caramel and rusty coral that were perfectly matched to the Cherrywood fabrics and the matte luster of cotton that I am loving lately.

This is probably nothing at all like anything the maker of the quilt top would have chosen for quilting, but I think it's a great example of how a quilting design can transform a quilt top.  There are so many unfinished quilt tops out there that their makers have fallen out of love with and abandoned as their tastes have changed over the years.  Sometimes all it takes is the right quilting design to finish those UFOs off and turn them into quilts that someone can cuddle up with and enjoy.

Cherrywood Quilt Top Before Quilting

Sorry, I forgot to get a full shot of that quilt top before I quilted it as I was rushing to fit it in between clients' quilts.  You can get a glimpse of the unquilted top on the hanger, though, waiting its turn for quilting!

Kim's Shenanigan Quilt

Next for your viewing pleasure we have Kim's strikingly modern Shenanigan quilt in lush green batiks.  I believe Kim used a Wendy Sheppard pattern for this quilt that was published in the March/April 2021 issue of American Quilter magazine.

Kim's 75 x 75 Shenanigan Quilt with Modern Curves E2E

Kim made this quilt for wall display and we chose the Modern Curves E2E quilting design for Kim's quilt with that in mind.  The batting for this one is Quilters Dream 80/20, a nice midloft batting that hangs well without distortion and gives a nice dimensional texture to the quilting design without looking "puffy."

Detail of Modern Curves E2E on Kim's Shenanigan Quilt

I went with another cone of King Tut thread for Kim's quilt -- I just love the look of a substantial  100% cotton quilting thread on a modern quilt.  King Tut in Date Palm was the perfect shade to complement Kim's gorgeous green batiks.

Here's what Kim's Shenanigan quilt top looked like before I quilted it:  

Jane's Kaffe Cabbages/Snow Birds Quilt

Here's another client's quilt using a heavier weight, variegated cotton thread.  Jane used the Snow Birds pattern by Deb Heatherly for this quilt, found in The Ultimate Flying Geese Book available on Amazon here.  We called it her "Kaffe Cabbages quilt" due to the iconic Kaffe Fassett fabric (Philip Jeffries Brassica - Orange) she chose for her setting triangles and backing fabric.  

Jane's 68 x 68 Snow Birds Quilt with Harbor E2E Quilting

Notice that there is a bit more loft to Jane's quilt than the last two I've shown you?  We used Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool blend batting for this quilt.  It's a luxury all-natural fiber alternative to the 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend, with a bit more loft than the cotton/poly blend but with more weight and less "puff" than an all-wool batting.  

The Harbor E2E quilting design has diagonal lines that complement the on point setting of this quilt and prism-like shapes that echo the patchwork shapes.  As I do with every quilt, I resized the scale of the pantograph design to suit the scale of the patchwork and of the statement print fabric design.

Detail of Harbor E2E in King Tut Harem 40 wt Variegated Cotton Thread

Look at the craziness that happens when Rebecca gets to pick thread without supervision!  Are you surprised I chose this thread for Jane's quilt?

My notes for this quilt literally said "thread color is quilter's whim on the day of quilting" because Jane said "you pick" and I had warned her that I would choose six different colors on six different days, depending on what mood I was in.  When the day came to load this quilt on my frame, I was feeling too frisky for a blender thread so I reached for King Tut variegated 40 wt cotton thread in Harem.  My thinking was that the tonal solids Jane used for her pieced blocks pulled the darker, more muted colors from her Kaffe setting triangle print, but the blocks were slightly upstaged by the the vivid, electric brights in the print fabric.  The variegated Harem quilting thread brings those bold hot pinks, yellows and oranges from the statement print fabric into the center of the quilt, marrying the blocks to the print fabric so they work even better together.  Another thing I liked about this thread was that it stood out against the solid fabrics throughout the center of the quilt but it disappeared into the setting triangle print, ensuring that the quilting design wasn't visually competing with the print fabric.

Here's what Jane's quilt top looked like before I quilted it:

Jane's 68 x 68 Snow Birds/Kaffe Cabbages Quilt

I just love this quilt -- what a great example of how you can start with one print that you love and build a whole quilt around it.

Carrie's Let's Grow Milestone Quilt

This last client's quilt that I'm sharing today is extra-special because Carrie made it for her very first grandchild!  Woo-hoo!  Carrie used the Let's Grow Milestone Quilt pattern by Wellspring Designs, available on Etsy here as a PDF download.  This baby quilt pattern is designed with today's social media trends in mind, and it's a fantastic gift idea for a baby shower.  The idea is to take a series of photos of the baby at each monthly milestone in the first year of life with the same quilt as a backdrop, using an empty picture frame, embroidery hoop, or some other indicator placed on the quilt to indicate the month.

