Joyce Hite is at it….again :)

While we have been going through this Covid-19 Pandemic, I’ve been busy, in my basement, peering out of my well-window and refocusing on the current quilt on frame. They’ve changed several times over this 3-month period. The one we are featuring today was on frame for several weeks, due to no access to chiropractic care or LMT help. I nearly broke my neck in a racing accident in 2000, and I’m now being very careful about my posture and my well-being.

This particular quilt was so much fun to design the free-motion quilting for and I used my version of a fill that Judi Madsen so beautifully does…I can’t compare to her world-class talent level, but I can certainly still have fun.

Meet Blooming Baskets, a quilt design from Planted Seed Designs…https://plantedseeddesigns.com/products/blooming-baskets-and-blooming-basket-stars-patterns. Here she is all decked out and ready to roll!

I quilted her with one layer of Quilters Dream Blend batting and used my standby of Glide 40 weight thread. I love the slight sheen and strength of this thread. I first marked out this quilt with a thin water-erasable mark-be-gone pen. Marking took about 8 hours, due to all the measurements that were necessary on this quilt, but sometimes, marking is best and the timeline takes longer than you would imagine. Let’s look at more details of this beauty! Here is the beautiful center of this quilt…something I wanted to showcase a bit more, so I added the boxed feather border to it to help highlight the gorgeous center:

And, here are more close ups:

Didn’t she just turn out beautifully? It was sad to see her head back home with Joyce, but I’m so thrilled I got to add to the beauty of this quilt. I’m incredibly fortunate to longarm for my wonderful clients and it’s humbling to know that I’m living a little mark of myself for decades to come.

On another front, here is another venture I started on April 15, 2020…an online artisan cold-process luxury soap company. I hand-make each bar of soap using only the finest essential oils and base oils, using copious amounts of olive oil, shea butter and avocado oil. This soap is amazing on your skin and I couldn’t be more proud of the testing and reseach I put in to make this online shop a reality. We now have 10 varieties of soap with another 5 coming throughout 2020. Visit our fledgling online shop at http://www.soapworksfactory.com and let your skin drink in the goodness that is our soap!

Thank you so very much for popping in and visiting my blog. I hope you have a little time to be creative today.

So, we went and did a thing

Yes, you heard that right here.  We (my husband and me) went and did a thing.  We opened up an online artisan luxury cold-process small-batch soap company!  (that’s a mouthful!)  No kidding.  I’ve been dabbling in soaps for the past 15 months, as I really wanted something that didn’t strip things from my skin, but that gave my skin good gentle care, copious  bubbles and sensational nourishment, with great essential oils and wonderful base oils like avocado oil, olive oil and shea butter.  And, I don’t mean a measly 1% of each.  I mean that most of the soap bar is composed of these oils!

We cure our cold-process soap in-house for a minimum of 6 weeks.  15 months of hard work produced something that most of my family now uses as their go-to.

I do not use any fragrance oils (as they are chemically man-made) and I use only plant-based base oils.

If you’d like a luxury bar of soap that feels good, scents the air with great essential oils and leaves your skin feeling it’s best, please visit my website at:

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

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Lavender & Patchouli Essential Oil Soap

Kathryn Bailey’s Pandemonium Quilt

Good morning, everyone!  I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent from blogging for a while.  Life has been crazy hectic as usual, even with the national shutdown from Covid-19.  I am still working full time (and even recorded a 13 hour workday this week!) for a few reasons.  Namely, we are stuck finishing our basement ourselves due to having the work crew stopped mid-stream by this outbreak and we are left with no countertops and no carpet anywhere due to it.  I also opened up another side business to run as I work through the quilt load I have that my husband will help me manage…I will blog a bit more about that in about an hour!  Stay tuned!

Onto this wonderful quilt that my client brought to me to custom quilt.  Kathryn hails from the GREAT State of Texas.  I wish I had some before pictures and an overall picture, but with the state of my basement right now, the area I use for photography is left in limbo 🙁  I am completely dismayed by that and could not get a full picture.

When I had talked with Kathryn via emails, I had told her that I envisioned quilting this top with two thread colors.  Does this look like two thread colors to you?  I mean, I just couldn’t do that.  When you see the masterpiece, you’ll understand why.

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May I  now introduce to you Kathryn’s Pandemonium quilt.  Kim McLean was the designer.  Kathryn pieced this with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and it was thousands of applique pieces that went into this top.  I can only show you sections of it, and I am terribly sorry about that.

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Well, there it is, in bits and pieces. I have another potential show quilt on frame right now and it will be done next week.  If I can share pictures of it, I shall.  If not, please know that I’m busting at the seams to share more gorgeous quilts with you!

Please stay safe and healthy.  I hope you find some time to be creative today.

Take care, Patricia

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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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

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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