Sunday, July 9, 2023

It's Easier to Get Forgiveness Than Permission: Quilting The Godfather for Marguerite

The quilt I’m sharing today was made by my friend and fellow Charlotte Quilters’ Guild member Marguerite.  It’s a project she started during the Pandemic, experimenting with using Terial Magic in lieu of traditional tearaway or cutaway stabilizers, various decorative threads, programmed stitches on her Bernina sewing machine, etc.  When I saw this unquilted top hanging forlorn and forgotten in her studio, I asked if I could quilt it for her as payback for a HUGE favor she did for me in a time of need (that’s why I call this one The Godfather, because “Some day, I will ask of you a favor…”  ðŸ˜…)  Not only did Marguerite agree to let me quilt it, but she uttered the most dangerous words imaginable...

“Just Do Whatever You Want With It!”

Marguerite’s 60 x 60 Appliqué Quilt with Bee and Lady Bird E2E Quilting

I very rarely agree to select a quilting design without any input at all from the client.  My usual practice is to consult with clients about quilting designs, batting and thread options when they drop off their quilt top (or once they’ve shipped it to me), and then I make recommendations based not just on what I see but also on what drew the client to select that pattern and those fabrics, who the quilt is for, and how it will be used.  I can usually envision two dozen totally different quilting designs that would look great on every quilt top I see.  Listening to a client talk about her quilt is just as important as looking at her quilt if I want the client to be over-the-moon delighted once the quilt is finished.  But Marguerite insisted, "Just do whatever you want."

I Quilted Bugs All Over Marguerite’s Quilt, And She’s Still Friends With Me

I briefly considered custom quilting on this one: You know, this design for the sashing, that design for the corner squares, quilting some additional “ghost flowers” along the border vines and subdividing the center of the quilt with different fills in different sections.   But Marguerite does a fantastic job of her own custom quilting using rulers and free motion motifs on her hand guided sit-down long arm machine, and if she wanted it quilted that way she could have done that beautifully herself.  Moreover, in addition to saying "just do whatever you want," she'd also said "just do an edge-to-edge," so I settled on this Bee and Lady Bird design from Scottish designer Dastardly Line.  

This is one of those designs that I absolutely love but had not yet managed to convince a client to select it for her quilt.  I thought the drawing style of Bee and Lady Bird complemented Marguerite’s organic, playful applique flowers and I envisioned the quilting design filling in the background around the applique and turning a scattering of blooms into a garden picnic…  complete with BUGS!

Detail of Bee and Lady Bird E2E Stitched in Glide Thread, Split Pea

I am happy to report that Marguerite loves her quilt (and she’s still friends with me!)

Line Drawing of the Bee and Lady Bird E2E Quilting Design

As with most quilting designs, Bee and Lady Bird looks so much better stitched out on a quilt than most imagine it would, just from looking at the black and white line drawing.  

A couple of key things to note about this quilt: Marguerite stiffened and stabilized her background fabric with a spray-on product called Terial Magic that is like starch on steroids (this post contains affiliate links).  If you're local to me here in Charlotte, you can find Terial Magic at Lee's Creative Sewing in the Stonecrest shopping center in Ballantyne, and I think the Quilt Patch shop in Matthews carries it as well.  It's also available on Amazon here.  

I’ve had several clients bring me machine appliquéd quilt tops made with this product, and it is fabulous!  Terial Magic makes your background fabric so stiff that it feels more like paper or nylon canvas than a soft quilting cotton, providing adequate support for machine applique, decorative machine stitches, and very light embroidery designs (like simple quilt labels).  Unlike with traditional cutaway or tearaway stabilizers, there’s nothing to remove from the back of the quilt top after stitching.  I can quilt through Terial Magic just fine (there's no sticky residue to gum up my needle) and then it washes out completely the first time the finished quilt is laundered. 

I used Glide thread in color Split Pea because it’s a trilobal polyester machine embroidery thread like many of the threads Marguerite used for her machine applique stitches.  The pale green/gold color blends surprisingly well against the purple and fuchsia flower petal fabrics but it has enough contrast to stand out dramatically against the white background fabric and the deep royal blue of the narrow inner border and corner blocks.  I used Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool blend batting to give some nice dimensional texture to the quilting, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that looks after Marguerite binds the quilt and washes out the Terial Magic product.  Here’s what Marguerite’s quilt top looked like before I quilted it:

Marguerite’s Quilt Top Prior to Quilting

Thanks for letting me hijack your project, Marguerite — and thanks for coming to my rescue on a day when I needed help from a talented friend.  ðŸ˜˜

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 August and early September of 2023.  Click here to learn how easy it is to book a quilt with me!

