“Wonder” Is Right!

Dare I tell you what that title is all about?  Well, let’s get to it, then!  This custom quilt job was recently completed on what is called a “One Block Wonder”.  So named because the fabric for the main part of the body is created by fussy-cutting a single piece of fabric.  My dear customer who is prolific at quilting (I have no idea how she does it, leading such a busy and fabulous life), created this masterpiece of precision and perfect fussy-cutting and allowed me the honor of free-motion custom quilting this.

My goal in tackling this, after my nervous reaction of “Oh, boy, is sure hope I don’t ruin this gorgeous quilt” was to think about the piecing of it and let the piecing process drive the quilting.  I wanted to help unify the quilt and the floral theme of the fabric, so I set about designing, after taking a picture of it and printing it out.  I also drew up a life-sized hexagon in AutoCAD and printed out a bunch of them, so that I could design at full scale.  Eight Different designs were drafted out for the hexagons, all carrying a “flower” type design.  When I had them drawn at full scale, I picked out the rulers that would be used on each one and marked those drawings so that I had complete understanding of how each would be done.

Here it is all quilted:

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The triangle edge was pebbled, in order to recede it and allow the hexagons along the edge to pop out more.  A custom border was applied through free-motion with a simple curl and leaf pattern.  I wanted to carry the flower theme there, but I did not want the border to upstage the body of the quilt in any fashion.  A cute flower was placed in the corner of each border to added effect.

You can see the randomization of the blocks.  To achieve this, I numbered each of my patterns from 1-8 and wrote over the top of my picture printout.  That became my “instructions” and along with the pattern sketches, which I dimensioned.  I had the perfect roadmap to break this quilt down into simple-to-understand directions.

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It was fun to watch this quilt “grow”.  Row by row and advance by advance, things really started to take shape.  I used two different thread colors for the stitching and monofilament for the stitch in the ditch on the borders and cubes.

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I loved seeing how the different areas of the quilt expressed different things all due to the fabric patterns.  I cannot believe this quilt’s body was cut from one fabric, what with all the colors that went on.  My customer showed me the initial fabric, and that was an eye-opener for what all became of it once pieced.  This was truly a spectacular quilt and the piecing was amazingly accurate.

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And from the back:

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I used two layers of batting.  The base was a layer provided by my wonderful customer, and I believe it may have been a Pellon cotton.  The top layer was Quilters Dream Wool.  It’s such an amazing product that holds it’s bounce tremendously well and it’s a favorite of mine.

I used glide thread in a medium purple and medium blue.  With that slight sheen of this amazing polyester trilobal thread, it was perfect for this very showy and bright quilt.  I was so happy (and relieved) that my customer loved her quilt.  I get handed a very big dose of responsibility with each quilt I am given, and I’m so happy when my customer is happy.  That makes everything worth it!

If you’d like to learn more about me, you can explore this website.  If you’d like to see some educational videos on how to longarm, please visit my youtube channel, The Theadworks Factory.  Many thanks for stopping in to visit.  I appreciate your time!

Have a great day and go out and create something!

It Sparkled! Honest!

First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!  My love of Irish music and my past life, living in Dublin, Ohio, make today a very special day today.  I have to admit, I was saddened when I took a DNA test for ancestry and found zero Irish in me.  It won’t keep me from playing jigs and reels, however!

Onto quilting, I say!  I am very lucky to have a dear customer provide me some beautiful quilt tops as of late.  She is such an interesting person who has lived such an interesting life and it’s very neat to learn more about her as our friendship grows.  I’ve quilted more tops for her in a month than I, myself, have made!

