Thursday, May 14, 2015

Traditional quilted with a modern flair

Josee brought me this gorgeous quilt to work on.
  I'm not going to lie...I may have been a wee bit terrified.   
It's more traditional in piecing, design and colours.   
And then she told me:  I want it quilted more modern.  

And then I knew I could do it. 
 I started with figuring out the top border design -  I applied these ghost designs in the cream sections and that really set the theme for the rest of the quilt.  I knew I wanted to show that texture of the border - so I densely quilted the cream background,  medium quilting in that medium brown, and then light quilting in the darker brown/black so it showed that wrap around effect 
Again, keeping with the theme of making the piecing pop,  I densely quilting some areas (the cream) and let the darker colours pop. 
The border around the medallion echoed that 'ghost' shape...
 And in the medallion itself, I added a few subtle hints of that ghost shape again.
 The pebbling and the echoing around the piecing makes the medallion pop.   
 In some of the other areas, I did simple stitch in the ditch, pebbles, ribbon candy
figure 8's.

blocks with that 'ghost' shape again...
 I also did a straight line quilting around the middle border to soften the other quilting.  The piecing on this quilt was so precise that it was fairly easy to get those lines accurate!  

Quilt size:  83 x 104'' 
Batting: - provided by Josee - not sure
Thread -  Superior Magnifico in Medium Brown and Cream
Decobob thread in brown and cream in bobbin

Monday, May 11, 2015

Modern Custom Dresden Quilt

 Melissa, a friend from Australia, wanted to try me out.  She sent me this adorable modern dresden style quilt made with Christmas fabrics.   I went to town with some positive and negative space quilting -  denser quilting in some areas to make the lovely piecing pop.  
  I stitched around each of the 'blades' or 'spokes' of the dresdens to give emphasis on the piecing.  In larger space between the blocks, I saw the perfect opportunity to add some snowflake designs.

 In the white space of the dresdens, I alternated a few designs:
 Ribbon Candy

 Straight line quilting
and pebbling leading out to swirls....
Isn't it pretty!?

Top Thread -  Glide thread in white
Bobbin Thread -  Wonderfil Decobob in white
Batting -  Hobbs 80/20 batting

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thoughts - a reality check.

Whiny post ahead.

Life has been busy lately.  Isn't that everyone's complaint?   I'm trying to balance home, life, kids,  pets, marriage, activities, groceries, cooking, cleaning, quilting,  and now...exercise.     It is one of those last pieces of the health puzzle that was not included in my routine.  

I have been feeling pretty burned out lately with quilting.    I'm not sure if it is the other half of life that is trying to fit in,  the lack of my own personal creativity or what.   I adore quilting on my longarm, but I'm finding I need to balance it a bit more.   I really really miss the design aspect-  I have this whole metropolitan man quilt series idea sitting in the back of my head for the past year that has not come to fruition.    I am 4 baby quilts behind- at this rate, the babies will be in kindergarten by the time I get to them.    I have a bunch of ideas for the Moda Bake Shop and I have yet to design and make  a quilt for my own bed.   All of my scraps are still sitting in scrap bins.   My modern quilt guild quilt along will never get started.  As much as I love quilting for others - and I do, I love it -  I need to find a better balance of the amount I am doing for others vs doing for myself.       When my kids ask if I can volunteer for a class field trip (2 in one week) and I get anxious thinking I cannot do it because of the quilts in my queue- then I know I've bitten more than I can chew.

There's a reason this blog has been neglected.   I hate the fact that I don't have anything interesting to post about -  I just post photos of what I have done, kind of like a factory post.   I dislike that.  I dislike that I used to follow and comment and keep up with a number of blogs and friendships.  And now I don't - because it's just one more thing to do.

I love the challenge of longarm quilting -  I love how I have taught myself to do this on my own, that each quilt gets better and I feel accomplished and rewarded by the results.  I am so proud of what I have built up.   But I'm feeling unbalanced.   Does this mean I am not cut out for this?  I don't want to be quilting 24 hours a day.  I want to go to the gym, I want to go to the dog park,  I want to watch that awful shocking episode of Grey's Anatomy.   I want to attend a SewDay.    I want to design quilts and make quilts.  I want to longarm quilt!   I want to just hang with my kids.