Carrie's 45 x 45 Let's Grow Milestone Quilt with Donut Connection E2E

I just love the color palette Carrie chose for this quilt.  Originally, Carrie had planned to quilt this herself on her domestic machine using straight line quilting with her walking foot as shown in the pattern photo, but then she decided she wanted something a little bit more special.  We chose Donut Connection for the quilting design and I am thrilled with how it turned out.  It reminds me of those penny tile mosaics from the turn of the last century that are popping up again in all of the chic decorating magazines.  It's the perfect blend of retro and modern design, and the circles are a nice contrast to the straight lines and sharp angles of the piecing design.  

I used two layers of Quilters Dream Poly Select batting in White for this quilt.  Poly batting has easy care instructions and zero shrinkage, and that's a key consideration for a baby quilt that has this much white fabric in it, especially when the client is hoping that it can be handed down from one grandchild to the next.  Them babies are cute, but they definitely keep the laundry machines humming!  I suggested a double layer of this inexpensive poly batting because Carrie really liked the dimensional texture of my Cotton Deluxe loft batting when I'd used on one of her previous quilts, and a double layer of the Poly Select gave a similar look to this baby quilt.

Donut Connection Stitched in Aurifil 40/2 Cotton Thread, Natural White

As with the other quilts I've shared today, I used 100% cotton quilting thread on Carrie's Milestone quilt, but this time I used a much finer, lighter weight Aurifil Cotton Mako 40/2 thread in Natural White.  One of the many confusing things I wish I'd known sooner about thread labeling is that the number indicating the weight of a thread only refers to one individual strand, or ply, of fiber that is twisted together to form that thread.  So even though Superior's King Tut and Aurifil's 40/2 (green spool) thread are both labeled as 40 weight threads, King Tut is made of THREE strands of forty-weight cotton twisted together and the green spools or cones of Aurifil 40/2 thread are made of only TWO strands of forty-weight cotton twisted together.  Huge difference!  I went with the thinner 40/2 Aurifil cotton thread for Carrie's quilt because she didn't want to see distinctive white stitching lines against her red and black fabrics and because half of every circle in this particular quilting design is double-stitched.  That overstitching is hardly noticeable in a lightweight thread, but can look very distracting in a heavier weight thread.  If I hadn't been on a cotton kick the day I quilted this quilt, I might have chosen So Fine 50 wt matte polyester thread for a similar look.

Here's what Carrie's Let's Grow Milestone quilt top looked like before I quilted it for her:

Carrie's 45 x 45 Let's Grow Milestone Quilt Top Before Quilting

Kim, Jane and Carrie, thank you for choosing me to quilt for you!

The Agonizingly Slow Progress of My Halo Quilt Continues

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...  Thought you guys might to see how my Jen Kingwell Halo Quilt is progressing.  You can find links to the pattern and templates I'm using for this quilt in my previous blog post here.

12 Blocks Finished, 24 Blocks Plus Borders to Go...

I forget what a glorious MESS is involved with these scrappy projects!  This is not the kind of thing where I can do all of the cutting up front and then just focus on the sewing, because I need to see the quilt coming together to decide whether I need to cut more pinks or more blues, more light values or darker ones, etc.  So my cutting table is totally out of commission, heaped with all of the fat quarters, fat eighths and scraps I've pulled out.  On the far side of the table you can just barely glimpse the tidy ziplock baggies containing solid fabrics that I was cutting up for my Deco quilt before I got distracted by the Halo tangent.  I'll get back to that one eventually!

"Planned Scrappy" Quilts Involve CHAOS!

So, I have a question for those of you who have just wasted half your day reading through my ridiculously long blog post.  As long as it takes you to skim/read these posts, it takes me even longer to write them and the longer it's been since I've written one, the more I feel like I need to pack into the next post.  Would it be better if I posted more frequently, but more briefly, just sharing one quilt in each blog post, or do you like these longer posts that jump all over the place and only show up once in a blue moon?  

I'll be linking up today's rambling blog post with my favorite linky parties throughout the week.  Happy May, Happy almost Mother's Day (in the United States), and Happy Quilting!


Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

Beauty Pageant at From Bolt to Beauty

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday


Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  


Anonymous said...

I tend to check on all my favourite blog writers (aka quilters) about once a week. Looking for a new post. I don’t subscribe to any feeds, just run though my bookmarks as time allows. Anything which works for you makes me happy and inspired. So many have switched to other forms of social media which I am not comfortable using.
Thank you for the time putting these posts together.
Shirley the lurker in Canada

Julie in GA said...

