Carol’s Octagon Shimmer

Today, I bring to you a quilt from a local quilter who normally pieces a more traditional quilt. Carol Schottelkotte came to me in 2019, when she lost her longarmer and was in search of a new one. I’m so glad she found me. Carol went outside of her comfort zone when she found Octagon Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou. You can find the pattern for sale here: https://www.ctpub.com/octagon-shimmer-quilt-epattern-download-1/

Carol came over and we hatched out a gameplan on a piece of acetate over the quilt. My job was to help define the two different main shapes, bring in a little modern quilting and introduce some feathers onto the quilt. Feathers aren’t Carol’s particular cup of tea, but she was very willing to give them a go.

I wish I had snapped a picture of the quilt before loading it, but, once again, my feeble mind failed me and it wasn’t until after it was loaded that it dawned on me that I had missed my opportunity. So, without further adieu, here is Carol’s quilt!

I quilted this on two layers of Quilters Dream Blend batting and I just really loved the shimmer of the fabrics and the color spectrum of this quilt. We didn’t skimp on feathers, either! There were 219,922 stitches total, using about 7 different colors of glide thread on the top and one color always in the bobbin. I used Glide’s Warm Grey 4 on all the parts within the octagon blocks and matched fabric colors on the triangular blocks where the feathers are. Here are more detailed shots:

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and some closer shots of the beautiful flying geese border on this quilt:

What a wonderful quilt and I had such a blast quilting this. I’m going to miss her!

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

Many of you know that I don’t just longarm…I hand-craft luxury cold-process soaps and sell them online at my shop. I am introducing my next new soap today and it is Grapefruit and Colloidal Oatmeal (Pictured below). My soaps are gentle and moisturizing with luxury oils of shea butter, avocado oil and olive oil, among the other oils I use. I incorporate coconut milk into each and every bar. And, they are entirely plant-based, scented only with steam-distilled essential oils and they are incredibly kind to your skin. I am so proud of these soaps and they have been incredibly well received. If you’d like to check them out for yourself, visit my shop at: www.soapworksfactory.com. Let your skin drink in the goodness that is our soap.

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

I swear Maureen Wood doesn’t sleep!

I get amazing quilts on my doorstep and it’s always so cool to see what comes in and what fabrics and techniques are used.  I’ve had the privilege of longarming for Maureen Wood on several occasions and she patiently waited for her next chance on frame.  In came a Jaqueline De Jonge quilt called “Dream Flight” and it was a stunner.  We decided to double bat this with Quilters Dream Blend, for show reasons.  Once I had inked my ideas, emailed them to Maureen and received her approval, we marked it and loaded it.

OK, If you’re like me, you just want to see the pictures!  So, here you go:

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And, the detail shots are so pretty.  This corner medallion went in by marking the main spine and the extent of the feathers.  It was stitched in a dark grey so that it had some pop from the black background.

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The corner motif was stitched in a dark red and rulerwork was done to stitch the star out.  I loved the feather that this motif had in it.

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And, the black background was stitched in a very dark blue so that it ever so slightly popped off the black.  It turned out beautifully.

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Each circle had different stitching in it and all the colored areas were stitched in a warm grey.

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This is probably my favorite picture.  You can really see the background fill and the red motif I put in.  Just so pretty!!!

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Just another pretty shot on this area. I loved the feather I put into the white circle here and that feather around the black zone was just too pretty!

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Well, that does it for this beautiful quilt.  I’m really hoping that Maureen enters it into a show.  Heck, I hope we have a show again.  But, at least I get to longarm these beautiful quilts and I have another gorgeous one on frame right now.  Lucky me!

Just a few weeks ago, I launched another fun project I’ve been working on in the evenings and on the weekends…a luxury artisan cold-process soap company!  I’ve been so fortunate to have had a fantastic start to this business and I’ve already been fortunate to have repeat customers!  Our soaps are incredibly kind to your skin and we have 9 different essential oils combinations.  We use only essential oils to scent our soaps.  We also use copious amounts of olive oil, avocado oil and shea butter.  If you’d like to pamper yourself with a luxury soap, visit us at http://www.soapworksfactory.com

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Memories Are So Sweet!