Meanwhile, Halo Progress!

31 Halo Blocks Completed, 5 More to Go (Plus Border Blocks)

Meanwhile, yesterday was my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday and, although I didn't have her Halo quilt finished in time to be a birthday present, I have made some serious headway and the end is in sight!  I’ve made 31 of the required 36 blocks and yes, that is my final layout on my design wall in the photo above.  The remaining 5 blocks are all planned and cut out.  I will still have to sew all of the blocks together and then make 52 border blocks to complete the quilt top, but the border blocks should be a piece of cake.  They are just three pieces: a background, a quarter circle, and an arc.  Two curved seams per border block.  And then I’ll have my first finished quilt top of 2023, sometime in late July or August.  Or September…. It will definitely be a finished quilt in time for Christmas!

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties.  Happy Quilting, everyone!


Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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  


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That's a beautiful quilt, and perfect quilting for it, too, Rebecca! When you first said "lots of bugs," I wasn't so sure - but the bees and ladybugs are delightful. And happy birthday to your MIL - she will love that quilt whenever you give it to her!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

These bugs are fun, and they look nice with the flowers. Great opportunity to use this design ;) Halo's blocks are gorgeous!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful work, and linking up!

Kim said...

Margeurite's words 'do what you want' was a gift. Those bees and lady birds all over looks fabulous on this quilt. Such a fun and whimsical design. The Terial Magic product sounds fabulous. Those Halo blocks are exploding with vibrant colour and pattern. This quilt is going to be wonderful.

Gretchen Weaver said...

How nice you were able to quilt whatever you wanted, you selected a great design. The halo quilt is so pretty, I can't wait to see it finished! Happy stitching!

Anne-Marie said...

Nice work by both of you. I LOVE how your Halo quilt is coming along. Smirking about the "just 52 more blocks". LOL.

Lea Anne Brummett said...

You were right, the bugs work well with this quilt. I'm shocked the gold thread blended so well with all the fabrics. The Halo quilt deadlines sound a lot like mine. It'll get done...sometime! It's beautiful and will be loved. said...

What a perfect design to compliment the applique flowers! You are a master a combining thread and quilting design! Kudos for being so far along with your Halo quilt. Impressive progress!!!!!!!!

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

I really like Halo - is it for your mother in law? Nice your friend let you quilt her quilt and to use your imagination.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Nice quilting, Rebecca!!! Bold & daring--you pulled it off fabulously. Wow, you've really made headway on your Halo quilt! Happy birthday to your MIL!

Kathleen said...

What a great way to return a favor! I love the bugs, they are in every garden and now in this beauty. You are so close on Halo - which is so gorgeous - good luck finishing it.

Sandy said...

Marguerite's quilt top was lovely all by itself, but your quilting (design and thread choices) really "made" it! What a perfect motif for this quilt! Halo is looking really good, and I'm sure your MIL will love it, whenever it's ready.

Ramona said...

Halo is looking so good! You are in the home stretch. I'm going to have to make a quilt so you can quilt these bugs on mine. They are just too cute!!

Pat at Bell Creek Quilts said...

The bugs look great on this piece and your Halo is coming along!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Love that bee quilting! Simply perfect for the flower quilt. Also love your choice of gold thread. So striking. And to top it off, your Halo quilt is nearing completion! So happy for you. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

You find the most creative E2E patterns. This is creativity on steroids. Of course you executed it masterfully. Your own, nearly a flimsy quilt is coming along nicely.

Barb N said...

The quilting design is perfect and just enhances the garden theme. Congrats on making substantial headway on your Halo quilt - I am awfully impressed, and what a fun project!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Oh Halo is so pretty!! it will be finished when it says its time hahaha!!!

Brenda said...

Both quilts are fabulous!!! Is there a pattern for Marguerite's quilt?

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Brenda! No, Marguerite was just making it up as she went along. I think she drew the flower shapes freehand for the appliqué and then used her Scan N Cut to cut them out.

Brenda said...

She's a great designer, too.

dq said...

Oh my oh my oh my!! Love it! It was pretty before but came alive with that quilting pattern! You are right. It looks so much better on the quilt than on the pantogram pattern.