This blog is about one of these quilts; one that I picked up at my local quilt shop (www.thelittleshopofstitches.com) and ohh’d and ahhh’d over.  All this negative white space really excited me, as it presented some great opportunities to showcase custom quilting.  It sparkled!  It glistened like a freshly fallen snow and it was just much more magnificent than any picture could show.  We were off to design!  I snapped this picture, printed it out, and placed a sheet of tracing paper over the picture so that I could doodle away until I found the perfect design.  Well, that didn’t take long… my first design was perfect.  When you see a quilt that you love, the designing of it goes smoothly.  Your mind’s eye has already started to dabble with ideas and this one was just going to be gorgeous.

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Armed with my sketch, I began quilting.  All the sashing was stitched in the ditch.  This was for two reasons:  1.  I wanted to help pop them out a little, since I wasn’t going to be taking the block design into them and, instead, would be quilting them as stand-alone blocks and, 2.  Because I was going to be traveling in those seams to travel within each block for quilting purposes.  It would look silly, on the back, to only travel part way in the seam of the sashing.  So, before each block was quilted, all the sashing was stitched in the ditch.  This is a time-consuming process, but very worth the effect it brought.

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You can see, now the finished block.  The light blocks and the white areas were all stitched with a cream thread.  This allowed the thread to just slightly appear over the white areas and to pop a bit on the lightly colored areas as well.  for the dark purple and dark blue areas, a slightly lighter hue of the same color was used.  This also allowed the threads to slightly appear.  There was a LOT of ruler work on this quilt, but it sure makes for a beautiful finish.

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A picture from slightly farther back. Now you can see the darker blocks and how the rays in them helped to give a bit more movement to the block.

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Wow!  What a gorgeous quilt with all this quilting! 202,791 stitches in this beautiful piece.  I was sad to see it leave my sight, but so happy to return this to its rightful owner.  I’m going to miss this one, but I’m happy to have some pictures of it for keeps.

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And the back… what about that back!  I love backings that allow the quilting to show through and this one was perfect.

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So ends another project with more custom quilts on the horizon!  I’m going to have a full week next week, dabbling with designs and then, with sweet sorrow, parting with them, but I just love longarming.  My clientele is growing and I have to say, I have just the nicest quilters.  I get to live vicariously through them and I get to submerse myself in all sorts of quilting genres and I just love that!

I have created a youtube channel.  If you’re interested to see a video on the creation of this quilt (or watch any other instructional videos I have made), go to http://www.youtube.com and seach for “the threadworks factory”.  Subscribe to my channel to get notices of any new videos.  You can also visit my facebook page @thethreadworksfactory and follow along there.  Lastly, you can also register for blog updates right her on this site.  Look to the right of this screen and find the registration button.

Have a wonderful day and I do hope you get to make some time for yourself!

 

 

Would Somebody Kindly Pinch Me?

Ok, so something astoundingly stupendous happened today.  You see, back in the first week of December, 2016, I submitted a quilt to AQS Paducah.  This was the first quilt that ever came off of my longarm, after I had done three practice pieces and a lot of doodling to try to get comfortable with the longarm.  Well, out to my mailbox I went each afternoon over these past two weeks, knowing one thing that was shared to me by quilters who had made AQS shows… if you got a small envelope in the mail, it meant that you didn’t make the show.  If you got a large envelope, it meant you did.  Each day, I opened my mailbox to see a lot of little letters, but no big ones.  So, each day, I would hesitatingly dig through that pile of mail, sure that the letter of rejection was just one envelope away.  I would take a heavy sigh each day and say, “you’re not out of it yet”.

Well, today, an email popped into my box and I sat there and stared at it, doubting what my eye was reading.  Was this a mirage?  Was it a mistake?  For what I saw was, “CONGRATULATIONS, you have been juried into AQS Paducah!”.  Yes!… see….spring-paducah

I am completely in shock and unbelievable happy to say that I am now truly a longarmer who can quilt show quilts!  And, I’m incredibly excited to see the show.  God is good!

I have built my youtube channel and have uploaded my first videos.  If you are interested in subscribing to my channel and/or watching my educational videos on the longarming process, please seach for “the threadworks factory” on youtube.

Thank you for visiting my page and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Get out there and create something!