It’s an odd thing to first, bring you this blog after yet another surgery, and, second, to announce that this is a very, very special quilt that my quilting partner, Joyce Hite, meticulously pieced, applique’d and blanket stitched on her wonderful Bernina.  This quilt was just juried into Road to California, 2020 and we are totally excited over this news.  This particular quilt also received an Honorable Mention in it’s class at AQS Spring Paducah 2019 and just last month took a 2nd in class at IQF Houston.  It is a very special quilt for Joyce, as it represents her memories of growing up on a farm here in Ohio.  I will give a few more insights on this as you scroll through the pictures and this blog will be FILLED with quilting photos with an immense amount of custom freemotion (with ruler work) quilting!

“Memories” is a “taupe” quilt, designed by Joyce using many EQ (Electronic Quilt) patterns and a few blocks from one of her favorite quilters, Yoko Saito, using Japanese fabrics.  Here it is as it arrived to my “factory”:IMG_4286

Joyce created the beautifully wide border for some intricate quilting on my part…she really wanted to give me a space to have fun in and it didn’t take me long to channel my love of Sharon Schambler’s work and create a border for this quilt.  The remaining blocks took a bit longer…over 40 hours of designing on tracing paper with pencil over images that I printed out of each quilt block.  I would later use those drawings to record arc sizes and thread choices, as this quilt used somewhere around 45 thread colors on the top and around 7 colors on the backing.

Here’s a look at the beautiful quilt as it came off of my longarm. Over 1.3 million stitches and about 450 hours of work:IMG_5208

And a few closer looks, with the batting combination of Quilters Dream Blend and Wool giving such nice stitch definition.  Three colors of Glide 40 weight trilobal thread were used in the border to bring a slight hue of color into it.  A different frame was placed around each of the 7 different applique blocks:IMG_5191

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And, here is the quilt winning it’s Honorable Mention at AQS Spring Paducah 2019:IMG_6211

You can see the three colors of thread in the border here….An off-yellow, a lighter grey and a darker grey:
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And, here is my mass-dump of all of the detail photos of the blocks within the quilt.  Joyce is a remarkably talented quilter and her work is just something incredibly special to see up close.  Her sense of color, care with her applique, and level of stitching talent is truly special.  Her machine blanket stitch is just breathtaking and I am so thrilled to have her as a friend and partner in national show quilts.  Joyce and I have worked together since I was longarming for just 18 months (about two years ago!), placing nationally at that time, and her faith in me is something I will ALWAYS treasure.  She believed in me when I didn’t, and it means the world to me to be supported in that fashion.  She is truly an amazingly wonderful, kind and talented quilter!d13

Joyce’s first block she ever made was a churn-dash block, so this was a significant block in this quilt:d12

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and…d10

Joyce’s Mother was very skilled at flower arranging and all of her flower applique blocks pay homage to her memories of her mother’s very special talent:d9

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Now, Joyce doesn’t know this, but the acorn block here has a very special meaning to me and my family memories.  I grew up on a small parcel in Mentor, Ohio.  We had a HUGE Scarlet Oak in the backyard that dated over 200 years old.  The property, and that tree, were once owned by our President, James A. Garfield with his “Lawnfield” homelocated just to the west of the top of our street.  Our childhood was spent using that tree as “home” in games of tag, left us huge piles of rust-colored leaves in the fall that we jumped into, gave us acorns for acorn fights and painted acorn people with painted acorn “hats” and dropped on us sticks and leaves to form make-believe house outlines in the back yard in which we “lived”.  When one Memorial Day found a teenage version of me at the window, hearing a huge crack and shaking the picture window, I exclaimed to my Mom that the tree was literally cracking in front of me.  An emegency Arborist’s crew cinched it back together with a huge chain link cable system, but about 5 years later found the tree too bad to keep and it was, unfortunately, cut down.  The crew on that fateful day consisted of men who asked to be on that job crew, because, they too, loved the history of that tree.  It was a sad day, but I will never forget what that tree meant to us kids and my parents.d7