I love seeing all of the beautiful quilting that you have been doing and reading about the reasons for the choices made along the way. Whether you write short posts more often or longer, less frequent posts, either way is good. Whatever works for you!

Chris said...

I'll take whatever you get written! :-)

Gretchen Weaver said...

As always your quilting is beautiful and brings the quilt tops to life! I'd rather have more posts about less things at a time. I get overwhelmed when there is too much information in a post. Happy stitching!

Gretchen Weaver said...

I forgot to say, the Halo quilt is beautiful!

Kathy R. said...

I am with everyone above, I enjoy reading your posts! So however you decide to write them up I will keep checking for them through my list of favorite blogs.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your articles and look forward to reading every one. It’s a happy day when one of your articles appears in my inbox. I like reading about your batting and thread choices and why you make your decisions. I have learned so much. I also enjoy reading about your personal projects. And your photos. However you want to post is just fine with me. Whatever works for you. Just keep posting!

Gale Bulkley said...

I love reading your blog posts whether they are long or short. They are interesting and certainly something to look forward to.

Mary said...

I also enjoy both formats—the long and the short. Today I read about all your recent longarming over my morning coffee and then came back to read about your Halo progress after a ride on my Peloton. That Amoeba quilting on the Cherrywood 9-patch quilt for Mike looks spectacular!!!

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

I go through feedly reader to read blog post so it tells me daily who has posted and you just click on the link and it takes you to the post to read. I read blogs every morning while I drink my coffee and eat my breakfast. Sometimes I waste too much of my morning doing that but it is a habit I have and I'm not going anywhere so it makes no difference to me. Sometimes if there are lot of posts listed that have updated I skim the words and look at the quilts

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Oh boy, these quilts are purely stunning, and your quilting made them even more beautiful. I love to read about your choices, quilting patterns, thread colors, and so on. I've finally found a way to keep up with my favorite blogs since Bloglovin shut down, so I'll be reading you no matter how often you post ;)
Thank you for sharing your work, and linking up!

piecefulwendy said...

Like the others, I think you should go with what works for you as far as posting. You clearly are busy, so if a long post with multiple quilts is easier for you to do, go with it. By the way, I got your post in my inbox, but when I clicked on "read more" it wouldn't open. No worries, I knew where to find you! Lovely quilts, as usual, always fun to read about your process and those glorious threads!

Lodi said...

I love all of your posts! I read e.v.e.r.y. word and especially enjoy your thought process/reasons behind your decisions. Short or long I'll take them all!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to your longer posts, which are like teaching moments to me. I'm not a longarmer but your thought process on thread and design is applicable to domestic machine quilting as well. As others have said, whatever works for you is best!

Barb N said...

I love the Donut Connection quilting pattern. Does must backtrack on half the circle each time? At any rate, it's perfect for that quilt! Always love to see what you're up to. Your Halo Quilt is certainly a scrappy one and definitely worthy of the messy cutting table! What a fun adventure!!!

Janet M said...

I enjoy reading your posts whether they're long or short. Do what you can - you are appreciated!

Caryquilter said...

I enjoy your posts, long or short. Love the details about the quilting process, and of course the photos.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

I enjoy all your posts! A short, more frequent posting would work well for me. And, it's all about me, right:-)

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with most previous comments. Love your writing and your quilting. I enjoy reading about your thought processes. Long or short post doesn’t matter- you do what’s best for you!

Suzanne said...

First, your quilting of the Modern Curves pattern on Kim's Shenanigan Quilt was inspirational! I love the movement that gave the quilt.

Second, since you asked... I prefer shorter, more frequent posts. Though most of my reading is of books and longform essays, I think it's fun to read blogs that are more something like "snippet" length, as if they are short news dispatches from the front lines of quilting adventures!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

I do enjoy reading your posts, always so informative and full of lots of lovely photos. I'm into making quilt tops, not so much the actual quilting (!!), so I also enjoy reading about your quilting process details and decision making regarding quilting patterns, thread, etc. said...

I enjoy reading your posts. . . .whether they are long or short or whether they come regularly or infrequently. It is always good to hear from you! Your quilting sure elevated those tops! Kim's quilt is a wow! Interesting how a simple design brought your eye into that project!!!

Allison said...

I enjoy reading your posts. It's your blog so stick with what works for you! I follow other bloggers who post frequent, short posts and I find both formats/styles suit me as a reader :-)

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

its a perfect fit for a young guy!!! and how sweet to recognize his service to your group!