When I look at blogs and instagram and see these amazing quilters doing it all -  how do they do it all?      If I get the urge to do some piecing in my studio I feel sudden guilt - as that queue of quilts whispers at me.   People are waiting for them.  Don't make them wait.

How on earth does one do it all?   I feel like I have the most flexible life ever, but I am bouncing around like a pinball!    Do I not have enough grit?  

Sorry for the rambles.   These are the thoughts that have been burning through my mind in the past month.

I've done some pretty awesome quilts in the last month - will post another day in my typical factory post.  For now, you get the raw rambling thoughts going through my head.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Modern Custom Quilting...

 Stacey and her mom Lynn brought this beautifully pieced quilt to me.  (Carolina Patchworks - Sweet Garden Pattern)  I think I drooled a little...
 The colours were stunning,  so perfectly pieced,  and perfectly placed.  Every print that had a special direction, was placed in a uniform direction.   
 I did a figure 8/wishbone design in one direction of the sashing, and ribbon candy in the other.  
Some of the blocks I did swirls, pebbles, straight line details..
Each block was outlined with stitching for best definition:
 ...some of them I left on their own like these wee ones....they look like little pillows! 
 Some blocks I kept simple....
 ...and some blocks I used the print to dictate my quilting,..
 with outlines...
or following the detail in the print to give it texture...

The backing was just as beautiful -   the piecing, again,  perfect.  Here is a sample where it has been pieced: 

That's right -  where?!  

Hobbs 80/20 batting
Glide thread in white
Wonderfil Decobob grey thread for bobbins

Pattern:  Carolina Patchworks Sweet Garden

Quilted by me on my APQS machine

Monday, March 09, 2015

Modern straight line quilting

Tracy pieced this phenomenal quilt:
 The pattern is by Amy Ellis called Whispered Lace, in her book called Modern Neutrals. 

 I used the piecing as a springboard for some straight line quilting.  I marked registration lines to help with the quilting, using my ruler in some areas, and my channel locks in others.  

I used alternating designs of 1/2'' straight lines and 1'' lines, trying to emphasize that cream coloured desgin in the sashing. 
 It really helped to have meticulous piecing of these blocks, otherwise the straight line quilting would have looked very wonky!

This quilt is just gorgeous, and I love the design of the pattern!  

Glide thread top- cream
Wonderfil Decobob bobbin - taupe

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do I have to give it back?

Ashley, from Yellowknife pieced this beautiful hexagon top.

When I received it, I laid it out on my design wall and had a good thinking session.  The photo below shows what a quilt looks like when I receive it -  it is flimsy...a flat sheet of fabric. 
There was a lot of negative space in here...and a lot of beautiful piecing to showcase as well.  
 I did continuous curves in the hand pieced hexagons ...
 I did some ribbon candy,  c's, and wishbone quilting.  I also stitched down all the seams of the little 2''squares.  You can see what a difference it makes in texture...the right side strip has been stitched in between each square. The left strip, not(this is an in progress photo)   Love the extra pouf personality you get with this!
In the large empty spaces,  I quilted....
swirls, pebbles, uturns,
hexagons of different sizes, 
hexagons with different fills.

This quilt measures 84'' x 88'' 
Batting  is Hobbs 80/20 
I used SoFine 50 in cream,  super bobs in the bobbin
Quilted on my APQS machine.  

How do I tell my client I don't want to give it back?   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

In the studio...

Linda brought in a few amazing quilts for me to work on this week -   I love the bold batiks anchored by the black sashing on this one.   We chose a pantograph pattern called Dazzle, and a fuchsia variegated thread by Aurifil.   
Better shot of the pantograph design Dazzle on the backing...
 The thread colour by Aurifil just sings on this top -  it melts right into the variety of colours, and then on the black sashing you see pops of the colour.  Love the colour choice!
This batik beauty was quilted with a looser overall design using leafs and swirls.
This design was fun to work on after a lot of dense quilting earlier on in the week.

 Tamara brought in this lovely batik quilt - Willow Stonehenge -The Pond pattern.   I quilted a long wavy grass texture in the darker areas, and a watery meander in and around the lily pads to represent the pond.  I used an incredible thread by Glide called Fool's Gold -  it is kind of a metallic army green and it really goes well with those brown and taupe batiks.   Need to order more! 
 I have learned that brown quilts are almost impossible to photograph!  I find it really hard to get the lighting right to show the quilting!