The “J” block is, obviously, a monogram for Joyce:d6

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Joyce spent her childhood growing up on a farm, and this barn block represents that special time in her life:d4

and…d3

This flower applique happens to be my favorite block on this quilt.  It’s hard to actually pick a favorite, but this was just such a gorgeous block with such dainty leaves that bent in the wind.  I loved the fabrics used on this one and I loved the french knots Joyce made in the stamens of the flowers.  Add to this that my first collegiate degree was in Horticulture and with my Master’s degree and the passage of my State Boards, I became a Registered Landscape Architect, and, well, it all makes sense:d2

I loved using Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Background Stencil set to mark out the basketweave on the flower basket and I think it turned out beautifully:d1

Well, that does it for the eye candy!  I thank you for taking the time to pop in for a visit!  I’m excited to announce that Joyce and I are currently working on the next show quilt (well, Joyce is done piecing and waiting for me to finish the longarming…which is taking a lot longer than first anticipated, but all good things must come in due time)!

May this Holiday Season fill you with warmth, love, support and kindness.  Take care and I hope you get a little time today to be creative!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

 

Now THAT’s A Fancy Forest!

The quilt this blog is centered around has been in the making for quite some time.  I remember seeing this in bits and stages nearly 2 years ago, as my client, Connie Tieche tediously pieced a Fancy Forest quilt from Elizabeth Hartman.  This came as a kit and I have to say, there are so many wonderful fabrics that I think they were all my favorite!  The color spectrum and the layout were just perfect.

When longarming, I always like to start by taking a few photos of the quilt.  One of the full quilt and several of detail areas.  I then print out the photos, put tracing paper over them and design them with pencil.  Once I have what I like, I draft it out with ink on tracing paper and take photos, wiring the images to my client for approval.  If I feel that I don’t have a firm grasp on the finished scale, I place a piece of acetate over the quilt top and mark on it the design intent.  That way, I can check things and make sure I have it all figured out (and it’s a this step that  I can lay my circle and arc templates over the design to determine what sizes to use).  I’m not a load-and-go kind of quilter, where I just load a top without any design thought and start stitching.  Something tells me that wouldn’t end well for me!  Here is a picture of my drafted ideas:IMG_5884I used around 40-45 different colors of Glide thread on this quilt.  I can’t say for sure, because there were so many cones of thread out on the floor behind me that I had to clear it all up twice just to advance the quilt into another color range and plop down more thread colors!  When you carry over 160 colors of Glide thread, this part is a whole lot easier!  I don’t charge for thread changes on custom quilting, as an hourly rate is much more fair for things than a $5 charge for each color change.  I think my clients agree!

Let’s take a look at the full finished quilt.  This was quilted with a double layer of Quilters Dream Batting.  A 70/30 blend was used on the bottom for strength and a layer of wool was used on top for puff.  That combination always quilts so lovely:IMG_5914I always love to peer in closer, so here is more of the eye candy of this quilt:IMG_5916and:IMG_5915And peering in even closer gives yet more detail and allows you to see the wood grain background fill:IMG_5917IMG_5919IMG_5920IMG_5918It was such a fun time quilting this masterpiece that finished at over 405,000 stitches on my Innova.  I enjoyed every minute of breathing yet more life into this gorgeous quilt of Connie’s.

If you are interested in having me custom freemotion or digitally pantograph your quilts, just reach out to me through this website or email me at: ThreadworksFactory@outlook.com.  My schedule is nearly full through May now and we are booking June arrivals and beyond.

Thank you for spending time with me today and I hope you have an opportunity to be creative!