Ramona said...

Once again, your quilting just makes these quilts sing!! Each quilting design is perfect for the quilt. I am loving how your Halo quilt is coming along. As far as your posts go... I'll take them anyway you give them to us. Your posts are like chatting with a friend. :)

Anonymous said...

I am new to this! The nine patch looks like something I could manage. Is there an actual pattern for this quilt?

Rebecca Grace said...

Anonymous Newbie Quilter: I don’t know whether the maker of Mike’s quilt used a pattern or not, but there are a lot of basic “how to quilt” books out there that might help you. Basically that quilt is 9 patch blocks that have little frames around them with corner squares (not sure if that has its own block name or not) and those are set “on point” or diagonally, alternating with contrasting plain squares. Harriet Hargrave has a series of Quilters Academy books, and I’ll bet Vol. 1 Freshman Year and/or Vol. 2 Sophomore Year in that series would give you all the information you needed to make a quilt like this one. Good luck and happy quilting!

dq said...

Once again, stunning stunning stunning machine quilting.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

It's always fun to see your amazing quilting - unique and special for each unique quilt! I love that your guild is giving that quilt to the young man who helps you out - perfect destination for it!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

I also love reading your posts, whether they are long like this one, or short. I must say I liked seeing several quilts and pondering the contrasts as I learned about your thread/quilting decisions for each one, so keep doing these! Thanks for sharing on my weekly show and tell, Wednesday Wait Loss.

Vicki in MN said...

The movement in Kim's quilt is amazing!

Vivian said...

In answer to your last question first: far be it for me to weigh in on "long posts or not" considering mine are almost NEVER short(and neither will be this comment), LOL!! I will say that I see that most bloggers do write short pithy posts and I do admire the ability to do that. However, I also personally want all the details rather than have to wait and have you answer a lot of follow up questions. Sometimes when I sit down to write a post, I will write it all out and then break it up (cut and paste it) into separate smaller posts and then just schedule them to publish over multiple subsequent days or time slots. I will in that case edit in a link to/back to related posts once the initial posts are published. See, still not a short answer!

All that said, I'll try to keep the rest pithy: Oooh, I love Cherrywood fabrics and have a scrap bag purchased at a quilt show years ago that I have sprinkled bits of into projects here and there. That quilt is a real beaut and the young man should love it! Regarding the Kaffe quilt thread choice -- perfect! The variety of colors in the variegated thread you used balances so perfectly so at no point does the thread scream in contrast over any one fabric. I'm also loving the bit of loft on that quilt with the cotton/wool batting. I purchased some earlier this year to try out and think I might use that for the panel I plan to stitch for Angela Walter's latest FMQ challenge. Okay not as pithy as hoped so I'll leave it there!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Fun look & read, Rebecca! I do love that Ameoba quilting! Cherrywood fabric are made here in Minnesota so we see them a lot, and they are like butter! As for blog posts, I've moved to the group 'em style myself. So I guess that's my preference. Happy Mother's Day to you!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

I agree with Chris - whatever mood you are in is fine - 1 or 5 quilts. I like all the quilts in this post, with the exception, I cannot look at the waves, I am already dizzy enough! LOL. You did a fabulous job on each one of them! But Menieres patients cannot take waves, or geometrics. It takes time to write posts - even small ones. Sometimes long ones are great - saves the reader time also. Have a wonderful day and hoping you had a great Mother's Day. Hugs

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm wondering if you happen to know anything about the pattern that was used for Mike's Thank You quilt? Thanks!

Rebecca Grace said...

Anonymous: No, I'm afraid I don't have any pattern information for Mike's quilt. The completed quilt top was donated to our guild from the estate of a former guild member, a male quilter who had passed away long before I even joined the guild. I don't even know whether the man who made the top was a quilter who typically used patterns or whether he was someone who just made up his own patterns as he went along. If you have a quilting design software such as EQ8 it should be fairly easy to replicate this quilt, however. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I snapped a pic and kind of created my own pattern based on that. Thank you so much for responding! Your quilting is absolutely beautiful by the way 😊👍🏾

dq said...

I am going to check out the Halo quilt pattern. I absolutely love this quilt!

The Amoeba choice was so so good for the 9 patch, and yes, it completely transformed that quilt!

I also love your quilting choices for the clock quilt as well as Kris' Shenanigan so so much! The Shenanigan quilt now has some nice movement to it that it didn't have before. I also like that you took before and after shots of your work.

I didn't know that about threads. It amazes me how there are always more things to learn.